Jordan Burroughs, Adeline Gray are Sullivan Award semifinalists; Vote daily online through March 13

By USA Wrestling | March 07, 2016, 7:39 p.m. (ET)
2015 World champion wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Adeline Gray have been named as semifinalists for the 86th AAU James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually to the nation’s best amateur athlete.

Fans can vote for Jordan Burroughs or Adeline Gray along with the other semifinalists starting today (Monday, March 7) through Sunday, March 13 at 11:59 p.m.


You can vote ONCE PER DAY THROUGH MARCH 13. Vote every day and share this with your friends and colleagues.

Should Jordan and/or Adeline advance to become finalists, there will be a second round of voting from March 16-23.

There have been three previous Sullivan Award winners from wrestling, John Smith (1990), Bruce Baumgartner (1995) and Rulon Gardner (2000). Let’s get a fourth wrestler as a Sullivan Award winner.

Both wrestlers are tremendously deserving. They are both three-time World champions and five-time World level medalists. Jordan Burroughs was 2012 Olympic champion, won three World titles (2011, 2013, 2105) and was a 2014 World bronze medalist. Adeline Gray is a three-time World champion (2012, 2014, 2015) and a two-time World bronze medalist (2011, 2013).

Both went undefeated in 2015. They both won the World Championships, the Pan American Games, the World Cup, the U.S. Open and the U.S. World Team Trials in 2015. Other tournaments that Gray won was the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba, and went 7-0 in the India Professional Wrestling League. Another event Burroughs won in 2015 was the Alexander Medved International in Belarus.

Neither has lost a match since the summer of 2014, with Gray last losing at the UWW Golden Grand Prix Finals in July 2014, and Burroughs last losing at the 2014 World Championships in Uzbekistan in the finals. Burroughs has an amazing career record of 122-2. Gray has an impressive winning streak of 35 straight matches.

Burroughs was a two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner for the University of Nebraska. Gray is the only U.S. woman to win World titles on the Junior, University and Senior levels. Their list of wrestling achievements goes on much longer, all of which are impressive.

The AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.

Jordan Burroughs and Adeline Gray are tremendous role models, and fully demonstrate the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism.

Other semifinalists are Andrew Benintendi (baseball), Simone Biles (gymnastics), Brittany Bowe (speedskating), Nirra Fields (college basketball), Mikaela Foecke (college volleyball), Jamie Greubel Poser (bobsled), Derrick Henry (college football), Ashleigh Johnson (water polo), Keenan Reynolds (college football), Christian McCaffrey (college football), Kelsey Minato (college basketball), Ben Simmons (college basketball), Breanna Stewart (college basketball), Deshaun Watson (college football), Jordan Wilimovsky (swimming).

When posting to social media, you can use the #AAUSullivanAward. USA Wrestling also encourages using #VoteBurroughs&Gray

The voting results will be kept secret until the award presentation on Sunday, April 10 at the prestigious New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.


Presented annually since 1930, the AAU Sullivan Award has gone to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Your athletic success – as well as leadership, character and sportsmanship – embody everything the AAU Sullivan Award aims to recognize.

World renowned golfer Robert “Bobby” Jones received the inaugural award in 1930 and swimmer Anne Curtis became the first female to accept the award in 1944.

Other notable athletes to win the award include famed Olympians Carl Lewis (1981), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Michael Phelps (2003) and Shawn Johnson (2008). Former UCLA basketball star Bill Walton (1973), University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997) and, most recently, The Ohio State University running back Ezekiel Elliott (2014) earned the prestigious honor last year.