Since 1966, college gymnastics’ highest honor, the Nissen Award, has been presented annually to that year’s outstanding senior collegiate gymnast. The Nissen-Emery Award does not only honor the collegiate senior gymnast who has established an outstanding record of achievement during his college career. More than simply an award for gymnastics excellence, the winner must also meet these requirements:
- He must be an example of good sportsmanship and fair play…a champion in defeat as well as in victory.
- He must maintain a high standard of scholarship throughout his college career.
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.”
Voting is by invitation only and extended to Coaches, Team Captains, Conference Championship Judges, and CGA Honorary Lifetime Members who will receive their invitations by email.
NAME: Sean Senters
MAJOR: Political Science
GRADUATE STUDIES: Communication, Journalism
GPA: (UG) 3.28, (GRAD) 3.38
- Five-time All-American, earning two honors apiece in 2013 and 2014, and one in 2012. Tied for fifth on vault (15.125) and placed eighth on floor (14.000) at the 2013 NCAA Individual Event Finals. Finished third on vault (15.100) and eighth on floor (14.950) at the 2014 NCAA Individual Event Finals. Went 15.150 on floor at the 2012 NCAA Individual Event Finals to place fifth.
- Two-time U.S. Champion on vault, tying for first at the 2013 P&G Championships and at the 2012 Visa Championships. Also finished first on vault and seventh in the all-around at the 2013 National Qualifier.
- Has excelled against top competition at the NCAA Championships. Placed first on floor (15.450) and vault (15.250) at the 2014 NCAA Championships Semifinals. Tied for third on vault (15.150) and finished 10th on floor (14.950) at the 2013 NCAA Championships Finals. Tied for third on floor with a 15.150 at the 2013 NCAA Championships Semifinals.
- Is undefeated in 2015 in vault through the first five meets and holds all five of Stanford’s top scores in the event. He hit 100 percent of his vaults during the 2014 season.
- Has provided leadership during his junior and senior season and has produced 11 individual event victories. He held eight of Stanford’s top 10 scores in vault and two top-10 results in floor during the 2014 season.
NAME: Adrian de los Angeles
SCHOOL: University of Michigan
MAJOR: Movement Science
- USA Senior National Team Member: Feb-Aug 2012 and Feb-Aug 2013.
- 2013 NCAA and Big Ten Championships Runner-up in the All-Around (Finished behind teammate Sam Mikulak on both occasions).
- Two-time NCAA All-American: 2013 – All-Around (2nd) and Parallel Bars (8th).
- Member of the 2013 and 2014 Big Ten and NCAA Championship Team.
- 2013 All-Around Runner-up at Winter Cup Challenge (finished second behind Jake Dalton).
Adrian de los Angeles Nissen-Emery
NAME: Alec Robin
SCHOOL: University of Oklahoma
- Robin is a two-time NCAA national champion, winning the floor exercise and vault event finals at the 2014 NCAA Championships. The Calabasas, Calif., native scored a 15.425 on the floor exercise and a 15.250 on the vault to capture both event national titles. Robin became just the sixth member of the OU program to win two individual event titles at the same championship.
- Along with having two titles, Robin has five All-America honors. After joining the team as a walk-on during his freshman season, Robin enjoyed a breakout season in 2013 as a sophomore as he claimed three All-America distinctions. Robin placed fifth in the all-around with a score of 86.650, second on vault with a mark of 15.325 and sixth on high bar with a score of 14.700. Robin followed up the superb effort with two All-America honors as a junior after winning the floor exercise and vault event finals.
- Robin is just as well-rounded on the academic side as he is in his gymnastics. The senior is a biology major with a minor in Spanish and chemistry. Robin has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.49 and has already gotten accepted into the distinguished dental schools of NYU, USC and Pennsylvania. Robin’s excellence in the classroom has not gone unnoticed, as he is a two-time CGA Academic All-America Scholar Athlete, Academic All-Big 12 First Team member and MPSF Scholar Athlete.
- Despite his heavy academic and athletic schedules Robin still finds time to serve and help out in the community. Robin has consistently used his time giving back to others. The senior is in the midst of his fourth year of volunteering at Cleveland Elementary School, where he goes to a classroom every week and helps mentor students with school work and life. Robin also volunteers his time at local dental offices to both get experience in his desired career and help out. The senior and the rest of the OU men’s gymnastics squad served the community of Moore, Okla. in the summer of 2014, as they joined with other organizations and teams in the surrounding community to help rebuild a playground of an elementary school that was destroyed by a tornado.
