March 12, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army senior Kip Webber (Boxborough, Mass.) was named a finalist for the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award in Wednesday's announcement by the College Gymnastics Association.
Presented annually to the nation's outstanding senior gymnast, Webber is the sixth Black Knight named a finalist and the second selected the last two years joining former teammate Garrek Hojan-Clark, who was among last year's nominees.
One of nine finalists for the award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy of gymnastics, Webber is joined by Donothan Bailey (California), Zack Chase (Minnesota), Preston Ellsworth (Oklahoma), Adrian Evans (Penn State), Landon Funiciello (William & Mary), Sam Mikulak (Michigan), Michael Newburger (Ohio State), and Chris Turner (Stanford).
The winner will be announced at the College Gymnastics Association Awards Banquet Wednesday, April 9, in Ann Arbor, Mich., the site of the 2014 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships.
The highest honor in collegiate gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery award has been presented annually since 1966 to an outstanding senior gymnast based on his achievement, sportsmanship and academic excellence and the award is inscribed with the following motto:
"The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially, and morally."
All six Army finalists for the Nissen-Emery Award matriculated under present head coach Doug Van Everen. Among that list are Hojan-Clark (2013), Troy Pazcoguin (2002), Scott Harris (2001), Steve Marshall (1996), Imad Haque (1994).
Webber ranks among the national leaders and is the school record holder in all three of his events. He is currently ranked 19th on still rings (14.85 avg.) and vault (14.783) and lists 36th in floor exercise (14.517).
His school mark of 15.45 on vault was recorded two weeks ago, along with tying his Academy record on still rings (15.1) in the home finale against Springfield. Webber's school mark of 15.25 in floor exercise was posted last year.
"It is a tremendous honor for Kip and West Point as well as our program," stated Van Everen. "It is an amazing group of candidates for the highest honor for this coveted award that is bestowed upon a gymnast.
"When you think about West Point, you also think about leadership and academic excellence that everyone on our team represents."
Webber has qualified three times for the NCAAs, twice as an all-arounder (2011 and 2013) and once on floor exercise (2010). Last year he finished fifth in the prequalifying session to advance to the preliminary round for the second time in his career, but first as an all-around.
The native of Massachusetts was crowned an ECAC all-around champion in 2013, along with earning All-East honors several times. The Civil Engineering major with a 3.293 grade point average is a three-time Academic All-American earning first-team honors in 2010 and 2011 and second team in 2013.
Army opens postseason competition March 21-22 at the USAG Collegiate Championships hosted by Navy.
2014 Nissen-Emery Award Finalists:
Donothan Bailey (California)
Zack Chase (Minnesota)
Presten Ellsworth (Oklahoma)
Adrian Evans (Penn State)
Landon Funiciello (William & Mary)
Sam Mikulak (Michigan)
Michael Newburger (Ohio State)
Chris Turner (Stanford)
Kip Webber (Army)