The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has announced 10 finalists for the 90th edition of the James E. Sullivan Award, given annually to the United States’ top amateur athlete. Included on the list is swimmer Abbey Weitzeil, who completed her senior season at Cal at the Pac-12 Championships.
One of 5 aquatic sport athletes who were named semi-finalists for the award, Weitzeil was the only one to advance to the finals (Wisconsin swimmer Beata Nelson, Stanford water polo player Mackenzie Fischer, fellow Cal swimmer Ryan Hoffer, and incoming Duke diver James Harding Jr.).
The winner will be announced in a virtual ceremony after the AAU cancelled its scheduled late-April ceremony at the New York Athletic Club. Public voting is open until March 30th.
While Weitzeil had her senior season cut short when the NCAA cancelled all swimming & diving championships due to the coronavirus outbreak, she still inserted her name in the history books in December. At the Minnesota Invite in December, she became the first woman in history to split sub-21 seconds in the 50 yard free when she swam a 20.90.
What Weitzeil would do at those NCAA Championships was still a matter of discussion when they were cancelled after she hurt her arm on the finish of the 50 free at the Pac-12 Championships for the 2nd straight season. That led her to sitting out the conclusion of that meet.
Weitzeil is one of 9 collegiate athletes named as finalists for the award. Of that group, all but Dana Rettke (volleyball) and Trevor Lawrence (football) had their collegiate national championship events cancelled. The 10th is 19-year old Rhythmic Gymnast Evita Griskenas.
- Evita Griskenas, Rhythmic Gymnastics, USA Rhythmic Gymnastics
- Grant Holloway, Track and Field, University of Florida
- Markus Howard, Men’s Basketball, Marquette University
- Sabrina Ionescu, Women’s Basketball, University of Oregon
- Trevor Lawrence, Football, Clemson University
- Spencer Lee, Men’s Wrestling, University of Iowa
- Dana Rettke, Women’s Volleyball, University of Wisconsin
- Kyla Ross, Gymnastics, University of California Los Angeles
- Megan Taylor, Women’s Lacrosse, University of Maryland
- Abbey Weitzeil, Women’s Swimming, University of California Berkeley