Thirty Amateur Athletes Selected as Semifinalists for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award

Thirty Amateur Athletes Selected as Semifinalists for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award

Gold medalists and national champions among elite athlete semi-finalists; Public voting begins this week at
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 11, 2019) – The best in amateur athletics will be put to a public vote this week for the historic 89th AAU James E. Sullivan Award. This award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Representatives from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) created the Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize contributions and achievements from amateur athletes across the country.

This year’s group of semifinalists includes:

·         RJ Barrett, Men’s Basketball, Duke University
·         Petros Chrysochos, Men’s Tennis, Wake Forest
·         Nepheesa Collier, Women’s Basketball, University of Connecticut
·         Asia Durr, Women’s Basketball, Louisville
·         Ella Eastin, Swimming, Stanford/USA Swimming
·         Mikaela Foecke, Women’s Volleyball, Nebraska
·         Virginia Fuchs, Boxing, USA Boxing
·         Rachel Garcia, Softball, University of California Los Angeles
·         Townley Haas, Swimming, University of Texas
·         Aleia Hobbs, Track and Field, Louisiana State University
·         Morgan Hurd, Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics (committed to Florida)
·         Megan Johnson, Strength and Fitness, Bodybuilding & Fitness
·         Dani Jones, Cross Country, Colorado University
·         Taylor Knibb, Triathlon, USA Triathlon
·         Catarina Macario, Women’s Soccer, Stanford
·         Luke Maye, Men’s Basketball, University of North Carolina
·         Morgan McDonald, Cross Country, Wisconsin
·         Mckenzie Milton, Football, University of Central Florida
·         Bo Nickal, Wrestling, Penn State
·         Jason Nolf, Wrestling, Penn State
·         Katharine Ogden, Skiing, Dartmouth
·         Arike Ogunbowale, Women’s Basketball, Notre Dame
·         Kathryn Plummer, Women’s Volleyball, Stanford
·         Elizabeth Price, Gymnastics, Stanford
·         Adley Rutschman, Baseball, Oregon State
·         Katie Lou Samuelson, Women’s Basketball, University of Connecticut
·         Jimmy Schuldt, Ice Hockey, St. Cloud State
·         Maggie Steffens, Water Polo, USA Water Polo
·         Haley Warden, Women’s Lacrosse, James Madison University
·         Christian Wilkins, Football, Clemson University

“This is an exciting group of semi-finalists for the 89th AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, President and CEO of the AAU. “These young athletes embody everything we aim to celebrate with the AAU James E. Sullivan Award. They are some of the top performers in their sport – and they are also extraordinary people who display leadership, citizenship, character and sportsmanship both on and off the field.”

Last year, AAU saw its fourth wrestler named to this prestigious honor, the NCAA National Champion and All-American Kyle Snyder, who helped USA Wrestling earn its first title in 22 years.

Snyder joined a world renowned list of Sullivan Award recipients, including famed Olympians
Michelle Kwan (2001), Michael Phelps (2003), Paul Hamm (2004) and Shawn Johnson (2008); University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997), Penn State guard John Urschel (2013); 200m backstroke world record holder Missy Franklin (2012) and University of Wisconsin setter Lauren Carlini (2016).

“Each year, we are excited to announce the group of elite semi-finalists,” Melissa Willis, AAU Sullivan Award National Chair. “This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to recognize our outstanding amateur athletes across a number of different sports – from swimming and tennis to football and track and field.”

Voting for the award is open to the public at The semi-finalist round opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 11 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 15. Finalists will be named on Monday, March 18, and the AAU James E. Sullivan Award presentation will be held at the prestigious New York Athletic Club on Tuesday, April 16.

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 41 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit

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The Award

Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.


The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 700,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.
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