The 90th Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Award: Meet Your Finalists

The 90th Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Award: Meet Your Finalists

Finalist voting for the 90th annual AAU James E. Sullivan Award is open!

Each year, since 1930, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) gives out this award to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Named after its founder, James E. Sullivan, this award recognizes players who not only entertain us but inspire and motivate us.

Scroll down to learn more about each of this year’s finalists, click here to cast your vote, and stay tuned to find out who will win this prestigious award.


Grant Holloway

Track and Field, University of Florida

Holloway became the fifth Gator in history to be named SEC Male Athlete of the Year and the first Gator to sweep the USTFCCCA National Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year awards. He also became the first man in history to sweep the NCAA Championship titles for 60 hurdles and 110 hurdles three years in a row. Holloway was the third leg for Florida’s NCAA title-winning and collegiate record-breaking 4×100 relay at NCAA Outdoors (37.97 seconds), and he anchored Florida’s 4×400 relay to a silver medal to set a school record time of 2:59.60 (split 43.75 seconds). Holloway scored 27.5 points at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the second-highest total in meet history; 28 points at SEC Indoor Championships, breaking the meet record of 22.5; and 14 points at SEC Outdoor Championships. He’s a 4x USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American, 4x USTFCCCA Indoor All-American, SEC Indoor Runner of the Year and USTFCCCA South Region Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.


Megan Taylor

Women’s Lacrosse, University of Maryland

Winning her second national championship this past year, Taylor became the first goalie ever to win the prestigious Tewaaraton Award. In addition, Taylor was named the IWLCA National Player of the Year, the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, the University of Maryland Student-Athlete of the Year, the Big Ten Goalie of the Year for the fourth time in four years, and she won the Honda Award for Lacrosse. Taylor started 88 of 91 games over her four-year career, putting together an 84-4 record. She ended her Maryland career with a .512 save percentage and 740 saves, the second highest of any Maryland goalie. The senior won two National Championships, seven Conference Championships and never lost a game at home.


Dana Rettke

Women’s Volleyball, University of Wisconsin

Dana is the youngest member of the 2019 U.S. National Team that won the Volleyball Nations League. She’s been named three-time first-team All-American, 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year, 2019 AVCA Northeast Regional Player of the Year, three-time first-team All-Big Ten, and two-time Academic All-Big Ten. She aided the Badgers to three NCAA tournament appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2019. She holds the UW career record in hitting percentage and ranks among the top Badger players in kills, kills per set, total blocks, blocks per set, points, and points per set. She played in 110 sets and led the team with 3.75 kills per set. She had a season high 22 kills vs. Marquette (September 5) and had a tied season high five digs vs. Penn State (October 2).


Abbey Weitzeil

Women’s Swimming, University of California Berkeley

Last year, Weitzeil broke the American record in the 50-yard free twice, won four national titles at the 2019 NCAA Championships, and earned 2019 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honors. Not only did she win all three of her individual races at the Pac-12 Championship meet, but she also helped her Cal team win multiple relays. As a result, she was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet. At the NCAA Championships, she earned a national title in the 50 free and anchored three relays to national championships while helping the 200 medley relay to a runner-up finish. During the final race of the 200 medley relay on the third night of the meet, Weitzel hit the wall hard hyper-extending her elbow. The next day, with her arm heavily taped, she anchored the 400 free relay to a national title breaking the NCAA record in the event.


Trevor Lawrence

Football, Clemson University

Lawrence entered 2020 having completed 527 of his 804 career passes for 6,945 yards with 66 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 1,610 snaps in 30 career games (26 starts). His rushing numbers are just as impressive with 967 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 163 career carries. As a freshman in 2018, Lawrence started the final 11 games helping Clemson to go 15-0 and win 10 of those games by 20 points or more. Lawrence became the first true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a national title since 1985. Lawrence was a consensus freshman All-American honoree who earned a bevy of national and conference honors for both his athletic and academic success. Lawrence recorded a 25-game winning streak in his first 25 games as a starter, tied for the sixth-longest winning streak by a starting quarterback at any point of a career.


Kyla Ross

Gymnastics, University of California Los Angeles

Ross has had a historic career at UCLA. She has scored two perfect 10s on uneven bars and one on vault and leads UCLA with 34 individual titles out of a possible 45. Ross has totaled four NCAA individual championships and one team championship. She holds the NCAA career record for perfect 10s on uneven bars with 11 and counting. Ross is the first female gymnast in history to win NCAA, World and Olympic gold. She’s a two-time defending Pac-12 all-around champion and has a total of six Pac-12 individual titles. Ross currently ranks first in the nation on uneven bars, second on balance beam, third in the all-around, fourth on floor exercise, and 11th on vault. The 19-time All-American is a standout off the floor as well, receiving Pac-12 All-Academic honors twice in her career while studying Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology.


Spencer Lee

Men’s Wrestling, University of Iowa

Two-time NCAA Wrestling Champion, Lee, claimed the 2019 US Senior National Championship, qualifying for the US Olympic Trials. Lee outscored his opponents 55-7 in five matches at the NCAA Championships. He posted a 23-3 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Big Ten duals. For the 2018-19 season, he recorded a team-high seven technical falls and eight pins, ranking second on the team. He became an Academic All-Big Ten and was named the Mike Howard Most Valuable Wrestler. Lee was also named to the NWCA Academic All-American Team and is a two-time letter winner.


