Simone Manuel, Caeleb Dressel Finish in Top 10 of AP Athlete of the Year Votes

A pair of American swimmers have finished in the top 10 in the 2019 Associate Press Athlete of the Year voting. Caeleb Dressel finished in a tie for 10th in the voting for Male Athlete of the Year, while Simone Manuel finished in a tie for 10th in Female Athlete of the Year.

Dressel had a bounceback year for the record books in 2019. After winning just 2 gold medals, int he 100 fly and the men’s 400 free relay, at the Pan Pacific Championships in 2018, Dressel went big at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. There he won 6 gold medals and 2 silver medals, including wins in all 4 of his individual entries: the 50 fly, 100 fly, 50 free, and 100 free. In the semi-finals of the 100 fly, he broke Michael Phelps’ World Record.

Dressel received 6 out of 180 votes in the male category. The Male Athlete of the Year award was won by basketball player Kawhi Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to the first NBA Championship in franchise history this summer. That included a game 7 buzzer beater in the Eastern Conference Finals, which was the first game 7 buzzer beater in NBA history.

Manuel, meanwhile, won 4 gold medals of her own, and 7 total. That included wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle individually. She is now the two-time defending World Champion and Olympic champion in the 100 free. She now has 16 medals in her career at the World Championships in long course, including 11 gold. Only Katie Ledecky (15) has more gold medals all-time at the World Championships, and Manuel is now tied with Missy Franklin with for 4th on the all-time medals list behind Natalie Coughlin (20), Ledecky (18), and Sarah Sjostrom (17).

Manuel received 1 out of 183 votes cast in the female category. The award was won by American gymnast Simone Biles, who made history in several ways in 2019. Widely regarded as the greatest female gymnast in history, Biles won 5 gold medals at the World Championships, which gives her the most Worlds medals (25) and most Worlds gold medals (19) of all-time. She also won the individual all-around title, which gives her the most female World all-around titles (5) in history. She also debuted 2 new skills that now bear her name: the Biles, a double-twisting double-tucked somersault dismount on the balance beam; and the Biles II, a triple-twisting double-tucked somersault on floor exercise.

The award is voted on annually by a panel of AP sports editors from across the United States, meaning that most winners in history have been American. The awards were first given in 1931, where swimmer Helene Madison received the Female Athlete of the Year honor. Swimmers have been chosen as Athlete of the Year 12 times, including most recently Katie Ledecky’s win for Female Athlete of the Year in 2017.

AP Male Athlete of the Year Final Voting:

Athlete Pts
Kawhi Leonard 42
Lamar Jackson 19
Patrick Mahomes 17
Rafael Nadal 16
Giannis Antetokounmpo 15
Tom Brady 13
Brooks Koepka 12
Zion Williamson 9
Kyle Busch 8
Caeleb Dressel 6
Joe Burrow 6
Lionel Messi 5
Pieter-Steph du Toit 3
Stephen Strasburg 2
Mike Trout 2
Novak Djokovic 2
Lewis Hamilton 1
Rory McIlroy 1
Mohamed Salah 1

AP Female Athlete of the Year Final Voting:

Athlete Pts
Simone Biles 66
Megan Rapinoe 60
Mikaela Shiffrin 26
Elena Delle Donne 12
Ash Barty 6
Sifan Hassan 4
Sabrina Ionescu 3
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 3
Jin-Young Ko 1
Amanda Nunes 1
Simone Manuel 1

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PACFAN
3 years ago

Lotta casual racism in the comments…

Zion Williamson can probably swim better than the vast majority of other 280lb athletes.

Is Dressel more athletic than Zion because of his vert? No. Caeleb Dressel is the fastest man ever in the 100 fly SCY+LCM, 50 fr SCY+LCM*, 100 fr SCY+LCM*, and 200 IM SCY. ***Textile

He could make the Olympic Team in 4 individuals next year, and we don’t even know if that’s the ceiling for him. He’s the best male NCAA swimmer of all time and on his way to GOAT sprinter. Zion isn’t necessarily the best NCAA baller of all time, and it’s gonna take something special to be the GOAT in basketball.

