Current and former Team USA gymnasts are semi-finalists for the 2020 Sullivan Award
posted on 03/11/2020

© John Cheng, Joshua R. Gateley, Don Liebig

INDIANAPOLIS, March 11, 2020 – Two current and two former Team USA gymnasts have landed spots on the list of semi-finalists for the 90th AAU James E. Sullivan Award. Jade Carey of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays, Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and former Team USA gymnasts Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./University of Oklahoma, and Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./UCLA are four of 30 semifinalists.

Voting is open now through March 13 at 11:59 pm EST. Fans can vote once a day and the other finalists can be found here. Voting for the finalists will take place from March 23 through March 30, and the winner will be announced at the Sullivan Award ceremony on Tuesday, April 21, in New York, N.Y.

Carey is best known for her powerful and high-difficulty exercises on vault and floor exercise. On vault, she is the 2017 and 2019 World silver medalist, the 2018 Pan American Championships champion, and the 2017 national champion. On floor exercise, she is the 2017 World silver medalist and the 2018 Pan American Championships champion. She was a member of the teams that won gold at the 2019 World Championships and the 2018 Pan American Championships and is a three-time member of the senior National Team.

Griskenas has been the U.S. junior all-around champion (June 2015), U.S. senior ball (July 2018) and ribbon champion (July 2019), and three-time U.S. all-around silver medalist. She swept all five gold medals at the Pan American Championships in October 2017, and grew not only to become the most decorated athlete of the August 2019 Pan American Games (winning the all-around, hoop, ball, and ribbon gold medals as well as a bronze in clubs), but also qualified USA for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, securing a spot in the top 8 in the world at the World Championships in Baku in September.

Nichols defended her NCAA all-around title and helped lead the Oklahoma Sooners to their second NCAA title in three years. She is also the 2019 NCAA vault champion and a runner-up on bars and recently won the 2019 Honda Sport Award for women's gymnastics. Nichols earned the uneven bar and vault titles at the Athens Regional and became a six-time individual Big 12 champion when she took the 2019 titles on bars and beam. She won the 2019 NCAA all-around title after only competing the all-around the first two weeks of the season. After winning a gold medal at the 2015 World Championships and competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials, Nichols left the elite world and enrolled at OU in 2017.

Ross won Olympic gold in 2012 as a member of the Fierce Five and also won World Championships team gold in 2014. Ross has had a historic career at UCLA, setting numerous national records and capturing NCAA titles on every individual event. Last season, she became the first gymnast in NCAA history to earn two Gym Slams in the same season, recording at least two perfect 10s on each event. She totaled 14 perfect 10s in 2019, a new NCAA single-season record, and she scored a perfect 10 in an unprecedented 10 consecutive meets. The first female gymnast in history to win NCAA, World and Olympic gold, Ross has totaled four NCAA individual championships and one team championship.

The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. The list of recipients includes Paul Hamm (2004), Shawn Johnson (2008) and Kurt Thomas (1979). For more information the Sullivan award, visit aausullivan.org.