Kate Douglass, Jordan Crooks, and Aria Fischer Named 2023 Sullivan Award Semi-finalists


By Braden Keith on SwimSwam

A pair of swimmers, Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks and Virginia’s Kate Douglass, have been named semi-finalists for the 2023 AAU James E. Sullivan Award, along with Stanford and Team USA water polo player Aria Fischer. This year is the 93rd edition of the annual award.

The honor is given annually to the top ‘amateur’ athlete in the US every year, with the definition of ‘amateur’ being used very loosely to describe collegiate athletes and those whose sport typically peaks at the Olympic Games.

They are among 24 semi-finalists for the award, a list that will be whittled to 6 via a public vote. Fans can vote once a day for their choice between now and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 19.

This year’s winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, September 19 at the historic New York Athletic Club (NYAC) – the birthplace of the AAU.

  • Kate Douglass, who finished her last year of college swimming at Virginia earlier this year, won 7 NCAA titles in March, including 3 individually in new NCAA Records. She also won a pair of US National Championships in the 100 free and 200 IM and also qualified for the US team for the World Championships in the 200 breast.
  • Jordan Crooks, a native of the Cayman Islands, had a breakthrough sophomore season at Tennessee, where he won the NCAA title in the 50 free in 18.32 and was the Short Course World Champion in the same event. At the SEC Championships, he won the 50 yard free in 17.93, making him just the 2nd man behind Caeleb Dressel to go under 18 seconds in that event.
  • Aria Fischer was named the 2023 Cutino Award winner as the top female collegiate water polo player after leading Stanford to its record 9th NCAA title. At 24, Fischer also already has two Olympic gold medals (2016, 2020) and two World Championship gold medals (2017, 2019), though she wasn’t on the team that won gold last year in Budapest.

Aside from the three aquatic athletes, notable entries include NCAA women’s basketball’s biggest rivalry Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, track superstar Sydney McLaughlin-Lavrone, and breakthrough LBGA tour star Rose Zhang.

The winner of the 93rd AAU Sullivan Award will join a renowned list of recipients. Last year, Olympian Carissa Moore won, becoming the first surfer to take home the honor. Other prior winners include Michael Phelps (swimming), Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Carl Lewis (track & field), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Peyton Manning (football), and Breanna Stewart (basketball).

  • Amit Elor, Wrestling, USA Wrestling
  • Anastasija Zolotic, Taekwondo, USA Taekwondo
  • Angel Reese, Basketball, LSU
  • Aria Fischer, Water Polo, USA Water Polo / Stanford
  • Brock Bowers, Football, University of Georgia
  • Caitlin Clark, Basketball, University of Iowa
  • Caleb Williams, Football, University of Southern California
  • Devon Witherspoon, Football, University of Illinois
  • Dylan Crews, Baseball, USA Baseball / LSU
  • Gordon Sargent, Golf, Vanderbilt University
  • Jessie Diggins, Cross-Country Skiing, U.S. Ski and Snowboard
  • Jordan Chiles, Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics / UCLA
  • Jordan Crooks, Swimming, University of Tennessee
  • Jordan Stolz, Speed Skating, U.S. Speed Skating
  • Kate Douglass, Swimming, USA Swimming / University of Virginia
  • Logan Eggleston, Volleyball, University of Texas
  • Madison Chock and Evan Bates, Figure Skating, U.S. Figure Skating
  • Maya Brady, Softball, UCLA
  • Mykolas Alekna, Track and Field, University of California, Berkeley
  • Rose Zhang, Golf, Stanford
  • Sakura Kokumai, Karate, USA Karate
  • Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Track and Field, USA Track and Field
  • Ta’Niya Latson, Basketball, Florida State University
  • Zach Edey, Basketball, Purdue University

Past AAU Sullivan Award Winners, Swimmers

  • 1944: Ann Curtis
  • 1964: Don Schollander
  • 1968: Debbie Meyer
  • 1970: John Kinsella
  • 1971: Mark Spitz
  • 1975: Tim Shaw
  • 1977: John Naber
  • 1978: Tracy Caulkins
  • 1989: Janet Evans
  • 2003: Michael Phelps
  • 2006: Jessica Long
  • 2012: Missy Franklin
  • 2021: Caeleb Dressel (co-recipient with gymnastics’ Simone Biles)

SwimSwam: Kate Douglass, Jordan Crooks, and Aria Fischer Named 2023 Sullivan Award Semi-finalists

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