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Lochte caps season with award

LOS ANGELES — Ryan Lochte fired off an early message to his rivals at next year’s London Olympics.

The two-time Olympian capped a stellar season by winning male athlete of the year over Michael Phelps at the Golden Goggles on Sunday night.

Teenager Missy Franklin won female athlete of the year as USA Swimming honored its top performers.

Lochte’s season included two head-to-head victories over Phelps at last summer’s world championships in Shanghai.

“I’ve been getting faster since 2008. I’m a better athlete and a better swimmer,” Lochte said.

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