2017 Nissen-Emery Award

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.

2017 Finalists:

Modi
Bower
Van Wicklen
Martin
Peters
Courter
Wang
Liebler
    • Modi Action
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      Nomination Form


    NAME: Akash Modi
    SCHOOL: Stanford
    MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering
    GRADUATE STUDIES: Communication, Journalism
    GPA: 3.30

    FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    1. Three-time MPSF Gymnast of the Year – 15x CGA Gymnast of the Week (Division I record)
    2. 3x NCAA Champion (All-Around – 2015, High Bar – 2016, Parallel Bars – 2016)
    3. 12x All-American (All-around – 3, parallel bars – 3, pommel horse – 2, floor – 2, high bar – 2)
    4. 65 career event titles
    5. Team USA Alternate for Rio Olympic Games
    6. Full list of accomplishments: http://www.gostanford.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=11572

    Academic

    1. 3 time Academic All American
    2. 3.3 GPA in Mechanical Engineering
    3. Finalist at the Greylock International Hackfest 2014

Akash Modi

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NAME: Allan Bower
SCHOOL: University of Oklahoma
MAJOR: Biology
GPA: 3.31

FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. 5-Time All-American: 2015(PH, AA), 2016 (PH, PB, AA)

    Allan Bower is a 5-time All-American. In 2015, as a sophomore, he finished sixth in the all-around and fourth on pommel horse to take home All-America honors on the events and help push Oklahoma to a team national title. As a junior in 2016, Bower upped his game further. He made All-America on pommel horse, parallel bars and again in the all-around.

  2. 2016 MPSF All-Around Champion

    2016 Saw Bower assert his dominance. In a meet that included names like Yul Moldauer and Akash Modi, Bower posted an all-around mark of 90.100 to take home the conference championship and help push the Sooners to their fifth straight title as a team.

  3. Selected to 2015 and 2017 U.S. Senior Men’s National Team

    Earned a third-place finish at the 2017 Winter Cup to earn a place on the National Team for the second time. He will compete for the United States at the World Cup in Germany on March 19 this year. Bower placed seventh in the all-around with a two-day score of 171.700 at the 2015 Winter Cup to earn a place on the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team.

  4. Two-time MPSF All-Academic Scholar Athlete and All-Big 12 Academic At-Large Team

    Majoring in biology, Bower has racked up a 3.31 GPA. He has studied abroad and has twice been named a MPSF All-Academic Scholar Athlete and twice been named to the All-Big 12 Academic At-Large Team.

  5. Two-time NCAA team champion

    Bower, named a co-captain for OU in 2016, has been perhaps the most consistent Sooner during Oklahoma’s recent stretch of dominance. Bower has helped lead the Sooners to back-to-back perfect seasons, back-to-back NCAA national championships and three consecutive MPSF conference titles. During that span the Sooners have set the all-time team scoring record and notched the seven highest team marks ever under the current scoring system.

Allan Bower Nissen-Emery

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NAME: Colin Van Wicklen
SCHOOL: University of Oklahoma
MAJOR: Advertising
GPA: 2.59

FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. 2016 NCAA National Champion on Floor

    In 2016 Van Wicklen broke through on floor. At the NCAA finals he hit a remarkable 15.300 to take the individual national title and help push the Sooners to their second straight team title.

  2. 7-Time All-American

    Dominant on floor and vault, Van Wicklen has earned All-America honors on both events in each of his three years at the NCAA championships. In 2014 he finished fifth on floor and sixth on vault. In 2015 he came close to the title on floor finishing second, and placing seventh on vault. In 2016 he placed third on vault to go with his floor title and also earned All-America honors on high bar.

  3. 2-Time NCAA team champion

    Van Wicklen has helped lead the Sooners to back-to-back perfect seasons, back-to-back NCAA national championships and three consecutive MPSF conference titles. During that span the Sooners have set the all-time team scoring record and notched the seven highest team marks ever under the current scoring system.

  4. 19 career event titles

    Van Wicklen has won 19 event titles in his career, all coming in his first three seasons.

  5. 2017 Team Co-Captain

    Van Wicklen was selected by his teammates to be one of the team’s captains for 2016. A consummate leader, his voice is crucial to the team’s continued success and drive to work harder than any other team in the country in pursuit of a third national title.

Colin Van Wicklen Nissen-Emery

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  • Martin Head
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    Flyer


NAME: Jake Martin
SCHOOL: The Ohio State University
MAJOR: Political Science & International Studies
GPA: 3.45

FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. 2014 B1G VAULT CHAMPION (1ST TEAM ALL B1G SELECTION)
  2. 2014 NCAA HIGH BAR RUNNER UP (ALL-AMERICAN)
  3. 2014 B1G 3RD PLACE ALL AROUND
  4. 2014 B1G 3RD PLACE HIGH BAR
  5. 2014 NCAA 5TH PLACE ALL AROUND (ALL-AMERICAN)

Jake Martin Nissen-Emery

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NAME: Joey Peters
SCHOOL: University of Illinois
MAJOR: Undergraduate – Kinesiology / Undergraduate – Kinesiology
GPA Under Graduate: 3.60 – Graduate 3.80

BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. Three-time CGA First Team All-American Scholar-Athlete selection (2013, 2014, 2015)
  2. Earned All-American honors in the all-around as a freshman in 2013, placing eighth with an 84.750.
  3. Three-time Academic All-Big Ten (2014, 2015, 2016)
  4. Was named to the 2015 All-Big Ten Second-Team after placing second on rings with a 15.650.
  5. Won 14 event titles over the course of his career to-date, including six all-around titles.
  6. Competed at the 2014 and 2017 Winter Cup Challenges.
  7. Named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 12, 2015 after winning the vault and all-around titles at UIC.
  8. Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Jan. 28, 2013 after winning the all-around title and earning top-three finishes on still rings and high bar at the Metroplex Challenge.
  9. Won the Fighting Illini Attitude Award as a freshman in 2013.
  10. Returned from season-ending shoulder injury in 2015-16 season to compete as a fifth-year senior in the all-around for 2016-17 season.

