EUGENE – The University of Oregon’s top female multi-sport athlete - sophomore Liz Brenner - is up for another top national honor as a nominee for the James E. Sullivan Award.
The AAU released the first 10 candidates on Thursday for the 83rd edition of the nation’s top all-sports amateur award, while the winner will be announced on April 16 in New York City.
In upcoming weeks, more nominees will be announced through early March, based their qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship.
Other nominees selected Thursday included Isaiah Canaan (Murray State basketball), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame women’s basketball), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware women’s basketball), Gabby Douglas (USA gymnastics), Missy Franklin (USA swimming), Brittney Griner (Baylor women’s basketball), A.J. McCarron (Alabama football), Maggie Steffens (USA Water Polo) and Manti Te’o (Notre Dame football).
Last month, Brenner became the Ducks’ first-ever underclass volleyball All-American with her national second-team honor. The outside hitter helped Oregon (30-5, 16-4) stake best-ever runner-up finishes in the NCAA Tournament and Pac-12 standings and a school record for wins.
On the court, the All-Pac-12 and All-Region selection stood top 70 nationally in both kills (69th, 3.92 per set) and points (70th, 4.39 p/s), and ninth and eighth in the conference in points and kills. She ended with double-digit kill totals in 26 matches, and led the team in hitting in 11 matches, and points and kills 10 times.
She notched her season highs in kills (26) and points (27.5) in four- and five-set matches vs. both No. 16 BYU and California. Among her 13 +.300 totals on the season, seven were +.500, including a season high at USC (.577, 16 kills).
Since then, Brenner has quickly shifted gears and is again a key player for the basketball squad. In her first three games, she is averaging 5.3 points and 3.7 rebounds and played 20-30 minutes each contest. Last winter, she started eight games at forward and played 21 for the team, and averaged 5.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 23.8 minutes. Her career scoring high (16 points) came against USC in late January.
She also played for the World Series-advancing, Duck softball team last spring. The former all-state prep catcher joined the team in mid-April, and played the next day in both games in the doubleheader sweep of Portland State. At season's end, she ended with three walks and two runs among her 10 at-bats
Known as the " Oscar" of sports awards, the Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 as a salute to James E. Sullivan, founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union. Based on the ideals of amateurism, the award goes beyond athletic accomplishments, and also honors those who have shown strong moral character.
The voting constituency is made up of members of the AAU Board of Directors, United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors, New York Athletic Club Select Members and media.
The award’s 2012 winner was Andrew Rodriguez - a standout student and linebacker for the Army football team. He was one of six finalists with Jillian Camarena-Williams (track and field), Alex Jupiter (volleyball), Jason Read (rowing), Katherine Reutter (speedskating) and Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics).
Other notable past recipients of the AAU Sullivan Award include: Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Joyner, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, J.J. Redick, Tim Tebow and Shawn Johnson.
More information on the award is available at the http://aausullivan.org and www.aaunews.org websites.