Yes, Dressel is better at swimming… Read more »

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  PACFAN
3 years ago

there is no racism in the comments. stop being ridiculous.

Eagleswim
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
3 years ago

Asking if Zion can swim seems to me to be playing into racist stereotypes

anonymoose
Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

assumptions/speculation. until somebody says something actually racist, its simply not racist

UF needs a new pool
3 years ago

The real question is where’s Eliud Kipchoge?

Swim🤓
3 years ago

I’ve only heard of five of the names ahead of manuel

Louis
Reply to  Swim🤓
3 years ago

Yep, agree with Coach Mike that to reporters swimming is the Rodney Dangerfield of sports. K. Ledecky named #3 in AP Female Athlete of Decade voting announced today, serious arguments could have been made for her at #1, no way that was going to happen though.

Coach Mike
3 years ago

Just a shame that most reporters put so little stock into swimming. Maybe if it was an Olympic year, Caeleb gets more cred, but I think you’d have a tough time defending that any of the athletes ahead of him were as dominant in their sport as he was at the World Championships. What is the NFL or NBA equivalent of going 4 for 4 on individual world championships and adding two silvers on relays, including the 100 fly WR and three American records? Biles wins the female AOY obviously (and rightfully so), but the level of competition for attention against other large revenue sports on the women’s side is virtual nil compared to the NBA, NFL, MLB or NASCAR.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Coach Mike
3 years ago

Again, it’s the comparative pool of competitors. There are probably more cricket players than swimmers, ffs. It’s not just about revenue, it’s about how many athletes play the sport. It’s easier to b dominant in a sport when the bes athletes don’t take it up or drop out of it.

Dexter Morgan
3 years ago

The fact that Eluid Kipchoge is not in the top 10 is mind boggling to me.

Captain Ahab
Reply to  Dexter Morgan
3 years ago

I agree with you. Caeleb Dressel is good but anyone who runs or used to run track knows how bonkers a 4:34 mile pace for 26 miles is.

Nordic
Reply to  Captain Ahab
3 years ago

You may want to google kenyan distance running and kenyan anti-doping work to ensure you put such efforts in potentially proper perspective, especially regarding athletes who primarily focus on street races. Lot of room for improvement on the testing side while at the same time the monetary rewards on a relative basis for successful kenyan T&F athletes are immense. Caleb Dressel is incredibly impressive and obviously without the aid of any illegal supplements.

Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

That AP voting is so American leagues-centred. That’s ridiculous.
I vote for Dressel on the men’s side.
Hard to choose between Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin on the women’s side. Both are legends. I pick Mikaela. And she’s just won another race in Austria today! I will give the award to Simone next year after her 5 olympic golds in Tokyo.

Horninco
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Don’t put stock into it. Tom Brady isn’t the third best qb in the league, much less the third best player in the league or the 6th best athlete in the world

Drama King
Reply to  Horninco
3 years ago

Brady not even top 10 QB right now.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Next year unless a tennis player makes a Grand Slam, I see Dressel win that award on the men’s side and on the women’s side it will be Simone Biles.

Drama King
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

I’ll go with Sifan Hassan actually. She had one of the greatest historic T&F years of all time.
10000m & 1500m Gold at world champs.(first to do it)
5000m diamond league title and European title.
1 miles World Record.
5km road race World Record.
Its right on par with Bolt’s 2008 and 2009.

Yozhik
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Why five Olympic medals for Simone but not six? 2(individual) + 4(relay) = 6

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

He’s talking about Simone Biles.

ooo
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Do you happen to have the “Champion des champions” list from l’Equipe ? I can see that Nadal and Biles are on top and that Hamilton (I could never understand why Formula I racers are so popular) and Shiffrin are well positioned, but what about the followers ?

