Winter Cup Challenge kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 14, 2018 – 2016 Olympians Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center, and Alex Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness, along with reigning U.S. champion and World bronze medalist Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma, are expected to compete at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Feb. 15-17 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort. 2017 World team member Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee/Salto Gymnastics and 2016 Olympic alternate Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University, have also registered to compete.
USA Gymnastics will be live-streaming all three competitive sessions via its YouTube channel, with coverage beginning tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET with junior prelims. The senior competition begins at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday, and the finals are scheduled for 10:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Other U.S. senior national team members expected to compete are: Donothan Bailey of Mission Viejo, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Allan Bower of Chandler, Ariz./University of Oklahoma; Trevor Howard of Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State University; Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University; Kanji Oyama of Huntington Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Alex Powarzynski of Happy Valley, Ore./University of Oklahoma; Colin VanWicklen of Magnolia, Texas/Cypress Academy; and Alec Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind./Ohio State University.
This year’s Winter Cup Challenge will feature separate junior and senior competitive divisions.
The top three all around athletes from the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships in both the 15-16 age division and the 17-18 age division are expected to compete at the Winter Cup. Those athletes are: Brody Malone of Summerville, Ga./Cartersville Twisters; Vitaliy Guimaraes of Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics and Max Andryushchenko of Arlington Heights, Ill./Ohio State University from the 17-18 division and Garrett Brauton of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy, Paul Juda of Deerfield, Ill./Buffalo Grove Gymnastics and Riley Loos of El Dorado Hills, Calif./Technique Gymnastics from the 15-16 age group.
Performances at the 2018 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 12 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston, Aug. 16-19. Following the two-day competition, the top six ranked all-around athletes will automatically qualify for the 2018 senior national team. The Men’s Program Committee will select six more gymnasts from the participants at the Winter Cup Challenge or from petitions to the team. Based on his World Championships results, Yul Moldauer will be automatically selected to the national team if he participates at the 2018 Winter Cup and qualifies to the finals.
The first day of competition will consist of one session for the junior division and one for the senior division. The finals session will feature the top 28 senior athletes and the top 14 juniors.
Junior athletes will advance to the finals according to the all-around ranking from the first day of competition. The senior athletes will advance according to the Men’s Program Committee’s points ranking system. All-around and individual event champions will be determined via a combined two-day score. For information on the points ranking system used for advancement to the final round, as well as the one for determining the national team,
Tickets are $25 for Feb. 16 (both sessions) and Feb. 18 (finals), with an all-event pass for $50 (which also includes access to the Black Jack Invitational). Tickets may be purchased on site on the afternoon of Feb. 14 and on both competition days. The Winter Cup format has junior and senior gymnasts competing in the same field.