- Robin has found success on the international stage as well as the NCAA level. In 2013 Robin traveled to Israel to compete in the 19th Maccabiah Games. Robin was exceptional at the competition, helping Team USA capture the gold medal. Robin also took home gold in the high bar event and earned silver in the individual all-around competition, the pommel horse and the vault.
Alec Robin Nissen-Emery
NAME: C.J. Maestas
SCHOOL: University of Illinois
NCAA (‘12) and USAG (‘11) rings National Champion
2011 USAG all-around bronze medalist
First still rings National Champion in program history
- 2014, still rings
- 2014, floor exercise
- 2014, all-around
- 2012, still rings
- 2012, pommel horse
- 2012, all-around
Holds the NCAA still rings record of 16.450
Six-time National Team member
2012 Olympic Trials competitor
- 2010 Pacific Rim Championships (Melbourne, Australia)1st: Team, PH, SR; 2nd: AA; 3rd: PB
- 2011 Pan American Games (Guadalajara, Mexico)3rd: Team, SR; 4th: AA; 7th: HB
- 2014 Pan American Championships (Toronto, Canada)1st: Team; 4th: AA, FX
- 2014 DTB Team Challenge (Stuttgart, Germany)2nd: Team
C.J. Maestas Nissen-Emery
NAME: ELLIS MANNON
SCHOOL: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
MAJOR: Double Major/Double Minor: Bachelor of Science in CHEMICAL ENGINEERING with a Minor in CHEMISTRY and a Bachelor of Science ECONOMICS with a Minor in MATHEMATICS
- 2014 NCAA Pommel Horse Champion, scoring a 15.425.2014 Big Ten Pommel Horse Champion, scoring a 15.325.
- 2015 USA Gymnastics Winter Cup Challenge Pommel Horse Champion with a two day total of 30.70
(15.25 Day 1 & 15.45 Day 2).
- 2013 NCAA Pommel Horse 2nd Place, scoring a 14.9002013 Big Ten Pommel Horse 2nd Place, scoring a 14.900.
- An innovative performer who created two new D-skills on Pommel Horse – with hands outside both pommels he performs a direct Stockli A outside the pommels and a Czech Kehre outside the pommels. Currently, neither of these skills are being performed anywhere in the world.
- 2014 P & G Championships, 3rd place Pommel Horse, scoring 14.70 both days. Also finished 16th in the All-Around (85.55 Day 1/85.45 Day 2). Ellis trained for both the Qualifier and P&G Championships while working a 40 hour/week paid internship as a Chemical Engineer at Mom’s Brand Foods in Lakeville, MN which required a 1 hour commute in both directions. Departed daily at 7:00 am for work, arrived in the gym approximately 6:00 pm, trained from 6:00 – 9:00 pm daily.
- 2014 Gary Morava Award winner as All Around Champion of the Windy City Invitational.
- Two Time NCAA All American, 2013 & 2014.
- Selected as a member of the 2014 All Big Ten First Team – qualifications: 1st place PH & 6th place AA.
- During high school Ellis played violin in the Indianapolis New World Youth Orchestra and since has played the violin at several church services in Indianapolis as well as in a family wedding. He is a very accomplished violinist.
- Academic All-Big Ten Team Member, 2014.
- CGA Second Team Academic Scholar Athlete, 2014. Helped lead his team to a 3rd place finish in the CGA National Academic Team Championships with a Team GPA of 3.332.
Ellis Mannon Nissen-Emery
NAME: Craig Hernandez
SCHOOL: Penn State University
- 2 time NCAA All American on Pommel Horse
- 2013 Big Ten Pommel Horse Champion
- 2014 Winter Cup Pommel Horse Champion
- Career Best 15.95 on Pommel Horse
- 2013 1st Team All Big Ten
- 2014 2nd Team All Big Ten
- Three Time CGA Academic All American
- Three Time Academic All Big Ten
- 2012 NCAA Floor Exercise Finalist
The Nissen-Emery Award was established to honor the nation’s finest senior male gymnast. Individuals exhibiting outstanding achievement in athletic and academic realms must also demonstrate social excellence. Penn State senior Craig Hernandez embodies each of these qualities.
An All American on Pommel Horse in both 2012 and 2014, Hernandez boasts a 3.3 GPA in Chemistry. He was a CGA Academic All American in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and achieved Academic All Big Ten status for those same years. In 2014, he was the Winter Cup Champion on Pommel Horse and was an NCAA finalist on Floor Exercise in 2012. Boasting a personal best of 15.95 on Pommel Horse, Hernandez has been involved outside the gym on Penn State’s Student Athlete Advisory Board. These credentials demonstrate that Craig Hernandez is very worthy of your consideration for the 2015 Nissen-Emery Award.