Lake Buena Vista, Florida (PRWEB) March 19, 2014 -- The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has announced that 19 nominees have been selected for the 2013 James E. Sullivan Award, which honors the nation's outstanding amateur athlete. Nominees include Olympic gold medalists David Boudia and Katie Ledecky, along with college football stars AJ McCarron, University of Alabama, Blake Bortles, University of Central Florida, and Tre Mason, member of Auburn’s 2013 BCS National Championship team.
“I am extremely proud of the 2013 slate of nominees for the highest honor the AAU bestows—the AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Henry Forrest, President of the AAU. “These young women and men are the best and the brightest among the hundreds of thousands of amateur athletes who are pursuing their dreams. Not just on the court, the field, the mat, the water or in the gym, these outstanding athletes demonstrate character and leadership in their communities as well.”
Today marks the first day of voting to find the winner of the 2013 AAU Sullivan Award. Voting is open to the public and will account for one-third of the athlete’s overall score. The nominees were nominated by someone who thought they fit the requirements of outstanding athletic ability, strong character, leadership and sportsmanship. The public can cast their vote by going to http://www.aausports.org. Voting will remain open until March 23rd at 11:59 EST.
Three finalists will be named no later than March 28th and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, April 11th at the AAU National Headquarters in Orlando, Fla.
The Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930, and is based on character, leadership and sportsmanship. Notable recipients of the AAU Sullivan Award include: Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Joyner, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, J.J. Redick, Tim Tebow, Shawn Johnson and Missy Franklin.
Nominees for the 2013 James E. Sullivan Award:
One of the two Feature Twirlers for the Florida State University March Chiefs, Ashley Bishop is the reigning AAU Junior Olympic Games College National Champion. She was also the AAU Junior Olympic Games Advance Senior National Champion for two consecutive years. Ashley has held numerous other national, regional and state level titles in solo, strut, two baton, three baton, and duet throughout her twirling career in NBTA, USTA and AAU.
University of Central Florida Football
Star quarterback for the University of Central Florida Knights, Blake Bortles had a memorable year for himself and his school. Blake was chosen as a member of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch list, an honor given to the nation’s top college quarterback. After an impressive season, he led the Knights to the Fiesta Bowl, which they won against Baylor for their first BCS victory.
USA Diving's 2013 Athlete of the Year, David Boudia took home the silver medal on the 10-meter in the 2013 FINA World Championships, making him the first American male to medal on 10-meter in back-to-back World Championships since 1986. He was also the first U.S. Olympic gold medalist in men’s 10-meter in 22 years.
Oregon Volleyball, Basketball, Track &Field
A three-sport athlete at the University of Oregon, this is Liz Brenner’s second time being nominated for the AAU Sullivan Award. On the hardwood, she scored a career-high 17 points in Oregon’s rivalry game against Oregon State. In volleyball, Liz was a 2013 All-America Second Team selection after leading the Pac-12 in kills and ranking ninth in the country. She recently joined the track and field team and won the javelin competition at the Oregon Twilight and Oregon State High Performance Meet, where she came in 8th place, capturing All-America honors in her second sport.
USA Water Polo
Freshman at UCLA, Rachel Fattal helped the Bruins claim a third place finish in the NCAA Championships, where she was honored as the MPSF Rookie of the Year. She joined Team USA after her academic year was over and made her FINA World Championship debut in Barcelona, where she helped the Senior National Team to a fifth place finish. Following that performance she was named the Most Valuable Player of the FINA Junior World Championships, where Team USA won their first gold medal since 2005.
A devoted wife and mother, Joy Woog-Garvey is a menace on the rink. She scored the tying goal in the championship game with only three minutes remaining, which led her team to beat Canada 2-1 and take home the gold medal at the FIRS Women’s World Hockey Championships. She led a team of “cast-offs” who had no team to play on to a gold medal in the North American Rolley Hockey Championships. In a landslide, her peers elected her to represent all athletes, worldwide, as their representative to the Federation of International Roller Sports.
University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball
Senior guard for the University of Connecticut, Bria Hartley, finished the season second on the squad with 126 assists, third in steals with 53 and fifth in scoring at 9.2 points per game. She led in assists in a team-high 16 games and was one of only three Huskies to accumulate 1,500 career points, 500 career rebounds and 500 career assists. She was the 2013-All-NCAA Tournament Team selection and ninth on UConn's all-time scoring list.
