Katie Ledecky One Of Six AAU Sullivan Award Finalists

Katie Ledecky
Photo Courtesy: Cindi Dayton

Katie Ledecky got a nice 18th birthday present from the American Athletic Union, as she is one of six finalists for the prestigious Sullivan Award, which honors the top “amateur” athlete from each calendar year.

Ledecky is joined by pole vaulter Shawn Barber, gymnast Simone Biles, football player Ezekiel Elliott, basketball player Jahil Okafor as well as ice skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The public is invited to vote for their favorite through next Wednesday (March 25), though the public vote will only be a small part of what decides the winner. According to the AAU, national media members and AAU staff also pick the winner.

Ledecky had an outstanding 2014, setting five long course world records in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles last summer. She also won gold medals in those events at the Pan Pacific championships, adding the 800 free relay to her collection as well. She was also voted the Female Athlete of the Year at the Golden Goggles ceremony and was named World Female Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine for the second consecutive year.

Ledecky was one of 15 semifinalists for the Sullivan Award, including two others in aquatic sports. Diver Haley Ishimatsu was looking to continue diving’s rich history with the Sullivan Award, while Maggie Steffens was seeking water polo’s first win in the 85-year history of the award.

The award winner will be named on April 19 in a ceremony in New York City. If Ledecky wins, she’ll be the 13th swimmer to earn the trophy. Missy Franklin was the last swimming recipient, winning in 2013.