Two candidates for Best Female Athlete are trying to return to the ESPY winner’s circle – Serena Williams last won that award in 2003, while Diana Taurasi won it in 2004. Meanwhile, Maya Moore and Lindsey Vonn are trying to win Best Female for the first time.
The 18th annual ESPYs, hosted by Seth Meyers, will be televised live, for the first time since 2003 on Wednesday, July 14, at 9 p.m. ET. Fans will determine the winners in 37 categories (except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and other special awards) by voting online at www.espys.tv, and www.facebook.com/ESPN through July 10.
Here are the amazing women who’ve been nominated for a 2010 ESPY.
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE
Maya Moore, NCAA Basketball
- Helped lead UConn to back-to-back national championships.
- Averaged 28.5 PPG and 11.5 RPG in the two games at the Final Four.
- Averaged team-high 18.9 PPG and 8.3 RPG during 2009-10 regular season.
Diana Taurasi, WNBA
- Named WNBA MVP for 2009 regular season and playoffs.
- Led WNBA in scoring during regular season (20.4 PPG).
- Helped Phoenix win the WNBA championship.
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
- Capped a historic season with her third straight overall World Cup title.
- Won gold medal at Olympics in downhill, becoming the first American woman to do so.
- Won the final super-G race of the season for her 33rd World Cup win, eclipsing Bode Miller as the most decorated American skier.
Serena Williams, Tennis
- Earned number one world ranking at the end of the 2009 season.
- Won 2010 Australian Open, becoming the first woman to successfully defend her Aussie title since Jennifer Capriati in 2002.
- Tied Billie Jean King for 6th on the all-time women’s Grand Slam titles list (12).
BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE
Torah Bright, Snowboarding
Australia’s golden girl, Torah Bright has become one of the most recognizable female snowboarders. Awarded the highest score ever given to a Winter X SuperPipe female at Winter X Games 13, Bright went on to add Winter Olympic gold medalist to her title in 2010.
Ashley Fiolek, Motocross
Already one of the most successful female motocross riders in just her third season as a professional racer, Ashley Fiolek has been a force behind advancing the level and prestige of women’s racing in the United States. The defending X Games Super X Women’s gold medalist, Fiolek is also the two-time and defending Women’s Motocross Champion.
Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing
One of the most talented female surfers on the ASP Tour, Stephanie Gilmore wrapped up the 2009 season with her third straight Women’s ASP World Tour title. This season, she is on track to continue her success, winning three of four events so far.
Jen Hudak, Freestyle Skiing
Not only did Jen Hudak earn her first Winter X Games gold medal in the Ski SuperPipe competition in Aspen, Colo. and her first gold at the inaugural Winter X Games Europe, she finished on top of the AFP World Tour.
Ashleigh McIvor, Freestyle Skiing
In the first year ski cross was featured in the Winter Olympics, Ashleigh McIvor went down in the history books as the very first Women’s Ski Cross Olympic gold medalist. She also achieved a first at Winter X Games 14, earning her first Winter X Games Skier X medal (silver).
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Brittney Griner, Baylor Women’s Basketball
- Averaged 18.4 PPG and 8.5 RPG as a freshman.
- Totaled 223 blocked shots, an NCAA-record.
- Registered an NCAA Tournament record 40 blocks in five 2010 tourney games, which includes tournament single-game record 14 vs. No. 13 Georgetown.
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE
Connecticut Women’s Basketball, Longest winning streak in Women’s NCAA Basketball History
- Undefeated season extended their record 78-game winning streak.
- Won second straight national championship in 2009-2010 season.
- Made women’s college basketball history with NCAA- record 71st straight win, a 59-44 victory over No. 6 Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.
Hawaii softball upsets #1 Alabama, NCAA Softball
- Defeated Alabama 5-4 on a two-run, walk-off home run by Jenna Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh in the deciding game of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional.
- Advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in school history.
Joannie Rochette, Winter Olympics
- Earned a bronze medal in Olympic skating just days after her mother died.
- Rochette’s mother passed only a few hours after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter compete
Connecticut Women’s Basketball
- Completed their second straight perfect season, the second basketball team to do that in Division I history, joining the 1971-73 UCLA men.
UConn has won 78 straight games, 10 shy of UCLA’s Division I record.
- The Huskies beat Stanford by 6, their first single-digit win of the streak, to win their seventh National Championship.
Kim Clijsters, Tennis
- Made history to become the first unseeded woman to win the Open.
