Caeleb Dressel, Lydia Jacoby, Maddie Musselman Named Sullivan Award Finalists

Caeleb Dressel (photo: Mike Lewis)
Caeleb Dressel

Caeleb Dressel, Lydia Jacoby, Maddie Musselman Named Sullivan Award Finalists

Swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Lydia Jacoby and water polo player Maddie Musselman were named finalists for the Sullivan Award by the Amateur Athletic Union this week.

The 91st addition of the award, present by Eastbay, will be presented Oct. 22 in Orlando, Fla. Online voting is open now, with 38 finalists announced. Voting closes on Sept. 27.

The James E. Sullivan Award, created by the AAU in 1930, recognizes outstanding achievement by amateur athletes. Athletes are eligible to receive it based on their success in collegiate competition or on the Olympic stage, “based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism.”

Dressel led the American swimming contingent with five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. He set the world record in the men’s 100-meter butterfly and Olympic records in the men’s 50 freestyle and 100 free. Dressel was part of winning 400 free and 400 medley relays, the latter in a world record.

Jacoby, a native of Seward, Alaska, became the first Alaskan swimmer to represent the U.S. at the Olympics. She pulled an upset in the women’s 100 breaststroke, winning the gold medal in a time of 1:04.95. A rising senior in high school and University of Texas commit, she added a silver medal in the women’s medley relay.

Musselman led the United States women’s water polo team to its third consecutive gold medal. The 23-year-old won her second consecutive gold to go with three consecutive World Championships golds. In seven matches, Musselman was second in the tournament with 18 goals. The UCLA grad was named the most outstanding player of the Olympic tournament.

Other nominees for the award include American Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee; track and field stars Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix and Athing Mu; and football player Justin Fields. The award was not handed out in 2020, with the 2019 award split between basketball player Sabrina Ionescu and wrestler Spencer Lee.

Recent swimming and diving recipients of the Sullivan Award include Missy Franklin (2012), Jessica Long (2006), Michael Phelps (2003), Janet Evans (1989) and Greg Louganis (1984).

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