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Quick Hits: 2014 Winter Cup Challenge – Session 1



LAS VEGAS, NV – Welcome to Vegas, Gymternet! The men are currently warming up, so let’s take a moment to cover the basics about this competition.

What’s going on today? The juniors and seniors will be competing in two sessions. Session 1 starts at 1pm PST, and Session 2 starts at 6:30pm PST.

Who advances to the finals on Saturday, February 22? Short answer: Roughly half the field. The long answer:

  • The top 24 gymnasts from the all-around competition
  • Also: The top 18 individual event point winners (not included among the top 24 all-arounders)
  • Finally, the top 3 athletes on each event.

How does the Winter Cup point system work? The top 20 gymnasts on each event receive points. 1st place receives 20 points, and 20th place receives 1 point. If there’s a tie for, say, 2nd place, both gymnasts will receive 19 points, and the next gymnast in line will receive 17 points.

Notable names in this session:

  • Danell Leyva, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the all-around. (He’s also winning the short shorts contest in warm-ups.)
  • Jake Dalton, the 2013 Winter Cup Champion and the 2013 American Cup Champion
  • Steven Legendre, the 2013 World silver medalist on vault
  • Chris Brooks, who may be warming up a Blanik on vault! EEE!
  • Alex Naddour, a member of the 2011 U.S. World team that won bronze
  • Bobby Baker, the man with the full-twisting double front
  • CJ Maestas, the Illinois gymnast who finished 7th in the all-around at the 2012 Olympic Trials (He also has a HUGE cheering section here. They’re all wearing deer hunter/Illinois orange.)
  • Trevor Howard, the 2013 NCAA Floor Champion from Penn State
  • Michael Squires, the 2013 NCAA Rings Champion from Oklahoma
  • Fred Hartville, the 2013 NCAA Vault Champion from Illinois


Rotation 1

Hartville on FX: Back 1.5 to front double (Fall); Korobchynski; Wide-arm press handstand; Arabian double tuck; Short on his triple and a big hop forward on the landing.

Bobby Baker on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5; A little form in the air and a hop on the landing

Barrus on VT: Yurchenko 1.5 with a hop forward on the landing

Emyre Cole on FX: This kid has some ups!!! Arabian double pike; Stretched Arabian to punch Barani on straight away; Double full side pass–chest low; Full-twisting double tuck dismount. (The score will be low because it is not a really hard routine, but we’re talking Simone Biles hops!)

Trevor Howard on VT: Nice block off the table for his Kasamatsu 1.5. Big step on the landing.

Danell Leyva on HB: Kasamatsu full; little step on the landing. Probably a good move not to go for the extra half twist.

Yul Moldauer on HB: Yamawaki; Adler 1/1 with a bit of form; Repeats the element; Kovacs–knees together; Big pop on the Rybalko, but shoulders give out a bit and does more of a hop 1.25; Fights through an Endo; Quast (Hop full); Only does his full-twisting double layout instead of his triple-twisting double layout. Bummer!

Powarzynski on PB: Peach to handstand; Giant to handstand; Back toss with 1/4 turn to single rail; Moy to hands; Stutz, Straddle cut; Double pike goes way up in the air, but not a lot of rotation; Lands with chest down

Maestas on FX: Double-double to open; Front double to punch front full; sneaks the front full to his feet. Back 2.5 to Barani; Nice Korobchynski (stretched Thomas); Full-twisting double tuck to finish with a hop back

Chris Brooks on PH: Stayed on, but didn’t see the entire routine, as CJ Maestas was competing at the same time.

Chandler Eggleston on FX: Front double full to a really low Barani; almost gave himself a hair cut; Double-double as second pass; Back 2.5 to punch front full; Split to press handstand; Korobchynski (Stretched Thomas); Back 1.5 to Rudi; Triple twist with a hop to finish. (Bummed that he got nixed his double Arabian punch front full)

Steven Jaciuk on HB: Yamawaki; Stalder to handstand; Tkatchev; Tkatchev 1/2; 1-armed front giant with 1/1; Endo; Full-twisting double layput; Chest low on the landing. (He’s a tall one)

Kevin Wolting on SR: Troubles on his uprise to straddle planche; Legs came down and then back up; Double back with 1.5 twists to finish.


Rotation 2


Alex Naddour on PH: Bwd scissors to handstand; Flairs up to handstand; Flop work; And he’s off doing a loop on the end on pommel horse; Magyar on the end; Legs come apart on his Wu; And he’s off again! OH NOES! (Insert Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day reference here) Finishes the routine with travel down; travel back and handstand pirouettes off.

Lacombe on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5; Pretty good block; big step on the landing

Bailey on VT: Kasamatsu full; chest low on the landing

Chris Brooks on SR: Uprise to planche; Maltese with shoulders a little high; Kip through to Maltese;Yamawaki; Jonasson (Double pike between rings); Past handstand and muscles it back; Double back with 1.5 to finish; General consensus around me: Brooks is even more beefier than he was in 2012.

