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Jul. 7—The Globe began recognizing athletes of the year five years ago, and Ben Hines has moved to the top of the list.

Hines, a senior at Nevada, is the boys swimmer of the year and becomes the first athlete to become a four-time award winner.

Awards are certainly nothing new to Hines, who has signed to swim for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and they probably will keep on coming.

“If I’ve learned anything about him, he’s going to maintain what he’s doing,” Nevada coach Clayton Wheeler said. “He’s going to continue to train the way he’s supposed to. He’s going to take this sport that he loves to do — and the sport he’s very talented and gifted in — and continue to improve his skill.

“I have no doubt that he’s going to get faster, stronger in the pool. If he keeps going the way he’s going, it’s going to be success after success for him.”

Hines made an immediate impact during his prep career, posting more than 30 state qualifying marks.

His collection of 10 state medals includes six golds — three in the 50-meter freestyle, two in the 100 free and one in the 100 butterfly. He also has a second-place medal in the 50 free, third in the 100 free and fifth and eighth in 200 freestyle relay.

“I think the target has been on his back since he showed up as a freshman and took second and third at state,” Wheeler said. “Then the next year he wins two events, and people have been going for him and trying to get up to his mark ever since. and then to top it all off, for him to be the kind of young man that he is … a team player, respectful to coaches and swimmers, he’s the whole package.”

Follow Sports Editor Jim Henry on Twitter at @Jim_Henry53.