Markus Howard

Men’s Basketball, Marquette University

Howard is a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, one of only two student-athletes in the nation. He was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, is Marquette’s all-time leading scorer, and is the top scorer in BIG EAST history (1,587 points). Howard was a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team honoree in 2019-20. He was the only person in 2018-2019 to finish in the top-10 in the nation in scoring and free throw percentage, and he’s already in possession of multiple Marquette single-game, season, and career records.


Evita Griskenas

Rhythmic Gymnastics, USA Rhythmic Gymnastics

Griskenas is a full-time honors/AP student and dedicated athlete. She’s been named the National Junior Champion (June 2015), National ball (July 2018) and ribbon Senior National Champion (July 2019), and three-time all-around second-place Senior National Champion. Griskenas has had much international success as well. In September, she secured a spot in the top 8 in the world at the World Championships in Baku. She was the most decorated athlete of the August 2019 Pan American Games, and in October 2017, she swept all five gold medals at the Pan American Championships.


Sabrina Ionescu

Women’s Basketball, University of Oregon

Ionescu is the first player in NCAA history to surpass 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds, and 1,000 career assists. She’s the NCAA all-time triple-double leader with 26 as of February 25, 2020. She’s a Pac-12 all-time leader in assists. She was awarded the 2018-19 Wooden Award and Wade Trophy winner as the national player of the year. Ionescu helped the Ducks to their first ever Final Four playing 1,369 minutes, the most in the NCAA. She graduated from the University of Oregon in just three years with a degree in general social science and is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Advertising and Brand Responsibility.


Don’t forget to vote for who you’d like to win! You can vote once per day until March 30, and the winner will be announced on April 21, 2020.

The AAU Sullivan Award: Meet Your Finalists

The AAU Sullivan Award: Meet Your Finalists

On April 16, the 89th AAU Sullivan Award winner will be announced. This prestigious award has been given out annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete since 1930 and is the perfect way to recognize the players who entertain, inspire and motivate us the most.

One of these outstanding finalists will join an incredible group of past winners that includes Peyton Manning, Bill Walton, Shawn Johnson, Missy Franklin, and Michael Phelps.

Get to know each of this year’s nominees by looking through our slideshow of finalists and cast your vote here. Then, tune in on April 16th to find out who takes home the 89th AAU Sullivan Award!

Click Through To Learn More About Each Of This Year’s Finalists

The AAU Sullivan Award: Another Winner Will Be Crowned

The AAU Sullivan Award: Another Winner Will Be Crowned

 

On April 17, the 88th AAU Sullivan Award winner will be announced. This prestigious award, given out annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete, is the perfect way to recognize the players who entertain, inspire, and motivate us the most.

This year’s finalists are as outstanding as it gets and one of them will join an incredible group of past winners that includes legends such as Peyton Manning, Shawn Johnson, and Michael Phelps. The event host this year will be 1981 AAU Sullivan Award winner and ‘Olympian of the Century’ Carl Lewis.

So, make sure to get ready by looking through our slideshow of all of this year’s great nominees and tune in to our Eastbay social channels on April 17 for behind-the-scenes access throughout the day.

 

Click Through To Check Out Each Of This Year’s Finalists

The AAU Sullivan Award: Another Winner Will Be Crowned

Vote Now: AAU Sullivan Award Semi-Finals

Michael Phelps. Peyton Manning. Shawn Johnson. Ezekiel Elliott.

Before these athletes became global mega-stars, they all were given the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award. Every year since 1930, this award has been given to the best amateur athlete in the nation and it’s time to add another name to the illustrious list.

The semi-finalist voting round is now open and it’s up to you to decide this year’s winner! Voting is open until March 20 and you can vote once every 24 hours.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Let’s highlight each of this year’s semi-finalists.

Standout Volleyball Player Named AAU Sullivan Award Winner, Edging Out Six World Champions

Standout Volleyball Player Named AAU Sullivan Award Winner, Edging Out Six World Champions

Lauren Carlini, four-time All-American volleyball player from University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named the 2017 AAU Sullivan Award winner during a ceremony in New York City.

“First off, I’m in complete shock. I definitely was not expecting to win it. And I am honored to be on this list of amazing athletes who won this award previously,” Carlini said. “It gives me a chill thinking about it.” She is the first volleyball player to ever receive the honor.

Carlini was one of seven finalists for the award, which included six gold medal Olympians. She’s the only finalists who has not been to the world’s biggest athletic stage, but she says she has her eye on Tokyo.

“I want to have a gold medal around my neck just like them. I am humbled and I’m honored to have won this AAU Sullivan Award,” Carlini said after the ceremony, which was held at the New York Athletic Club.

Carlini attributed much of her success in volleyball to the Amateur Athletic Union, saying she was on club teams for much of her life growing up through the sport.

The Badger ranks 1st in Wisconsin history with 74 career double-doubles and second in career assists with 5,599.

The Sullivan Award, which was first given in 1930, is known as “The Oscar” of sports trophies and is older than the Heisman. It honors amateur athletes in the United States. The winner is selected through two rounds of public voting, as well as voting from former winners and the AAU Board of Directors.

The inaugural Gussie Crawford award was also given to Jesse Owens posthumously, for his lasting contributions to amateur sports. His granddaughter, Gina Hempill-Strachan accepted the award on the family’s behalf.

The other six finalists included water polo goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson, rifle shooter Ginny Thrasher, freestyle wrestler Kyle Snyder, judoka Kayla Harrison, gymnast Laurie Hernandez and gymnast Aly Raisman.

The finalist enjoyed some sightseeing of NYC, traveling to the Empire State Building Tuesday morning.