Danell Leyva on PB: Peach to handstand; Peach 1/1; Single rail with momentary hold; Giant 1.5; Giant full; Little rough on his straddle cut; Front uprise to front double tuck; A really, really slow front double tuck–Needs more heel drive on the dismount

Johnny Jacobson: Kasamtasu; Big hop back

CJ Maestas on PH: Struggles on his handstand pirouette travel; Does a froggy Wu (?) travel and whacks his thigh against the pommels; Ouch. Struggles on his scissors to handstand; Falls out of his pirouette on pommels. Rough routine for CJ. 🙁

Bobby Baker on PB: Didn’t see the entire routine, but it looked fairly clean

Landon Funicello on FX: Front double full to punch front; Running front double pike–Giving Brenna Dowell a run for her money! Double full with a bit of form; a whippy stretched Arabian 1 3/4; Running double front to finish.

Lots of guys wearing shoes on floor. I wonder if they have sweaty feet like Terin Humphrey.

Ellis Mannon: Back 1.5 to Barani; Really long flair sequence; Manna–not quite all the way parallel to the floor; Arabian pike in the straight away (Single Arabian–not a double; He’s not Denis Ablyazin, and his ankles probably feel much better.) Back 2.5 to finish.


Rotation 3


Bower on FX: Big Full-in to open; Back 2.5 to a Barani; He got NO bounce into the Barani; I doubt that there was a dead spot in the floor, but that’s kind of what it looked like; Arabian to punch front full; Back double full; Back 1.5 to front layout; Man wipe into a shoulder shrug before his double Arabian dismount; Big squat; He’s got some quads of steel

Chris Brooks on VT: Doesn’t through the Blanik; Just a handspring double front with a nice cowboy and a bit of a hop on the landing;

Danell Leyva on HB: Yin Alvarez is staring down the judges, as they are taking a long time to score the previous routine; A few Yin claps before the routine; Adler 1/1; Lots of height on the Yamawaki; Misses his stretched Kovacs and hits the mat hard; Ugh, I have a headache just thinking about it; Gets back up; Repeats the skill, Misses his right grip and he’s off again.

Ellis Mannon on PH: His flairs are LOVELY! More of this, please!

Danell Leyva on HB: The third time is the charm; Kolman; barely gets right hand on the bar; Kind of crazy flegs on his Stalder 1.5; Yin yells, “YESSOOOOOOO!” as Danell does his double-double dismount

CJ Maestas on SR: Maltese to start; lowers to cross; Uprise to inverted cross; A little high; Yamawaki (Double front) to Jonasson (double front pike) to uprise to Maltese; Uprise to planche; Tucked double double to finish–looks like he took a step on the landing

Van Wicklen on FX: Whip 1/2 to front 2/1. Back 2.5 to Barani; Back 1.5 to front full; Left split to press handstand; Korobchynski; Double full side pass;  BIIIIG man wipe; Double Arabian to end; hop on the landing;

I think that Van Wicklen has the prettiest roundoff back handspring in the competition.

Bobby Baker on HB: Endo to Endo 1/1; Yamawaki; He’s a big fan of one-armed giants; Quast (hop full); Weiler kip; Launches his triple back waaaaaay out and safety rolls forward out of it; Gah! His dismount was Trent-Dimas awesome in warmups!


Rotation 4


Bailey on HB: Endo 1/1; Yamawaki; Adler 1/1 but doesn’t make it over the bar; Tkatchev; Endo; Adler 1/1; Full-twistind boule layout.

Danell Leyva on FX: Double-double layout; Step; Tamayo; Thomas (Back 1.5 with 1.5 twists); Manna–not quite all the way to parallel; Front full to Rudi; Whip to back 2.5 to tuck barani; Yin clap before the final pass; Double layout dismount and Yin is yelling and running before he even takes off for the double layout

Bobby Baker on FX: Opens with a front double full; Tucked double Arabian; Handspring double front; hitch kick to corner (YAY! The hitch kick is still alive!) Triple twist to finish.

No full-twisting double front! Breaking my heart! 🙁 🙁 🙁

Chris Brooks on PB: Hit routine; Double front stuck landing

CJ Maestas on VT: Yurchenko 2/1 with a hop back

Fred Hartville on VT: Fall on his Shewfelt (Yurchenko 2.5)

Landon Funicello on SR: Azarian roll to Maltese; Uprise to Maltese; press to plnache; Jonasson; Azarian to iron cross; Another cross; Uprise to planche (little fast); Struggles on a handstand; Full-twisting double layout to end

Trevor Howard on FX: Tamayo with a bit of bent knees; Layout to front double pike; Back 2.5 to front full; Little off direction; Korobchynski (but major pike); Wide-arm press handstand; Front double full to Barani; Barely made the front double full around; Stuck double Arabian in a deep squat

Kiwan Watts on HB: Yamawaki; Stalder to 1/2; Healy; Jam; Endo;  1/2 pirouette; Stalder; Full-twisting double layout

Yul Moldauer on SR: Just caught the tail end; Clean giants into a double-double tucked


Rotation 5


Langenstein on FX: Tamayo with a bit of form; Whip to double Arabian; step on the landing; Wide-arm press handstand; Falls on his front layout to double front; Back 2.5; Double layout; Knees close to his face on that landing;

Danell Leyva on PH: And he’s off;

CJ Maestas on PB: Falls on his double front dismount; and gets up grabbing his wrist!

