Sullivan Award: Jordan Crooks, Kate Douglass Celebrated as Finalists; Caitlin Clark Wins

Photo Courtesy: Anthony Ervin

Virginia’s Kate Douglass and Tennessee’s Jordan Crooks were among were among six finalists for the annual Sullivan Award, the top amateur athletic award in the country. Iowa female basketball player Caitlin Clark was named the recipient on Tuesday night.

LSU baseball player Dylan Crews, UCLA female gymnast Jordan Chiles and Purdue men’s basketball player Zach Edey were also finalists.

Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin was at the reception to help honor the swimmers.

Douglass had a fantastic 2023. She led the University


Photo Courtesy: Anthony Ervin

of Virginia to its third consecutive NCAA swimming and diving title. The senior added seven NCAA titles to her resume – the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 200 breaststroke, plus four relay crowns.


She is a 15-time NCAA champion, going 7-for-7 each of the last two years to go with the 50 free as a sophomore in 2021. She is a 28-time All-American, the most possible, and a 27-time ACC champion in one of the most decorated college careers ever.

Internationally, the bronze medalist in the women’s 200 IM at the Tokyo Olympics won five gold medals and two silver medals at the World Short-Course Championships in December 2022. That included wins in the 200 breast and 200 IM. She added gold in the 200 IM, silver in the 200 breast, women’s medley relay gold and six total medals at the 2023 World Championships.

The native of Pelham, N.Y., swims for the New York Athletic Club, which sponsors the Sullivan Award.

Crooks, hailing from the Cayman Islands, is still just a junior in Knoxville. He announced his international arrival by winning gold in the men’s 50 freestyle at the World Short-Course Championships in Melbourne last December.


Photo Courtesy: Anthony Ervin

A 12-time All-American, Crooks won the 50 free at NCAAs last spring. His time of 17.93 is the second fastest in NCAA history. The 2023 Swimmer of the Year/SEC Championships Swimmer of the Meet is a five-time SEC champion, four of them this year, and has 14 career SEC medals.

Crooks finished seventh at Worlds in Fukuoka this summer in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free.

Swimmers to win the award include Caeleb Dressel (in 2020), Missy Franklin (2012), Michael Phelps (2003), Janet Evans (1989), Tracy Caulkins (1978), John Naber (1977), Tim Shaw (1975), Mark Spitz (1971), John Kinsella (1970), Debbie Meyer (1968), Don Schollander (1964) and Ann Curtis (1944). Three divers – Sammy Lee in 1953, Patricia McCormick in 1956 and Greg Louganis in 1984 – have won the award.

Female basketball players have won three of the last seven awards now, Clark joining Sabrina Ionescu in 2019 and Breanna Stewart in 2015.


Photo Courtesy: Anthony Ervin

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