A 26-time National Champion, Robert Herbst, overcame many obstacles in 2013 after suffering debilitating injuries in his elbow. Despite this injury, he placed first in the 50-54 age group at the AAU World Powerlifting Championships and placed second in the Open Division at the same event. He took home the gold in the AAU Raw National Powerlifting Championships, giving him his 18th consecutive AAU National Championship win. He placed first in the 55-59 age group in the World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation World Championships, collecting his second World Championship win of the year.
University of Miami Volleyball
As a senior, Alex Johnson helped her Miami team earn a spot in the 2013 NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. She never missed a game for her entire college career, playing in 125 matches. She finished the season ranked in the top ten in kills, points, assists, service aces, block assists, total blocks and digs. She was on the honor roll and dean’s list every year and was named to the All ACC Academic team.
Sixteen year old, Katie Ledecky racked up the accolades in 2012-2013. She earned an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, four gold medals at the FINA World Championships, five national titles, two world records and four American records. At fifteen years old, she was the youngest member of the entire U.S. Olympic athlete delegation at the 2012 London Olympics, winning the gold in her very first international and Olympic swim event.
Auburn University Football
Starting tailback for the Auburn Tigers, Tre Mason was the MVP of the SEC Championship game against Missouri and was named to the Athlon Second Team All-American. He was the fifth-highest in the nation in yards with 1,816 and tied for the third most touchdowns in a season with 23. He led the SEC in rushing yards per game, rush attempts and scoring. He is one of only six players in Auburn history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
University of Alabama Football
Heisman Trophy runner-up, AJ McCarron was named first team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the American Football Coaches Association. He was the Offensive Player of the Week after a win over the sixth ranked Aggies and received the Maxwell Award as the College Football Player of the Year and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the nation’s most outstanding senior quarterback.
Cory Ann McGee
University of Florida Track & Field
Cory McGee suffered what could have been a career ending injury in 2012, but managed to recover and have an electric 2013 season on the track. She ended the year with 5 first place finishes, 6 second place finishes, and 2 third place finishes. She became the all-time University of Florida record holder in the women’s 1,500 meter by running a 4:06.67.
John Michael Nagel
After injuries slowed him down in 2012, John Michael Nagel came back with a fury in 2013. He received two silver medals at the AAU State Taekwondo Championships and competed in Forms/Poomsae in the National Championships, where he won the bronze with a broken rib. He was awarded his second degree black belt after training in Taekwondo for 15 years.
University of Nebraska Volleyball
Kelsey Robinson played and started in all 33 matches for the University of Nebraska volleyball team, totaling 530 kills and averaging 4.45 kills per set for the 2013 season. She led the Big Ten in kills and points per set during the conference season and ended her senior year ranked ninth in hitting percentage, second in kills, and fifth in aces in the Big Ten. She was honored as the AVCA/Sports Imports Player of the Week and was named to the 2013 AVCA First-Team All-American and First Team North Region.
University of Louisville Women’s Basketball
As a sophomore at the University of Louisville, Jude Schimmel didn’t miss a game. She grabbed multiple career-high records and scored the game-winning basket in the Cardinals’ win over Texas A&M. She ranks second on the team in steals, assists, and in three-point field goal percentage. She is very active in the Native American community and speaks at conferences and reservations around the nation.
University of Louisville Women’s Basketball
In her junior season at the University of Louisville, Shoni Schimmel was named to the WBCA All-Region for Region 1, along with being named to the Wooden Watch List and the Preseason Wade Watch List. She became the 23rd 1,000 point scorer in school history in 2013 and ranked 13th in the league in scoring and third in three-point field goals made. Like her sister, Jude, she is very active in the Native American community and speaks at conferences and reservations around the nation.
Penn State Football
John Urschel, a First Team All-Big Ten guard in 2013, was named an AP Third Team All-American and helped the Nittany Lions to a winning season for the fourth time in his career. He was awarded the honor of being a team captain for Penn State and was selected as a recipient of the Penn State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. He received his second First Team Academic All-America Team in 2013 and is currently working on attaining his second master’s degree in math education.
Saint Francis University Women’s Basketball
Alli Williams became the 11th player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 300 career steals. She has also ranked in the top ten in the country for points per game and steals per game during the season. She was named team captain of the Saint Francis University women’s basketball team in her junior year by her teammates and coaches and has proven herself a leader off the court in her community service initiatives.
About the AAU:
Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by over 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU is divided into 57 distinct Districts which annually sanction more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.
Julie Sautner, Amateur Athletic Union, +1 (407) 828-8323, [email protected]