Caeleb Dressel Named Semifinalist for Sullivan Award

University of Florida senior Caeleb Dressel is a semifinalist for the 2018 AAU James E. Sullivan Award, which honors the nation’s “top amateur athlete.”

The nominations are made “based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism,” and aims to honors athletes who have shown “strong moral character.”

The award has been presented annually since 1930, and past winners include Mark Spitz in 1971 and Michael Phelps in 2003.

“As they do every year, this group of semifinalists embodies everything we aim to celebrate with the AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said AAU President/CEP Dr. Roger J. Goudy. “These athletes are exceptional athletes – some of the top performers in their particular sports – but they are also extraordinary people who display leadership, citizenship, character and sportsmanship both on and off the field.”

Voting is open to the public and began at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20.

28 athletes in total have been named 2018 semifinalists:

  • Annika Albrecht, women’s volleyball
  • Rhamat Alhassan, women’s volleyball
  • Marvin Bagley III, men’s basketball
  • Saquon Barkley, football
  • Joel Berry II, men’s basketball
  • Christian Coleman, track and field
  • Caleb Dressel, swimming
  • Erin Finn, track and field
  • Sara Hughes, beach volleyball
  • Kelly Hunter, women’s volleyball
  • Megan Johnson, fitness and bodybuilding
  • Micah Kiser, football
  • Bryce Love, football
  • Helen Maroulis, wrestling
  • Baker Mayfield, football
  • Chris Mazdzer, luge
  • Elana Meyers Taylor, bobsled
  • Angela Peavy, para-equestrian
  • Kathryn Plummer, women’s volleyball
  • Maia and Alex Shibutani, figure skating
  • John Shuster, curling
  • Carli Snyder, women’s volleyball
  • Kyle Snyder, wrestling
  • Maggie Steffens, water polo
  • Gabby Williams, women’s basketball
  • A’ja Wilson, women’s basketball
  • Trae Young, men’s basketball
  • Katie Zafares, triathlon

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There’s nobody on that list that is near his achievements. Maybe Bryce Love.


Maybe if Caeleb was a walk-on like Heisman winner Baker Mayfield.


Clearly, the sentimental favorite is John Shuster, who led Team USA to gold in curling in PyeongChang. His forth straight winter olympics, I have to wonder if now he will turn pro.


Para-equestrian Angela “Annie” Peavy’s story is incredible. Were she to win it, she would be the first equestrian to do so.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swims distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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