Abbey Weitzeil Finalist For AAU Sullivan Award; Winner to be Announced Wednesday

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Cal Berkeley sprinter Abbey Weitzeil is among the ten finalists for the AAU Sullivan Award, presented annually to the top amateur athlete in the United States. The winner of the award will be announced Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Sports Stories with Denny Lennon video podcast. Each athlete will have the opportunity to participate in a live one-on-one interview with Lennon before the winner is presented on the podcast.

If Weitzeil is announced as the winner, she would be the first aquatic sports athlete to win the award since Missy Franklin in 2012.

The Abbey Weitzeil File

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Abbey Weitzeil breaks the surface at the 2019 NCAAs. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Abbey Weitzeil has proven herself to be the preeminent amateur sprint freestyler in the country, having broken the American record in the 50-yard free twice in 2019, winning four national titles at the 2019 NCAA Championships and earning 2019 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honors. Not only did she win all three of her individual races at the Pac-12 Championship meet – 50 free, 100 free, 200 free – but she also helped her Cal team to four relays to titles. As a result, she was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet.

At the NCAA Championships, she earned a national title in the 50 free when she was timed in 21.02 to lower the American record in the event. She also anchored three relays to national championships – 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 400 medley relay – while helping the 200 medley relay to a runner-up finish.

Weitzeil showed perseverance after hyper-extending an elbow on the final race of the third night of the meet when she hit the final wall hard at the finish of the 200 medley relay. After a visit to a local hospital, she wasn’t sure she would be able to compete due to the pain despite being cleared to swim. On the final day of the meet and with her arm heavily taped, she finished fourth in the 100 free and anchored the 400 free relay to a national title. The winning time broke the NCAA record in the event.

Weitzeil later won the 100-meter free at the Phillips 66 National Championships. For the 2019-20 collegiate season, she was named a captain of the Cal team. In the 50 free, she again lowered her American record in the event, this time to 20.90 to become the first woman ever to break the 21-second barrier at the Minnesota Invitational.

The full list of AAU Sullivan Award Finalists

  • Evita Griskenas, Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Grant Holloway, Track & Field
  • Markus Howard, Basketball
  • Sabrina Ionescu, Basketball
  • Trevor Lawrence, Football
  • Spencer Lee, Wrestling
  • Dana Rettke, Volleyball
  • Kyla Ross, Gymnastics
  • Megan Taylor, Lacrosse
  • Abbey Weitzeil, Swimming

AAU Sullivan Award Winners (Swimming & Diving)

  • 1944- Ann Curtis
  • 1953- Sammy Lee
  • 1956- Pat McCormick
  • 1964- Don Schollander
  • 1968- Debbie Meyer
  • 1970- John Kinsella
  • 1971- Mark Spitz
  • 1975- Tim Shaw
  • 1977- John Naber
  • 1978- Tracy Caulkins
  • 1984- Greg Louganis
  • 1989- Janet Evans
  • 2003- Michael Phelps
  • 2006- Jessica Long
  • 2012- Missy Franklin
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2 years ago

You go girl Abbey!! ?