Six Finalists Named For The 2021 Nissen-Emery Award

Six Finalists Named For The 2021 Nissen-Emery Award

The Nissen-Emery Award honors the senior collegiate gymnast who has established an exceptional achievement record during his college career.

Mar 29, 2021 by Kelly Feng
Six Finalists Named For The 2021 Nissen-Emery Award

The Nissen-Emery Award honors the senior collegiate gymnast who has established an exceptional achievement record during his college career. It is college gymnastics’ highest honor and has been presented annually to that year's outstanding senior collegiate gymnast. 

It is much more than simply an award for gymnastics excellence. The winner must also meet these requirements. 

1) be an example of good sportsmanship and fair play 

2) a winner in defeat and victory

The winner must also maintain a high standard of scholarship throughout his college career.

Nationwide, college gymnastics coaches, student-athletes, and accredited college gymnastics judges submit nominations for the award. Gymnasts receiving the highest number of nominations are then placed on a final ballot and voted upon by those same coaches, athletes and judges.

The award is presented annually at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.

The "Heisman Trophy" of gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery Award, is inscribed with the following motto: "The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially, and morally."


The College Gymnastics Association recently announced six finalists. Past winners include Penn State’s Stephen Nedoroscik in 2020, Oklahoma’s Yul Moldauer in 2019, Ohio State’s Sean Melton in 2018, Stanford’s Akash Modi in 2017 and Michigan’s Sam Mikulak in 2014

Here are the 2021 Nissen Emery Award Finalists!

Andrew Bitner | Stanford  

Stanford’s team captain this season, Andrew Bitner, has won many accolades over his college gymnastics career, including being the NCAA team champion (2019). 

He is a two-time CGA All-American Athlete 2018, 2020, MPSF Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 4, 2020), CGA First-Team All-America Scholar Athlete, and MPSF All-Academic Scholar-Athlete.

 In 2020, he also won the all-around title at the Pac-12 Invitational with a career-high 81.200 (Feb. 2). 

Check out his perfect handstands, pointed toes and sheer strength in the still rings: 

Cameron Bock | Michigan

Cameron Bock is a strong all-arounder and exceptionally powerful in the pommel horse and the still rings. 

The 2021 Winter Cup all-around winner has had a tremendous senior season at both the college and national level. At Michigan this year, he is the B1G Gymnast of the Week (March 15, 2021), B1G Co-Gymnast of the Week (March 8, 2021), CGA National, B1G Gymnast of the Week (March 2, 2021).

Bock has been a US Senior National Team member for 2018-2019, 2021).

Bock not only won the 2021 Winter Cup all-around title (84.150), in the two-day competition for individual event titles, he placed third on pommel horse (28.000) and still rings (28.000) and tied for fourth on parallel bars (26.850).

This season Bock is for No. 1 on pommel horse, and No. 1 in still rings, No. 3 in parallel bars, and No. 2 overall in the all-around!

He impressed the judges on the first night with body extension way above the pommel horse. Along with Bock’s extension, watch the speed and rhythm he has on the apparatus. 

Bennet Huang | Iowa

As an all-arounder for the Hawkeyes, Bennet Huang doesn’t have a weak event, although he’s mighty on the floor and pommel horse. 

In 2020, Huang earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week after winning the all-around (81.200) at Ohio State (3/7/20). He also posted a season-best all-around score (81.300) and career-best high bar score (13.850) against Illinois (3/1/20).

Last weekend, in a meet against Nebraska, Huang won the all-around with a career-best 83.500.

This season Huang is No. 11 in the nation on the floor, No. 12 on pommel horse, and No. 5 overall in the all-around!

Check out his entire floor, where he does a double layout out and a triple full, among other skills. Pay special attention to 1:07, where he pays homage to Alexei Nemov with a front tuck straight to the floor. 

Blake Sun | Stanford

Sun has been a specialist on both the pommel horse and the parallel bars during his gymnastic college career. However, on the parallel bars, he especially shines. 

Sun is the CGA Specialist of the Week (Jan. 28, 2020), two-time CGA All-America Scholar-Athlete (2018, 2020), and a two-time MPSF All-Academic Scholar-Athlete (2019-20) and the NCAA team champion (2019). Sun was also the team captain in 2020, as well as 2021.

In 2020, he was Stanford men's gymnastics Team Player Award recipient and won the lone parallel bars event title at the Stanford Open with a national-best score of 15.200 (Jan. 25).

Sun is wrapping up his college gymnastics career in grand fashion. He is second in the nation on the parallel bars. On March 8th, Sun took to the parallel bars with this 14.950 vs. Air Force. 

It was the second-best score in the nation this year.

Check out his superb control and form during the meet against Airforce. 

Matt Wenske | Oklahoma

Wenske, a leader for the Sooners in the gym, was voted co-captain for the Sooners in 2021 alongside Gage Dyer. 

 In 2020, Wenske was named the MPSF Gymnast of the Week after scoring an 80.500 in the AA at Michigan. He added a career-high 14.200 on rings and season bests on vault (14.600) and floor (13.950) at Michigan. Wenske also registered an 81.050 in the all-around versus Iowa for a career-high and named a 2020 MPSF Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big 12 At-Large Team Selection.

This season Wenske is tied for No. 9 in the nation on still rings, No. 10 on vault, tied for No. 4 parallel bars, and No. 10 overall in the all-around!

Here he is on the floor with a career-high of 14.500, a career-best!

Check on the height from the twists he gets. 

Shane Wiskus | Minnesota

Minnesota team captain Shane Wiskus Is a busy student-athlete, zigzagging across the country to help his Minnestoa team, if not training at the OPTC in Colorado and competing nationally.

One of the most consistent college gymnasts, Wiskus represented Minessota at the 2021 Winter Cup, finishing in fourth in the all-around competition portion of the Winter Cup and retaining his spot on the US Senior National Team.

At the event finals, he finished on the podium in five out of the six events at the competition, including a first-place finish on floor exercise (28.550), he tied for third on still rings (28.000) and vault (28.4000), second on parallel bars (27.750), and second on high bar (27.100).

At Minnesota this season, Wiskus won the all-around title against Penn State by posting a score of 84.050, winning a total of three event titles against the Nittany Lions, with the events being on the floor (14.800), parallel bars (14.750), and high bar (14.350).

Named 2020 season CGA MVP and earned CGA all-around (No. 1), parallel bars (No. 2) and rings (No. 4) All-American honors, Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar selection.

This season Wiskus is for No. 4 on the floor, and No. 7 in still rings, tied for No. 4 in parallel bars, No. 3 on high bar, and No. 3 overall in the all-around!

Here he is on the floor from the 2021 Winter Cup & Elite Team Cup.


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