Gymnast Travis Romagnoli Finalist for Nissen Award
March 6, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois gymnast Travis Romagnoli has been named one of 10 finalist for the coveted Nissen Award, given annually to the nation's top gymnast at the NCAA Championships. The award is named for George Nissen, one of the original developers of gymnastics equipment. The 83-year old is notorious for completing a handstand before the presentation of the award at the annual banquet.
Romagnoli was the 1998 NCAA All-Around and Vault national champion as well as Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and Big Ten High Bar Champion. He has earned All-America honors seven times in his three-year career and has twice been named an Academic All-American with a 3.54 in bioengineering. Romagnoli suffered a hand injury prior to the '99 Big Ten Championships that kept him from defending his title a year ago.
Romagnoli joins nine other seniors as finalists: Lalo Haro of Michigan, Jason Katsampes of Stanford, Jeff LaVallee of UMass, Huy Ly of Okahoma, Michael Moran of Temple, Michael Morgan of Ohio State, Brandon Stefaniak of Penn State, Todd Strada of Iowa and Guard Young of BYU.
An Illinois gymnast has not won the award since 1989 when David Zeddies was named the Nissen Award winner after the team's national championship campaign.