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March 31, 2011

ULM alum named finalist for 2010 prestigious Sullivan Award

U.S. water ski athlete and University of Louisiana at Monroe Alum Regina Jaquess, 26, was recently selected as one of five finalists eligible for the 2010 Amateur Athletic Union James E. Sullivan Award.

USA Water Ski nominated Jaquess for the award named after AAU founder James E. Sullivan.

The award honors not only an athlete's accomplishments on the field of play, but also the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism.

The winner is selected by a combination of public vote and expert panel. Past winners include Bonnie Blair, Peyton Manning, Wilma Rudolph, Mark Spitz and Tim Tebow.

"I did not expect to make it as a finalist with such an outstanding field of semifinalists," Jaquess said.

Among the five finalists chosen for the award, Figure Skater Evan Lysacek took home the honor at the 81st Sullivan Award Ceremony on March 14 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

In addition to Lysacek and Jaquess, the other finalists included Tahnee Robinson, basketball; DJ Williams, football; and Karrissa Wimberley, baton twirling.

Jaquess, a five-time recipient of USA Water Ski's Female Athlete of the Year award, won women's slalom titles at the 2010 Masters, Alizee Cup and Diablo Shores Pro-Am.

She also set a new women's world overall record of 2,945.85 points at the Cory Pickos Superstars on June 19 in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and she tied the Open Women national jumping record of 176 feet at the same tournament.

In October, she set new women's world slalom records of 1-1/4 buoys at 41 feet off (Red Bar Belgian Cup/Shortline Lakes) and 1-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off (Eddie Green Open/Lake Louis) in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Jaquess closed out her season by winning gold medals in women's slalom, tricks and jumping at the Pan American Water Ski Championships in San Bernardo, Chile.

Jaquess is the first-ever from the sport of water skiing to be named a Sullivan Award finalist.

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