COLUMBUS, Ohio DJ Bucher, a senior on the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team, was named a 2008 Nissen-Emery award finalist Wednesday. A six-time All-American, Bucher has been a standout for the program since his rookie season when he collected All-America honors on three events, the most by a freshman in Buckeye history.
The Mason, Ohio, native captured the 2005 and ’07 Big Ten parallel bars titles and won the 2006 Big Ten pommel horse crown. Bucher, who was voted tri-captain of the 2008 squad, is a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a 2007 CGA Second Team All-America Scholar-Athlete. In his time at Ohio State, the textiles and clothing major earned National Gymnast of the Week honors once (March 17, 2007) and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors twice (Jan. 31 and March 21, 2007). In addition, he has tallied 29 career first-place finishes wearing the Scarlet and Gray.
Bucher qualified for seven of the last nine USA Gymnastics’ VISA Championships and was named to the 2002 and ’05 U.S. Senior National teams.
Four Buckeyes have won the award, including Mike Racanelli in 1990, Kip Simons in 1994, Blaine Wilson in 1997 and Jamie Natalie in 2001. Only Oklahoma has had more gymnasts garner the recognition with five winners. Tied with Ohio State is Southern Connecticut State with four honorees. Since 1999, the OSU program has produced a candidate to the award’s finalists list eight of the last 10 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 Nissen-Emery Award Finalists:
DJ Bucher, Ohio State
Wesley Haagensen, Illinois
Derek Helsby, Penn State
Jonathan Horton, Oklahoma
Tim McNeill, California
David Sender, Stanford
Luke Vexler, Temple