The 2018 Winter Cup Challenge was held on February 15-17, 2018 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Who Are Expected to Compete?
Amongst the famous gymnasts who registered to compete are Alex Naddour of Gilbert Ariz./USA Youth Fitness, 2016 Olympians Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center, reigning U.S. champion and World bronze medalist Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma, 2016 Olympic alternate Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University and 2017 World team member Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee/Salto Gymnastics .
A separate junior and senior competitive division will be featured at this year’s Winter Cup Challenge.
In addition, the top three all around athletes from the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships in both the 15-16 age division and the 17-18 age division are expected to compete at the Winter Cup. These athletes are: Vitaliy Guimaraes of Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics, Brody Malone of Summerville, Ga./Cartersville Twisters and Max Andryushchenko of Arlington Heights, Ill./Ohio State University from the 17-18 division while Paul Juda of Deerfield, Ill./Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, Garrett Brauton of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy and Riley Loos of El Dorado Hills, Calif./Technique Gymnastics from the age group of 15-16.
The 12 men who will make up the U.S Men’s Senior National Team through the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships that will be held in Boston, Aug. 16-19 will be determined by the performances at the 2018 Winter Cup Challenge. Those athletes who belong to the top six ranks will be automatically qualified for the 2018 senior national team while the remaining 6 will be selected by the Men’s Program Committee or will be petitioned by the team.
One session for the junior division and one for the senior division will make up the first day of the competition. During the final sessions, the top 14 juniors and the top 28 senior athletes will be featured.
Mikulak Leads after First Day of Competition
The athlete that is leading the all-around standings after the first two days of the competition is no other than the two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Cente.
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He posted an impressive scores of 14.650, pommel horse; 14.700, floor exercise; 13.550, vault; 13.500, still rings;14.700, horizontal bar and 15.200, parallel bars. With four consecutive U.S titles from 2013-2016, Mikulak has returned to the national competition after tearing his Achilles tendon at last year’s Winter Cup.
The second spot was earned by 2017 World team member Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee/Salto Gymnastics with 83.500 points in the all-around. 2016 Olympic team alternate Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University,has earned the 3rd spot with 83.350.
Bennet Huang of Palo Alto, Calif./University of Iowa is leading the junior competition with an all-around standing of 77.600. Following close behind is Asher Hong, Tomball, Texas/Cypress Academy with 77.400. The third place is tied between Jeremy Bischoff of Canyon Country, Calif./Wallers GymJam and evin Penev of Penfield, N.Y./RGA in the all-around with matching 76.600 totals.
Yul Moldauer, a current U.S. National all-around champion, is automatically selected to be a part of the national team if he participates at the 2018 Winter Cup and qualifies to the finals.