Three-time NCAA champion wrestler Kyle Snyder of Ohio State was named Tuesday as the winner of the AAU Sullivan Award, presented annually to top amateur athlete in the United States.
A 2016 Olympic gold medalist at 97 kilograms and a two-time winner at the World Championships, Snyder is the first wrestler to win the award since Rulon Gardner in 2000. He is the first athlete from Ohio State to win the award since Ezekiel Elliott won in 2015, now a running back with the Dallas Cowboys.
Snyder, 22, won his third NCAA title in March with a late takedown in the championship match of Michigan heavyweight Adam Coon, who outweighed Snyder by 55 pounds. The win avenged Snyder's lone collegiate loss, suffered in February of this year.
Other finalists for the award included Olympic bronze medal-winning figure skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani, NCAA champion volleyball players Kelly Hunter and Annika Albrecht of Nebraska, Michigan distance runner Erin Finn, Joel Berry II of North Carolina basketball and U.S. equestrian paralympian Annie Peavy.
Snyder won his first world title in 2015. He outscored his opponents 28-1 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and defeated Russia's Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6-5 at the 2017 World Championships.
A Maryland native, Snyder was also named male athlete of the year in 2017 by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Ohio State male athlete of the year in 2016 and 2017. He was a finalist last year for the Sullivan Award, which has been handed out since 1930.
Former Wisconsin volleyball player Lauren Carlini won the honor last year. Other past winners include J.J. Redick of Duke basketball, Peyton Manning of Tennessee football, Tim Tebow of Florida football, Bill Walton of UCLA basketball and famed Olympians Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Johnson and Missy Franklin.