Paul Ruggeri posts top preliminary scores at Winter Cup Challenge
posted on 02/19/2015

© John Cheng

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 19, 2015 – Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University, and Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), posted the top scores in the first and second preliminary sessions, respectively, on the opening day of competition at the Winter Cup Challenge at Las Vegas’ Riviera Hotel & Casino’s Royale Pavilion. Competition continues Saturday, Feb. 21 at 10 p.m. ET with the final round of competition, which will be webcast live at WinterCup.com/live.

In the first session, Modi posted scores of 15.100, floor exercise; 11.550, pommel horse; 13.950, still rings; 14.900, vault; 14.300, parallel bars; and 14.450, high bar. He totaled an 84.250 in the all-around. C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M./University of Illinois, 84.050, and Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal), 84.000, finished second and third, respectively.

Ruggeri posted a 87.700 to top the standings in the second session. He earned scores 14.950, floor exercise; 13.650, pommel horse; 13.900, still rings; 15.350, vault; 14.350, parallel bars; and 15.500, high bar. Steven Legendre of Norman, Okla./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma), 87.600, and Donothan Bailey of Lake Forest, Calif./University of California-Berkeley, 87.500, rounded out the top three.

Performances at the 2015 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men's Senior National Team through the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships in Indianapolis Aug. 13-16. The six members of the 2014 World Championships squad, plus the alternate, retain their spots on the national team. The remaining eight spots will be determined based on the following criteria: the top three 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 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.