Courtesy Army Athletics
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Jesse Glenn of the Army West Point gymnastics team was named the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Nissen-Emery award Thursday evening at the College Gymnastics Association (CGA) Awards Banquet being held at the Boat House at Confluence Park in Columbus, Ohio, the site for this year’s NCAA Championships.
Glenn is the first of seven Black Knight finalists to win this honor since it was established in 1966. The Nissen-Emery Award is given annually to the nation’s outstanding senior gymnast and is the most coveted award in collegiate gymnastics. The award is presented annually to an outstanding senior collegiate gymnast based on gymnastic achievement, sportsmanship and academic excellence.
“This is a big deal,” said a smiling Army head coach Doug Van Everen. “It is the highest award in the sport of gymnastics and it is not only a first for Army, but for the service academies as well. We are super proud of Jesse; he has worked hard and he deserves the recognition.
“It is a huge exposure for our program and it means that you can reach the highest level coming to West Point. Everyone knows it now. This is a big deal. There were a lot of great athletes up there and this year we got it.”
Ranked among the national leaders throughout his four years at Army, Glenn holds school marks for high bar (15.45) and all-around (88.45), to include the top ten scores in each. He ranks second all-time on parallel bars (14.7) and is among the top eight on floor exercise (15.15), still rings (14.9) and vault (15.0).
Glenn heads into his third NCAA Championship ranked No. 1 nationally on high bar with a 15.288 average, is ninth as an all-arounder (85.963) and lists in the top 28 on floor exercise (14.80), pommel horse (14.475) and vault (14.813).
The ECAC Senior Gymnast of the Year, Glenn is a nine-time conference champion – three as an all-arounder and on high bar, along with vault, parallel bars and floor exercise. A 2016 USAG National High Bar champion, he is also a nine-time USAG All-American. Glenn earned four certificates this year in all-around, high bar, parallel bars and vault, and overall is two-time selection in all-around, high bar and parallel bars.
“The award means a lot and it is pretty cool,” said Glenn who was still reeling from his selection “We are getting better as a team and this is a major benchmark along with qualifying so many guys for the NCAAs.
“This is a culmination and I am proud of this, but it is the team and the coaches pushing together. I see it as not only my award but the team’s as well, because without them pushing and encouraging me, it would not have been possible. With them pushing themselves and working just as hard, I was motivated and they were motivated and because successful with this result. I am really happy and it does a lot for the program.”
Among Glenn’s career weekly honors are three ECAC Gymnast of the Week citations, ECAC Rookie the Week, CGA Collegiate Division gymnast of the week twice, along with being selected eight times as the Army Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week.
Glenn’s highest weekly accolade was earned this year the week ending Feb. 14 when he was selected as the NCAA National Gymnast of the Week following his performance at the All-Academy Championships. He is just the second Black Knight to earn that honor and first since 2007.
The original Nissen Award was named in honor of George Nissen, a former NCAA champion, for his contributions to men’s gymnastics. The award was re-named the Nissen-Emery Award in 1998 to honor Dr. Robert Emery, a Penn State graduate, who won the Nissen Award in 1969.
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 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.
Glenn is joined by his teammates who will be competing this weekend at the NCAA Championships (Friday-Saturday) where the Black Knights will be looking to garner All-America honors and challenge for a national title. Glenn is one of two Black Knights who qualified individually as an all-arounder.