That was a really rough patch there! Three falls happening simultaneously! Gym gods, what are you doing to us?

Ellis Mannon: Yurchenko double; steps off to the side onto the extra crash mats

Bobby Baker on PH: He’s off, too! The pommel horse is a man eater today!

Yul Moldauer on VT: Came onto the table awkwardly on his Yurchenko and does a layout off; He does NOT look happy, and neither does his coach.

Cameron Bock on VT: A little short on his Kasamatsu double; Good that he put the vault to his feet; He looked really bummed heading into this rotation; He fell on his rings dismount.

Ellsworth on FX: A lovely double layout to open! A fair number of the youngsters are doing double layouts! Nice to see something besides an Arabian

Squires on SR: Maltese; Azarian roll to cross; Uprise to inverted cross (Slowly lowers and lowers and lowers); uprise to planche; Uprise to Maltese; Nakayama to cross; Uprise to handstand–Good; Full-twisting double layout–couldn’t see the landing

Brooks on HB: Yamawaki 1/2; Adler 1/2 to stretched Tkatchev; Adler 1/1 to Yamawaki; Stalder 1/1 and back down (The whirly twirly skill that was so popular among the Chinese at the Universiade); Double-double layout to finish

Dalton on SR: Kip through to Maltese; Press to planche; Azarian roll to cross (good level); Jonasson with knees bent a bit to Yamawaki to Maltese; Planche; Tucked double double with a hop on the landing;

Lacombe on FX: Piked double Arabian; Front double to a front-ish full-ish-side somi-ish; Running double front in the diagonal; Wide-arm press handstand; Man wipe as the warning bell rings; Tucked double Arabian to finish

Craig Hernandez on PH: Awesome flop work! Really clean routine! Team USA could use that on pommels!

Bailey on FX: Sticks his back 2.5 to end.

CJ Maestas has his grips on! It looks like he will be fine after his p-bar dismount!


Rotation 6


Danell Leyva and Chris Brooks are tied right now with a 71.400 in the all-around. It’s Vegas, so cast your bets now!

Bernardini on VT: Kasamatsu full; Little shuffle on the landing

Robin on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5; Lots of fist pumping going on after that vault! (Opinion: I prefer the MAG college fist pump to the WAG college screech.)

Joey Peters on HB: Yamawaki to begin; Adler 1/2; Kovacs — a little too close to the bar; has to take an extra swing; double double layout to his knees. Bummer.

Bobby Baker on SR: Another triple! This one went much better than the one on high bar!

Powarzynski on VT: Really low landing on his Kasamatsu double, but his feet don’t move!

Ellis Mannon on PB: Kip to L up to handstand; Peach to handstand; Giant handstand; Stutz; Moy to hands; Half pirouette; Flip to hands; Back toss with 1/4 to single rail; Diamadov… Switching focus over to FX and HB.

Chris Brooks on FX: Double Arabian pike; Front layout to punch double front; Front full to double full; Korobchynski; Double full to finish

CJ Maestas on HB: Clips his feet on his Yamawaki; and then he’s super close to the bar on his stretched double double; EEK!

Trevor Howard on SR: Maltese; Nakayama to cross; Yamwaki; Jonasson; Uprise to cross; Uprise to handstand; Tucked double double with a step on the landing;

Danell Leyva on SR: Yin clap to start the routine; kip to a Maltese that was at like a 45-degree angle; Jonasson to Yamawaki; Whip-it cross with a little swing to the side; Uprise to straddle planche; Straddle L; Press to handstand; Front giant; Back giant with a little sag in the arms; Full-twisting double layout with a step on the landing

Chris Brooks has an 85.800; Waiting on Danell’s score now

Cameron Bock on PB: Straddle cut; Peach to handstand; Giant to handstand; Giant back with 1/2; Stutz; Front uprise to handstand; Long hold on the handstand; Diamadov; Tippelt; Back double pike with a step back; Good finish for him!

And Chris Brooks comes out on top!

1. Chris Brooks, 85.800

2. Danell Leyva, 84.400

3. Donathan Bailey, 84.000

4. Allan Bower, 83.750

5T. CJ Maestas, 83.600

5T. Alec Robin, 83.600


A Few Videos:

Colin Van Wicklen, the guy who has perhaps the prettiest roundoff backhandspring in the competition!

YouTube player

Michael Squires, currently the high scorer on rings!

YouTube player


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Illini men's gym
Illini men's gym
10 years ago

We’re pretty sure that Illini Fred Hartville was the 2013 NCAA Vault Champion, not Alec Robin.

10 years ago

Wow, that Colin guy is a total Kristian Thomas look-a-like …

10 years ago
Reply to  Christian

And he’s REALLY good! Impeccable form! 🙂

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