April 9, 2014
Sam Mikulak Interview
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's gymnast Sam Mikulak (Corona del mar, Calif./Corona del mar) has been named the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Nissen Emery Award, given annually to the NCAA's top male gymnast. He becomes the first Wolverine gymnast to win the honor since Justin Toman in 2002.
Mikulak owns 13 NCAA All-America citations as well as five NCAA titles, two off the NCAA record held by current Nebraska assistant coach Jim Hartung. Mikulak is a three-time Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and three-time Big Ten all-around champion. The 2012 United States Olympic team member also owns a 2014 AT&T American Cup all-around title and placed fourth at the 2013 World Championships on high bar after winning the United States All-Around Championship to quality for the event in 2013.
Currently, he owns the NCAA all-around record (93.70) as well as the NCAA parallel bar record (16.10). Overall, he possesses 43 event titles in his career and is a six-time CGA National Gymnast of the Week.
"It's great anytime you can get the highest award in your sport, as we call it the Heisman of gymnastics. Michigan has had a long history of great gymnastics, but we have only had two recipients, Justin Toman back in 2002 and now Sam. It is very, very special," said Michigan head coach Kurt Golder. "Hopefully, we gain a little more confidence and gain a little momentum that helps us throughout the competition in the coming day."
Established in 1966, the Nissen Emery Award is college gymnastics' highest honor and is funded through an endowment established by Dr. Robert W. Emery, the 1969 winner.
The Nissen Emery Award honors the collegiate senior male gymnast who has not only established an outstanding record of achievement during his college career but also an athlete who has demonstrated good sportsmanship, fair play and a high standard of athletic excellence.
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.
Mikulak looks to lead the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA titles beginning Thursday (April 10) at 7 p.m. in session II of the 2014 NCAA National Championships at Crisler Center. The Wolverines look to defend their 2013 title in the first hosting for an NCAA competition on the U-M campus since 1971. [ Tickets Available ]
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