Gold Medalists and National Champions Headline Elite Class of Finalists for 89th AAU James E. Sullivan Award

Gold Medalists and National Champions Headline Elite Class of Finalists for 89th AAU James E. Sullivan Award

Gold medalists and national champions among elite athlete finalists; Public voting begins this week at

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 18, 2019) – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) announced today the nominees for the title of top amateur athlete have been narrowed to a panel of eight finalists for the 89th James E. Sullivan Award.
Those athletes are as follows:
·         Mikaela Foecke, Women’s Volleyball, University of Nebraska
·         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 University of Florida)
·         Luke Maye, Men’s Basketball, University of North Carolina
·         McKenzie Milton, Football, University of Central Florida
·         Kathryn Plummer, Women’s Volleyball, Stanford University

The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States, 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).

“I am amazed every year at the caliber of these athletes. It is an honor, and I am proud to have such remarkable athletes representing finalists for this year’s AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, President and CEO of the AAU. “The AAU is the largest multi-sport organization in the world, so we are delighted to provide a venue for this elite class of finalists to compete for the title of top amateur athlete.”
Voting for the award is open to the public at Finalist voting opens today and will close on Friday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced at the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Ceremony on Tuesday, April 16 at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. This year’s event will be hosted by 1981 AAU Sullivan Award winner Carl Lewis.

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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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