Samuel Huntington
3 years ago

Saying 3 QBs are better athletes than Dressel, Messi, and Trout is absurd.

Drama King
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
3 years ago

Thats not particularly true. We haven’t seen any QB like Patrick Mohomes before. His skill set is so unique.
And Lamar Jackson is a freak of athlete too. MVP for this season 100% guaranteed.
And Brady – lets not talk about that.
But my question is that how Joe Burrow got same votes as Dressel. 😂

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Drama King
3 years ago

Ok well we haven’t seen any swimmer like Dressel before. His skill set is so unique. And he is a freak athlete too.

Mahomes and Jackson somewhat cancel each other out. They are both good yes. But is one clearly an outlier, significantly better than his peers? I don’t think so.

50free
Reply to  Drama King
3 years ago

dressel wears a Speedo and joe burrow has still showed more of his butt on tv

Doconc
Reply to  Drama King
3 years ago

Mahomes and Zion haven’t won a game of tiddlywinks yet
Dressel world record. Just a bit more impressive

Eagleswim
Reply to  Doconc
3 years ago

Those two play team sports, that’s like holding the Cali Condors loss in the ISL against Dressel

Drama King
Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

But they are in college sports man. There is significant difference between international/national sports and college sports.
Anyone can name more than 10 QBs who’s better than Burrow.(in NFL ofc)
Zion couldnt win NCAA s even with two other top 10 players. And he hasn’t played any NBA game yet.

Eagleswim
Reply to  Drama King
3 years ago

Then that’s the argument, not that they haven’t won

Drama King
3 years ago

No votes for Noah Lyles ,
Only two for Mike Trout
Five for Messi
Is this a joke 😂

Pvdh
Reply to  Drama King
3 years ago

Donovan Brazier has a better year than Noah Lyles. Mike Trout is the most dominant athlete in American sports it’s really no question. He should really win this every year taking into account the American bias of the list.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Who is Mike Trout? 😆 I’m serious. I’m gonna google that name immediately.

Pvdh
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Probably the best baseball talent to come around in 50 years.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

I believe you. But he’s unknown outside of USA and maybe Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Japan where baseball is pretty popular.
If you ask French people who is Mike Trout, they will answer an actor or a Senator.

Pvdh
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Well yea I mean AP is an American company. But I’d be willing to put money on the fact that Mike Trout is more dominant in baseball than most other top men/women in their sports. He’s incredible. And in this American centered list, he really should be number 1.

Drama King
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Ok. That man signed the biggest deal in sports history. 424 mn for 12 years. Hands down. We are witnessing a GOAT career in Baseball.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Trout is a great all around player and he certainly accumulates stats and WAR at amazing pace. As far as comparing him to his peers, I’m not sure he is hands down more dominant than Verlander or Bellinger or Yelich. I also wouldnt consider him more dominant or talented than bonds, pedro, m. Rivera or randy johnson over the last generationof players. Some asterisks for Bonds are certainly warranted. I do hope he goes down as greatest player ever though…esp since he’s a Birds fan and from SJ!

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  PhillyMark
3 years ago

Trout is more dominant than Bellinger and Yelich. It’s not really close.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
3 years ago

I agree Trout is better all around player. His dominance, however, is being overstated. Bellinger had better offensive stats than Trout in every offensive category including WAR, Avg, runs, 2b, sb, hr, rbi this past season. I will admit Cody did have 9% more plate appearances than Trout in ’19.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Have you seen Dressel hit?

Drama King
Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

No way man.
Lyles went undefeated in 200m for the year.
Won the Gold in 200m in WC. Didnt compete in 100m.
Also won the diamond league titles in 100m and 200m. In 200m, he’s having a Bolt kind dominance and no one is close to him in that event.
And i also think that Warholm guy from Norway also had a better T&F year in 2019.
But you’re right. Donavan had a dream year too.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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