LAS VEGAS, Nev., Feb. 17, 2016 – The country’s top male gymnasts are headed to Las Vegas Nev., for the 2016 Winter Cup Challenge, Feb. 18-20, at the Cashman Convention Center. Performances at the 2016 Winter Cup will determine eight members of the 2016 U.S. Men’s National Team through the 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships, June 3-5, in Hartford, Conn. Competition begins on Feb. 18 with the two preliminary sessions, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. PT. The Winter Cup concludes on Feb. 20 at 7:15 p.m. PT.

Defending all-around champion Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), is in the field that includes five of his 2016 World Championships teammates Chris Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton (Universal Gymnastics); Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton (Ohio State University). Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), was the alternate.

2012 Olympians Jake Dalton of Sparks, Nev./Team Hilton (University of Oklahoma), Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), and John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), are expected to compete along with fellow 2012 Olympians Dalton and Leyva. Other senior national team members registered for the 2016 Winter Cup Challenge are Eddie Penev of Rochester, N.Y./Team Hilton, and CJ Maestas of Corrales, N.M./U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Performances at the 2016 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships in Hartford, Conn. June 3-5. The six members of the 2015 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.

Several ticket options are available: both Winter Cup preliminary sessions, $25; Winger Cup finals, $25; and all-event pass, which includes both the Winter Cup and BlackJack Men’s Championship, $50 for adults and $40 for children/students. Athletes participating in the BlackJack Championships may purchase tickets for the Winter Cup finals for $15, with a $25 ticket for coaches.

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