March 12, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Senior David Sender was recently named a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award by the Collegiate Gymnastics Association. The award is given annually to the nation's most outstanding senior gymnast and is considered the most coveted award in collegiate gymnastics.
The Arlington Heights, Ill. native has had an exceptional career at Stanford and is a recipient of the Stanford Block S Award for excellence in athletics and academics the past two years. He has been excellent representative of the university during his time on The Farm, both for the Cardinal and as a gymnast competing for the United States. He has been a member of the Senior Men¹s National Team for the last five years, a World Championships team member in 2006, and a collegiate All-American seven-times over in all-around, rings, vault, and parallel bars. If he earns at least two more All-America honors this season, he will break a Stanford school record. He has also won the national title in vault the last two years in the NCAA Individual Event Finals.
This season, Sender has again been a threat to opponents in every event. His season bests are 15.65 in floor, 15.2 in parallel bars, 15.5 in horizontal bar, and 90.95 in all-around. In still rings, his season best of 16.350 gives him the highest recorded score in that event in the NCAA this year.
Sender has been exceptional in the classroom as well as in the gym. As a Biological Sciences major with an interest in being a veterinarian, he has done work in the Palmer Neurosciences lab working to find ways of preventing the loss of neurological functions associated with brain tumors and surgeries. Currently, he is performing work with squirrel monkeys in a Comparative Medicine lab where, among other things, they are trying to find a model of autism in monkeys.
The Nissen-Emery Award is named in honor of George Nissen, a three-time NCAA Champion at the University of Iowa, for his contributions to the sport, and for Dr. Bob Emery, the 1969 recipient of the Nissen Award.
In addition to displaying gymnastics excellence, the winner also must fulfill the following requirements: He must be an example of good sportsmanship and fair play and must maintain a high standard of scholarship throughout his college career. The award is inscribed with the motto: "The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially and morally."
Stanford has had three gymnasts win the Nissen-Emery Award in past years: Dan Gill in 2004, Josh Stein in 1995, and Steve Hug in 1974.