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Rulon Gardner among five finalists announced for the AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award , sponsore



ORLANDO, Fl. - The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) today announced the names of the five finalists for the 71st Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, Sponsored by LamisilAT which recognizes the top amateur athlete in the nation. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling champion Rulon Gardner is among the top five finalists. The four other finalists are Lisa Fernandez (softball), Josh Heupel (football), Lenny Krayzelburg (swimming), and Laura Wilkinson (diving). From the five names, the winner will be formally announced on April 16, 2001, during a private ceremony in New York City. The award, given to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States, is based on qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism. Both athletic accomplishment and strong moral character are considered by a 800 member panel of AAU board of directors, the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors, the AAU Sullivan Committee, past Sullivan Award winners, and a select members of the sports media. "These individuals exemplify the best amateur athletes in all of sport with their commitment to sportsmanship, community, and education," said AAU President Bobby Dodd. "The AAU represents 34 sports from the grass roots to the national level, they are the role models for our athletes to follow." Considered the "Oscar" of sports awards, the AAU James E. Sullivan Award has been presented to prominent athletes of our time including last yearíss recipient Coco and Kelly Miller. Others include: Chamique Holdsclaw (1998), Peyton Manning (1997), William ìBBillî Bradley (1965), Dan Jansen (1994), Janet Evans (1989), Jim Abbott (1987), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Greg Louganis (1984), and the late Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988). Two wrestlers have won the Sullivan Award in the past: John Smith (1990) and Bruce Baumgartner (1995). The AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, sponsored by LamisilAT has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the AAU, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. The winner of the AAU Sullivan Award receives a bronze replica of the original trophy that depicts the figure of a runner carrying a laurel branch mounted on a black pedestal. Voting for the 2000 James E. Sullivan Award Sponsored by LamisilAT is completed by the AAU Board of Directors, the USOC Board of Directors, the AAU Sullivan Award Committee and members of the sports media. The accounting firm, Accurate Business Services of Marietta, GA, officially tabulates ballots. This yearíss award recipient will receive a bronze replica of the original Sullivan trophy mounted on a black pedestal, depicting a runner carrying a laurel branch. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs for all ages. Nearly 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers share our philosophy of - Sports for All, Forever. Divided into 58 distinct associations, the AAU sanctions more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships and over 10,000 local events across the United States annually. The AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award is sponsored by LamisilAT Cream, the best way to cure your athleteíss foot. LamisilAT Cream is manufactured and marketed by Novartis Consumer Health, which is headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, and is a leading consumer pharmaceuticals and food company. The Division includes Gerber Products Company, Novartis OTC (over-the counter medicines), Health and Functional Nutrition and Medical Nutrition. Focusing on consumer needs and preferences, each NCH Sector provides well-known, high-quality products to enhance overall health and well-being for millions of American consumers each day. Meet the 2000 James E. Sullivan Memorial Award Sponsored by LamisilAT Finalists Rulon Gardner: Sport: Wrestling Accomplishments: 2000 Olympic Gold medalist in 130 kg (286 lb)...Defeated previously unbeaten Alexandre Kareline of Russia...Won five matches on the way to Olympic Gold...Led U.S. Greco-Roman team to third place finish in medal count - highest in U.S. history...2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion...2000 U.S. Nationals Champion...2000 Pan American Championship Champion...Won gold at the 200 Dave Schultz Memorial International and Granma Cup...Compiled a 24-2 record in 2000...Selected by his peers at Olympics to carry American flag during Closing Ceremonies in Sydney. School: Graduate of University of Nebraska Hometown: Afton, WY Lisa Fernandez: Sport: Women's Softball Accomplishments: Member of the 2000 Olympic Softball team that won Gold...Led the team during its 63-0 pre-Olympic tour - helped extend teams win streak to program record 112...Pitched two complete game victories in the semi-final and Gold medal game...Established a record for strikeouts with 25 against Australia...Led the U.S. pitching staff with 52 strikeouts - complied in 29.2 innings...During pre-tour - led team in both hitting .464 (58 for 125) and pitching 12-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 79.1 innings of work...Seven victories came via perfect games - with one no-hitter...Assists with clinics and camps to help build the softball program in the U.S. School: NA Hometown: Long Beach, CA Josh Heupel: Sport: Football Accomplishments: As a senior, he led the University of Oklahoma to a BCS and NCAA National Championship with a 13-0 season...Broke almost every passing record at OU...Named First team All-American by the Football Writers Association, AP, American Football Coaches Association, and the Walter Camp Foundation...Selected Player of the Year by CBS Sports and Walter Camp Foundation...Runner-up for Heisman Trophy...Leads the nation in passing percentage (.658) by hitting 256 of 389 passes for 18 touchdowns...Started a food program at OU where 15,000 lb of canned goods were delivered to 175 families. School: University of Oklahoma Hometown: Aberdeen, SD Lenny Krayzelburg: Sport: Men's Swimming Accomplishments: Won three gold medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics - 100 meter backstroke, 200 meter backstroke, and lead off for the world record-breaking 400 meter medley relay...Named 2000 USA Swimming Swimmer of the Year...Won 100 and 200 meter backstroke at U.S. Olympic Trials to make U.S. Olympic Team...Member of the Gold wining 400 meter medley relay at Short Course World Championships- was recovering from a foot injury during the meet...Presented his first Olympic Gold Medal to his father. School: University of Southern California Hometown: West Hollywood, CA Laura Wilkinson: Sport: Women's Diving Accomplishments: The only American diver to win gold at the 2000 Olympic Games - her victory was the first for an American women on the 10 meter platform since 1964...Won Gold on the platform and synchronized platform at the Commundidad de Madrid...Won Gold on platform and synchronized platform at 2000 Outdoor National Diving Championship...Dominated the women's 10-meter platform at the U.S. Olympic Trails - winning by 39 points...Earned six 10.0s and one 9.0 on the third dive of platform finals - the most highly awarded dive at trials...Battled a foot injury that needed surgery to compete in the Olympics. School: NA Hometown: Houston, TX
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