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Bateman becomes ninth Buckeye in 11 years to make the prestigious list

COLUMBUS, Ohio Jake Bateman, a senior and two-time captain of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team, was named a 2009 Nissen-Emery award finalist by the College Gymnastics Association.

As he did a season ago, Bateman has performed well for the Buckeyes in the all-around in 2009, including a season-high 88.65 in the all-around vs. Michigan (March 21). In six meets this season, the Kingsport, Tenn., native and product of Premier Athletics has recorded four first-places finishes, one each on floor (15.1; Feb. 21 UIC), vault (15.6; Jan. 17 Windy City Invite) and high bar (15.3; March 21 Michigan), as well as an all-around win (86.1; Feb. 28 Penn State). Bateman has tallied two or more team-best scores in four of his five meets this season.

The Big Ten freshman of the year in 2006, Bateman earned his first All-America honor in the all-around with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA championships. He finished second in the all-around at the 2008 Big Ten Championships to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. Studying biology at Ohio State, the polished athlete also is a leader in the classroom as a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-American and First Team All-District selection.

Four Buckeyes have won the award, including Mike Racanelli in 1990, Kip Simons in 1994, Blaine Wilson in 1997 and Jamie Natalie in 2001. In the last 20 years, only Oklahoma has had more gymnasts garner the recognition with five winners. Illinois, Minnesota and Stanford each have had two honorees since 1989. Since 1999, the Scarlet and Gray have produced a candidate to the award’s finalists list nine of the last 11 seasons.

Each year, the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award is presented to the nation’s outstanding senior male collegiate gymnast. In addition to excellence in the sport, the winner also must be an example of good sportsmanship and maintain a high standard of scholarship throughout his college career.

The winner will be announced at the College Gymnastics Association Banquet April 15 in Minneapolis, Minn., the site of the 2009 National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics Championships.

The Nissen-Emery Award Finalists:
Jake Bateman (Ohio State)
Chris Brooks (Oklahoma)
Kit Beikmann (Minnesota)
Kyson Bunthuwong (California)
Philip Goldberg (Michigan)
Sho Nakamori (Stanford)
T.J. Schmidt (Nebraska)
Jacob Schonig (Air Force)