Former Husker All-American men’s gymnast Anton Stephenson has been named a 2020 Today’s Top Ten Award winner, the NCAA announced on Tuesday. The prestigious award is given annually to 10 outstanding senior student-athletes from the previous academic year.
Stephenson becomes Nebraska’s nation-leading 18th NCAA Today’s Top Ten Award recipient and is the first since Mary Weatherholt (women’s tennis) in 2014. Stephenson is the third men’s gymnast to win the award following in the footsteps of Patrick Kirksey (1991) and Tom Schlesinger (1989).
A four-time All-American, Stephenson finished his impressive Husker career at the 2019 NCAA Championships where he finished third on vault and seventh in the all-around, helping Nebraska to a third-place finish, its best since 1999. A Nissen-Emery Award finalist, Stephenson also won his third straight Big Ten Vault title and was named Big-Ten Co-Gymnast of the Year as a senior.
Overall, Stephenson qualified for the individual finals at the NCAA Championships each of his four years. He was a four-time Big Ten Champion, adding a conference title on parallel bars in 2018 in addition to his three vault titles. A three-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection, Stephenson also was the 2018 Big Ten Runner-Up on floor and earned third place in the All-Around in 2017. Stephenson represented the Huskers on the international stage as well, earning the 2018 USA Vault title.
Stephenson excelled outside the gym, earning Google Cloud First-Team All-America honors in 2019. A Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Stephenson carried better than a 3.9 cumulative GPA as a nutrition and health sciences major throughout his academic career. Stephenson was named Nebraska’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year in 2019 and was an eight-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.
Active in the community, Stephenson was a four-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team and was also honored as a Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award Winner.
Stephenson was also awarded the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship and the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship. He graduated in August 2019 and currently attends medical school at UNMC in Omaha.
An NCAA Today’s Top Ten nominee must have been a varsity letter-winner, graduate with a minimum GPA of 3.300 and complete intercollegiate eligibility during the 2018-2019 academic year to be eligible. Selection for this award is based 50 percent of athletics ability and achievement, 30 percent of academic achievement, 15 percent of character, leadership and activities, and five additional percentage points may be awarded in any category.