Beat both Serena and Venus Williams as well as seeded players Caroline Wozniacki and Na Li en route to the championship.
- The first unseeded player to win the US Open and is just the second unranked player to win a major since the inception of computer rankings in 1975, joining Evonne Goolagong at the 1977 Australian Open.
BEST WNBA PLAYER
Tamika Catchings, Indiana
- Named WNBA defensive player of the year.
- Led her team to the WNBA finals in the 2009 season.
Becky Hammon, San Antonio
- Finished second in regular season in scoring (19.5 PPG).
- Finished third in the regular season in assists (5.0 APG).
Lauren Jackson, Seattle
- Finished third in scoring during the regular season (19.2 PPG).
- Tied for 10th in rebounding (7.0).
Candace Parker, Los Angeles
- Averaged 13.1 PPG during the regular season.
- Led the league in rebounding with 9.8 RPG.
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
- Led WNBA in scoring during the regular season (20.4 PPG).
- Named MVP for the regular season and playoffs.
Helped Phoenix win the WNBA championship.
BEST FEMALE GOLFER
- Had 13 top 10 finishes in 25 events played in 2009.
- Helped USA team win Solheim Cup.
- Won three LPGA tournaments and finished second four times.
- Had 13 top 10 finishes in 22 events.
- Led LPGA in scoring average (70.16).
- Was top money winner on LPGA Tour with over $1.8 million.
- Earned Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors.
- Won three LPGA tournaments in 2009.
BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER
- Won 2009 U. S. Open.
- Became the first mother since Evonne Goolagong at 1980 Wimbledon to come back and win a Grand Slam singles title.
- Became the first unseeded woman to win the Open, beating both Serena and Venus Williams en route to the championship.
- Set the record for single-season prize money in women’s tennis by topping $6.5 million in 2009.
- Won 2009 WTA season-ending championship in Doha, Qatar.
- Won 2010 Australian Open.
- Finished 2009 season as the sixth-ranked woman’s player.
- Moved up to #2 in world rankings by the start of the 2010 French Open.
BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE
Tina Charles, Connecticut Women’s Basketball
- Averaged 18.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 61.8 field goal pct in under 28 minutes per game
- Helped lead the Huskies to a National Championship and a 39-0 record for a second consecutive year.
- Became the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
Megan Hodge, Penn State Volleyball
- Led her team to its third straight NCAA championship title, winning 102 straight matches.
- Led the Big Ten with an average of 4.67 kills per set (560 kills total).
Megan Lagenfeld, UCLA Softball
- WCWS Most Outstanding Player as UCLA won its 12th national softball championship.
- Batted .527 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI in 61 games during season.
- Posted 14-1 record with 1.53 ERA as a pitcher.
Maya Moore, Connecticut Women’s Basketball
- Helped lead UConn to back-to-back national championships.
- Named Most Outstanding Player at 2010 Final Four.
- Averaged 28.5 PPG and 11.5 RPG in the Final Four and a team-high 18.9 PPG and 8.3 RPG during the regular season.
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY
- A gymnast without the lower half of her right arm and hand, she consistently scored in the 8.1-8.5 range in both the vault and floor exercises during all regular season meets.
- Was a three-year starter and co-captain on Grandview’s varsity Soccer team.
- Won two gold medals (sitting downhill, sitting giant slalom) among four total medals at 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
- Became the first amputee to qualify for a U.S. national track and field team.
- Competed in the 24-hour world championships in May 2010 in Brive, France.
- Won the AAU Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete.
- Won gold in the sit-ski super combined to earn her third medal of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
- Became the first woman to win a PBA Tour title when she defeated Chris Barnes to win the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
BEST FEMALE US OLYMPIC ATHLETE
Hannah Kearney, Skiing
- Won a gold medal in freestyle skiing moguls.
- Scored 26.63 points to win by .94 – a wide margin in a sport often decided by tenths and hundredths.
Julia Mancuso, Skiing
- Won two silver medals in alpine skiing.
- Her silver in the downhill marked the first time the U.S. has captured the top two spots in alpine skiing since 1984 (and 3rd time overall).
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
- Won a gold medal in the women’s downhill, marking the first gold medal by an American woman in the Olympic downhill.
- Also won a bronze medal in the women’s super-G.
BEST TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE
- Won the 200-meters at the 2009 World Track and Field Championships.
- Won the 400-meters at the 2009 World Track and Field Championships with a time of 49 seconds.
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