COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sean Melton, a senior on the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team, was named the 2018 Nissen-Emery Award winner, the Collegiate Gymnastics Association announced Thursday night. The award, which is college gymnastics’ highest honor, is presented annually to that year’s outstanding senior gymnast.
Melton, a nine-time All-American and seven-time Big Ten champion is the fifth Buckeye to garner the award, joining Jamie Natalie (2001), Blaine Wilson (1997), Kip Simons (1994) and Mike Racanelli (1990). In addition, junior Alec Yoder was named CGA Pommel Horse Event Specialist of the Year and CGA MVP.
Yoder (pommel horse) and Melton (still rings) own the highest scores nationally this season on their respective events. Yoder’s career best tally of 15.500 at the dual meet against Nebraska (Jan. 20) ranks No. 2 in school history behind Michael Newburger’s 16.250 in 2014. Melton registered his season best on the rings in his 2018 debut against Nebraska with a 15.150. Yoder, a two-time first team All-Big Ten pick and five-time All-American, also owns the No. 3 parallel bar routine in the nation with a 14.650. Yoder and Melton have combined to win 18 event titles this season.
Yoder’s national qualifying average of 15.063 on the pommel horse is second nationally and the 83.150 in the all-around is the top average in the NCAA; he also ranks fifth on the parallel bars (14.213). Melton owns the third-best NQA on the still rings with a 14.625 average and parallel bars at 14.263.
The Buckeyes open NCAA Championships in the second session at 8 p.m. ET Friday at UIC Pavilion.