Olympic and Collegiate Stars Named 94th AAU Sullivan Award Finalists

Voting will determine who takes home the trophy on April 23

Six of the nation’s best collegiate and Olympic athletes are vying for the 94th AAU James E. Sullivan Award.

The athletes, voted as finalists from a group of 30 semi-finalists, are: 

  • Caitlin Clark, Basketball, University of Iowa
  • David Taylor, Wrestling, USA Wrestling
  • Emery Lehman, Speed Skating, US Speedskating
  • Frederick Richard, Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics / University of Michigan
  • Madisen Skinner, Volleyball, University of Texas
  • Noah Jaffe, Para Swimming, U.S. Paralympics Swimming

The AAU James E. Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding athlete at the collegiate or Olympic level in the United States. In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes the qualities of leadership, citizenship, character, and sportsmanship on and off the playing surface.

The one-week voting period to determine the winner opens to the public today and closes on Tuesday, March 19 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The public can vote once a day for their choice at https://bit.ly/94thsullivanfinalists.

The winner of the 94th AAU Sullivan Award will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at the New York Athletic Club.

“We’re proud of our award’s uniqueness in honoring elite athletes regardless of sport or gender,” said AAU President Jo Mirza. “These finalists are not only incredible athletes but incredible people contributing positively to society. They’re great role models for our AAU athletes.”

Caitlin Clark is NCAA basketball's all-time leading scorer. The Iowa star was recently named the Big Ten Player of the Year and The Athletic National Player of the Year. She’s the first Division-I player to record 3,600+ points, 1,000+ assists, and 850+ rebounds in a career. Clark won the 93rd AAU Sullivan Award in 2023 and could become the first-ever two-time winner of the award.

David Taylor is a three-time world champion wrestler with Team USA, winning his third title in 2023. He defeated his rival, three-time world champion Hassan Yazdani, in just under six minutes to take the World Championship gold. He’s also a 2020 Olympic gold medalist and four-time U.S Open champion. He is the No. 1 ranked men’s wrestler on Team USA at 86kg.  

Emery Lehman is a speed skater with Team USA. He’s a three-time Olympian, taking home a bronze medal in 2022, and a current world record holder and World Cup champion in the Team Pursuit. At the 2024 Four Continents Championships, he won a gold medal in Team Pursuit and a silver in 1500m.

Frederick Richard is a breakout gymnast with the University of Michigan and Team USA. Richard’s year included winning three NCAA titles, one U.S. title, and claiming two bronze medals at the FIG World Gymnastics Championships. He became the youngest-ever U.S. men's medalist at the World Championships and the first American man since 2010 to win an all-around medal.

Madisen Skinner is a three-time NCAA national champion in volleyball, winning back-to-back titles with the University of Texas in 2022 and 2023. She was named the 2023 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, 2023 VolleyballMag.com National Player of the Year, and 2023 AVCA First Team All-American.

Noah Jaffe broke onto the international para swimming scene by winning four medals, including a gold, at his first world championships in 2023. He also set a continental record in the 200m free S8 at the U.S. Championships and was named Swimmer of the Meet. He was born with spastic, quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which primarily affects his legs and right arm.

The winner of this year’s award will join a renowned list of recipients. Other prior winners include Michael Phelps (swimming), Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Peyton Manning (football), Carl Lewis (track and field), Breanna Stewart (basketball), and Simone Biles (gymnastics).

Source: Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)

About Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)

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.

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