Modi leads after first day of competition at Winter Cup Challenge
posted on 02/17/2017

© John Cheng

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 16, 2017 – Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University posted the top score in the all-around after the second of two preliminary sessions on the opening day of competition at the Winter Cup Challenge at Westgate Las Vegas Resort. Competition concludes Saturday at 10 p.m. ET with the finals, which will be webcast live at WinterCup.com/live.

Modi leads the combined, two-session standings with an 86.300 behind event scores of 14.550, floor exercise; 13.900, pommel horse; 14.100, still rings; 14.500; vault; 14.850, parallel bars; 14.400, horizontal bar. Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo., and Allan Bower of Mesa, Ariz., both of whom train at the University of Oklahoma, are currently tied for second place with matching 84.850 totals.

In the first session, Brandon Briones of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness posted scores of 13.900, floor, 12.550, pommel horse, 13.600, still rings, 14.250, vault, 13.300, parallel bars, and 13.100, horizontal bar, for an 80.750 total in the all-around. Hunter Justus of Cypress, Texas/University of Oklahoma, 80.700, and Johnny Jacobson of Syracuse, Utah/University of Illinois, 78.400, rounded out the top three.

Two-time Olympian and four-time U.S. champion Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center, suffered an injury in his first rotation on the floor exercise and could not continue to compete. The initial diagnosis is an Achilles tendon injury.

Performances at the 2017 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men's Senior National Team through the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 17-20. Following the two-day competition, the top four ranked all-around athletes will automatically qualify for the 2017 senior national team. The Men’s Program Committee will select up to eleven more gymnasts from the participants at the Winter Cup Challenge. The members of the 2016 Olympic team, plus the alternates, will automatically retain their spots on the national team provided they earn National Points on both days of competition.

The top 42 gymnasts, according to the all-around placements and 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, click here.

The Winter Cup competition schedule is: preliminary rounds, Feb. 16 - 1 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.; and final round, Feb. 18 at 7:15 p.m. 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. 15 and on both competition days. The Winter Cup format has junior and senior gymnasts competing in the same field.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, and group gymnastics (known internationally as Gymnastics for All). For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.