University of Minnesota gymnast Kit Beikmann has been named a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award.
Beikmann is a team captain. The pommel horse specialist was an All-America performer on the apparatus, as well as winning the Big Ten Championship, in 2007. Last season, Beikmann was the Big Ten runner-up on the horse and was a finalist at the NCAA Championships.
He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2007 and was a second-team choice last season. Beikmann is outstanding in the classroom as well, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and College Gymnastics Association Second-Team All-Academic recognition.
Beikmann placed third on the pommel horse at this year’s Winter Cup. He is currently ranked No. 6 in the nation on the pommel horse.
Since 1966, college gymnastics' highest honor, the Nissen-Emery 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.
College gymnastics coaches, student athletes and accredited college gymnastics judges all across the nation are requested each year to submit nominations for the award. Gymnasts receiving the highest number of nominations are then placed on a final ballot and voted upon by those same coaches, athletes and judges.
The award presentation is held annually at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. 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."
Minnesota has had three Nissen-Emery Award winners in its history. Guillermo Alvarez was the most recent Gopher to take the honor back in 2005. John Roethlisberger won it in 1993 and Tim LaFleur was a Nissen-Emery winner in 1978.