Career High Scores (as of 2/20/17)

Floor – 14.950
Pommel Horse – 14.450
Still Rings – 15.800
Vault – 15.000
Parallel Bars – 15.200
High Bar – 15.150
All-Around – 86.550

Joey Peters Nissen-Emery

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  • Courter Head
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NAME: Neal Courter
SCHOOL: William & Mary
MAJOR: Chemistry and French
GPA: 3.56

FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Neal suffered an ACL injury toward the end of his Junior year, so the following accomplishments were accumulated in just two championship seasons. He has now returned to full health for a final year of competition.

  1. NCAA All-American: 3rd place on Vault
    • NCAA Individual Qualifier on Floor, Vault, and High Bar multiple years
  2. P&G US Championship Finalist

    Finished as high as 4th on Vault and 10th on Floor

  3. 3-time National Champion at USA Gymnastics Men’s Collegiate Championships – once on Floor and twice on Vault
    • 6-time USA Gymnastics Collegiate All-American – 2 times each on Floor, Vault, and High Bar
  4. William and Mary All-time record holder:
    • 1st on Floor with a 15.3
    • 1st on Vault with a 15.4
    • 2nd on High Bar with a 14.85
  5. Numerous Athletic and Academic Awards
    • 3-time All-ECAC for winning Floor and Vault, 3rd on High Bar
    • Bruce Davidson Award – given to the “Most Outstanding Rising Senior Athlete” at William and Mary
    • 3-time 1st Team Academic All-American; contributing to three consecutive National Academic Team Titles
    • 6-time ECAC and CGA Weekly Award Winner
    • The Rock Award – given to the hardest working gymnast who can always be counted on when the going gets tough
    • 4-time Provost Award Winner from William and Mary for maintaining a cumulative GPA above a 3.5
    • 2-time SAAC Outstanding Service Award – Awarded to the Men’s Gymnastics team in both 2015 and 2016
      • Canned Food Drive – annually collects 3,000 pounds of food for the local food pantry
      • National Eating Disorder Association walk – annual walk to raise funds for the Association and awareness about the issue
      • Community Gymnastics Program – volunteers up to two hours a week teaching kids from the local community

Neal Courter Nissen-Emery

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  • Wang Action
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NAME: Timothy Wang
SCHOOL: U.S. Air Force Academy
MAJOR: Management
GPA: 2.51

FIVE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. 3X CGA Gymnast of the week, 2X MPSF Gymnast of the week
  2. 2X NCAA All American (Pommel Horse-2014 & 2016), 3X USAG All American (2014 & 2016 – Pommel Horse, 2016 – All Around), USAG All Around Champion 2016
  3. 3X Winter Cup Finalist, Qualifier to P&G Championships
  4. 2016-2017 Team Captain
  5. Full list of accomplishments attached

Tim Wang Nissen-Emery

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  • Liebler Head
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NAME: Zach Liebler
SCHOOL: University of Minnesota
MAJOR: Business Marketing – Minor: Sport Management
GPA: 3.381

BEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. Holds third-highest score on floor exercise in NCAA history with a 16.150.
  2. Three-time All-American, earning two honors in 2016 and one in 2015. Placed seventh on vault with a 15.100, and eighth on floor exercise with a 14.650 in 2016. Earned bronze on floor
    exercise with a 15.575 in 2015.
  3. Minnesota record holder on floor exercise (16.150), also has the top-four highest floor exercise scores in program history (16.150, 15.800, 15.600, 15.575).
  4. Has earned nine individual event titles in regular season competition.
  5. Team Captain for the 2016-17 season.
  6. Has earned Minnesota team awards including: 2016 Outstanding Accomplishment, 2015 NCAA Outstanding Competitor, 2014 Freshman of the Year.
  7. Holds a 3.381 GPA and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten and was named a 2016 CGA All-America Scholar-Athlete.
  8. Has held two internships: Marketing and Social Media Strategy Intern at Grant Enterprises LLC (November 2016-Present) and Sales and Marketing Intern at North Star Resource Group (July 2016-August 2016).
  9. 2016 Finalist for the Rochester Area Sports Banquet Male Athlete of the Year.

“Zach Liebler has been a force in our program since his arrival as a freshman in the Fall of 2013. His innate abilities and extreme knowledge of the sport on so many levels have made him one of the best gymnasts I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with in my many years as a collegiate coach.

Working with Zach over the past four years has given me an insight into him as a person of extreme integrity and character. Zach is a thoughtful teammate and an exceptional coach in the gym. Many people as talented as him sometimes struggle getting their point across while helping to coach their teammates. Not Zach. He is a master of breaking things down to provide amazing nuggets of valuable technical information that have helped bring his teammates up to a higher level.

He is an independent thinker and has provided some excellent input regarding our program, our recruiting, and our facility. In all three of these areas, he has had a positive impact and is an excellent spokesperson for both the University of Minnesota and the Men’s Gymnastics Program.” –Head Coach Mike Burns

Zach Liebler Nissen-Emery

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