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Past Sullivan Award Winners
1st 1930 Robert T. Jones (GA) Golf
2nd 1931 Bernard Berlinger (PA) All-Around
3rd 1932 James A. Bausch (MO) All-Around
4th 1933 Glenn Cunningham (KS) Athletics
5th 1934 William R. Bonthron (NY) Athletics
6th 1935 W. Lawson Little, Hr. (CA) Golf
7th 1936 Glenn Morris (CO) All-Around
8th 1937 J. Donald Budge (CA) Tennis
9th 1938 Donald R. Lash (IN) Athletics
10th 1939 Joseph W. Burk (PA) Sculling
11th 1940 J. Gregory Rice (IN) Athletics
12th 1941 T. Leslie MacMitchell (NY) Athletics
13th 1942 Cornelius Warmerdam (CA) Athletics
14th 1943 Gilbert R. Dodds (MA) Athletics
15th 1944 Ann Curtis (CA) Swimming
16th 1945 Felix Blanchard (SC) Football
17th 1946 Y. Arnold Tucker (SC) Football
18th 1947 John B. Kelly, Jr. (PA) Sculling
19th 1948 Robert B. Mathias (CA) Athletics
20th 1949 Richard T. Button (NJ) Figure Skating
21st 1950 Fred Wilt (NY) Athletics
22nd 1951 Robert R. Richards (IL) Athletics
23rd 1952 Horace Ashenfelter III (NY) Athletics
24th 1953 Sammy Lee (CA) Diving
25th 1954 Malvin G. Whitfield (CA) Athletics
26th 1955 Harrison Dillard (OH) Athletics
27th 1956 Patricia McCormick (CA) Diving
28th 1957 Bobby J. Morrow (TX) Athletics
29th 1958 Glenn Davis (OH) Athletics
30th 1959 W. Parry O’Brien (CA) Athletics
31st 1960 Rafer Johnson (CA) Athletics
32nd 1961 Wilma Rudolph (TN) Athletics
33rd 1962 James T. Beatty (CA) Athletics
34th 1963 John Pennel (LA) Athletics
35th 1964 Donald A. Schollander (CA) Swimming
36th 1965 William W. Bradley (NJ) Basketball
37th 1966 James R. Ryun (KS) Athletics
38th 1967 J. Randel Matson (TX) Athletics
39th 1968 Deborah E. Meyer (CA) Swimming
40th 1969 William Toomey (CA) Athletics
1970 John Kinsella (IN) Swimming
42nd 1971 Mark Spitz (IN) Swimming
43rd 1972 Frank Shorter (FL) Athletics
44th 1973 William J. Walton (CA) Basketball
45th 1974 Richard Wohlhuter (IL) Athletics
46th 1975 Timothy Shaw (CA) Swimming
47th 1976 Bruce Jenner (CA) Athletics
48th 1977 John Naber (CA) Swimming
49th 1978 Tracy Caulkins (TN) Swimming
50th 1979 Kurt Thomas (IN) Gymnastics
51st 1980 Eric Heiden (WI) Speedskating
52nd 1981 F. Carl Lewis (TX) Athletics
53rd 1982 Mary Decker (OR) Athletics
54th 1983 Edwin Moses (CA) Athletics
55th 1984 Greg Louganis (CA) Diving
56th 1985 Joan Benoit-Samuelson (ME) Athletics
57th 1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (MO) Athletics
58th 1987 Jim Abbott (MI) Baseball
59th 1988 Florence Griffith Joyner (MO) Athletics
60th 1989 Janet Evans (CA) Swimming
61st 1990 John Smith (OK) Wrestling
62nd 1991 Mike Powell (CA) Athletics
63rd 1992 Bonnie Blair (WI) Speedskating
64th 1993 Charlie Ward (FL) Football
65th 1994 Dan Jansen (WI) Speedskating
66th 1995 Bruce Baumgartner (PA) Wrestling
67th 1996 Michael Johnson (TX) Athletics
68th 1997 Peyton Manning (LA) Football
69th 1998 Chamique Holdsclaw (NY) Basketball
70th 1999 Coco & Kelly Miller (MN) Basketball
71st 2000 Rulon Gardner (WY) Wrestling
72nd 2001 Michelle Kwan (CA) Figure Skating
73rd 2002 Sarah Hughes (NY) Figure Skating
74th 2003 Michael Phelps (MD) Swimming
75th 2004 Paul Hamm (OH) Gymnastics
76th 2005 J.J. Redick (VA) Basketball
77th 2006 Jessica Long (MD) Paralympian
78th 2007 Tim Tebow (FL) Football
79th 2008 Shawn Johnson (IA) Gymnastics
80th 2009 Amy Palmiero-Winters (NY) Ultra-marathoning
81st 2010 Evan Lysacek (CA) Figure Skating
82nd 2011 Andrew Rodriguez (VA) Football
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