Stanford's senior captains Andrew Bitner and Blake Sun have been named finalists for the 2021 Nissen-Emery Award.
The duo joins Cameron Bock (Michigan), Bennet Huang (Iowa), Matt Wenske (Oklahoma) and Shane Wiskus (Minnesota) as finalists for the prestigious award.
The Nissen-Emery award is given annually to the top senior gymnast in the nation. Recognized as the highest honor in the sport, it will be presented next month at the NCAA Championship Banquet in Minneapolis, Minn.
Sun is a two-time All-American on parallel bars, capturing the honors in 2018 and 2019. The national runner-up in the event at the 2019 NCAA Championships, he placed fifth at the Championships in 2018. Bitner also earned All-America honors in 2019 while helping guide Stanford to a national title, earning his accolade on still rings after finishing fourth overall.
Stanford boasts five previous Nissen-Emery Award recipients, including Akash Modi (2017), Eddie Penev (2013), Dan Gill (2004), Josh Stein (1995) and Steve Hug (1974). Bitner and Sun are looking to become the fourth honoree mentored by head coach Thom Glielmi joining Modi, Penev and Gill.
The Cardinal has claimed 25 finalists for the award since its inception in 1966.
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 Nissen-Emery Award is inscribed with the following motto: "The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially, and morally".