INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 5, 2013 – 2012 all-around bronze-medalist Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Gymnastics, and his Olympic teammates Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma, and Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, will compete at the 2013 Winter Cup Challenge. The event, scheduled for Feb. 7-9 at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Sports Center, kicks off the Road to the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Joining Dalton, Leyva and Mikulak in Las Vegas is Alex Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center, who served as one of the replacement athletes for the 2012 Olympic Games. Jonathan Horton and Chris Brooks, both of Houston/Cypress Gymnastics, along with Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./University of Oklahoma, have withdrawn from the competition.
Representing 13 colleges, 44 current and former collegiate gymnasts, including five members of the 2012 U.S. Senior National Team, are expected to compete. Glen Ishino of Santa Ana, Calif./University of California – Berkeley, and Brandon Wynn of Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State University, join Dalton and Mikulak in the field. Pennsylvania State University leads the entries with seven, followed by Ohio State University and Stanford University (six); Cal – Berkeley, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan (four); the University of Minnesota (three); U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Iowa, and University of Nebraska (two); and the University of Illinois – Chicago, U.S. Military Academy, University of Oklahoma and Temple University (one).
Thirteen members of the U.S. junior national team are scheduled to compete, including reigning all-around champions Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Paragon Gymnastics, 16-18, and Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners, 14-15. Joining Whittenburg and Kimble are: Allan Bower of Chandler, Ariz./ Xtreme Gymnastics; Tristan Burke of Royse City, Texas/WOGA; Jonathan Deaton of Longmeadow, Mass./Stanford University; Fabian DeLuna of Frisco, Texas/WOGA; David Jessen of East Greenwich, R.I./Rhode Island Sports Elite; Hunter Justus of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy; Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Monmouth Gymnastics; Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics; Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics Training Center; and Timothy Wang of Riverside, Calif./Colorado Training Center.
Performances at the 2013 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2013 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Hartford, Conn., Aug. 15-18. The eight members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic squad retain their spots on the national team. The remaining seven spots will be determined based on the following criteria: the top two ranked all-around athletes who are not already on the senior national team; two based on the National Team Points System; two athletes selected by the Men’s Program Committee; and one selected by the national team coordinator
The Winter Cup competition schedule is: preliminary rounds, Feb. 7 – 11 a.m., and 4:30 p.m.; and final round, Feb. 9 at 7:15 p.m. Tickets will be on sale on competition day. The Winter Cup format has junior and senior gymnasts competing in the same field.
The top 42 gymnasts, according to the Men’s Program Committee’s points ranking system, will advance to the final competition, along with the top three gymnasts on each apparatus. The 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, go to www.usagym.org.