© John Cheng

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 15, 2018 – Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center, leads the all-around standings after the first of two days of competition at the 2018 Winter Cup Challenge. The competition is being held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas and the finals are scheduled for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. PT. Fans can watch the competition live on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

Mikulak posted scores of 14.700, floor exercise; 14.650, pommel horse; 13.500, still rings; 13.550, vault; 15.200, parallel bars; and 14.700, horizontal bar. His all-around total was 86.300. Mikulak, who won four-straight U.S. titles from 2013-2016, is returning to national competition after tearing his Achilles tendon at last year’s Winter Cup.

2017 World team member Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee/Salto Gymnastics, is currently second after posting an 83.500 in the all-around. 2016 Olympic team alternate Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University, is currently third at 83.350.

In the junior competition, Bennet Huang of Palo Alto, Calif./University of Iowa, posted a 77.600 to lead the all-around standings. Asher Hong, Tomball, Texas/Cypress Academy, was close behind with a 77.400. Kevin Penev of Penfield, N.Y./RGA, and Jeremy Bischoff of Canyon Country, Calif./Wallers GymJam, tied for third in the all-around with matching 76.600 totals.

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.

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, click here.

Tickets are $25 for Feb. 18 (finals) and may be purchased on site. The Winter Cup finals format has junior and senior gymnasts competing in the same field.