March 30, 2004
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior gymnast Bob Rogers (Nathan Hale HS, West Allis, Wisc.) has been named a finalist for the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award. Considered the Heisman Trophy of college gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery Award is presented to the top collegiate senior gymnast each year. The Award was founded by trampoline inventor George Nissen and has been handed out annually since 1966.
Rogers, in his second season as a team co-captain, has helped lead the Illini to an outstanding season. Illinois has been ranked No. 1 for nearly half the season, broken countless school records and most recently won its first Big Ten Team title in 15 years. At the conference championships, Rogers advanced to event finals on floor exercise and pommel horse. He wound up taking second place on pommel horse with a score of 9.750 and fifth on the floor with a 9.200. In 2003, he became an All-American on floor exercise after taking sixth place on the event at the NCAA Championships. Heading into NCAA's this year, he is ranked No. 3 in the nation on pommel horse and No. 10 on floor.
The winner the Nissen-Emery Award, along with several other awards - including regional Coach of the Year and national Assistant Coach of the Year, will be announced at a the annual College Gymnastics Association (CGA) banquet. The banquet will take place at the Holiday Inn in Urbana, Ill. on Thursday, April 1, the day before the NCAA Championships get underway on the campus of the University of Illinois.
Rogers is trying to become Illinois' first Nissen Award winner since David Zeddies took home the honor in 1989. The other finalists for the award include Jeff Anderson of Air Force, David Eaton of California, Dan Gill of Stanford, Jamie Houle of Ohio State, Jamie Northrup of William & Mary, Quinn Rowell of Oklahoma and Kevin Tan of Penn State.
Competition at the 2004 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships gets underway at Assembly Hall on Friday, April 2 at 1 p.m. with the first of two qualifying sessions. Session II will take place Friday evening at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the team and all-around champions will be crowned and on Sunday the individual event crowns will be handed out.
Tickets for the NCAA Championships can be purchased at the UI Athletic Ticket office (217-333-3470) or at the door. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students at each of Friday's sessions, and $10 for adults and $7 for students on Saturday and Sunday. All-session passes can be purchased by adults for $32 and students for $20.