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Quick Hits: 2014 Winter Cup Challenge – Session 2


LAS VEGAS, NV – The second session of 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 gymnasts in the second session:

  • John Orozco, the 2013 World bronze medalist on parallel bars
  • Brandon Wynn, the 2013 World bronze medalist on rings
  • Eddie Penev, the former Bulgarian/Stanford gymnast who finished sixth at the 2010 Worlds on floor
  • Akash Modi, the Stanford gymnast who is currently ranked first in the NCAA in the all-around
  • Marvin Kimble, the 2013 Junior Olympic National Champion in the all-around
  • Stacey Ervin, a member of the 2013-14 U.S. National Team
  • Josh Dixon, a member of the 2013-14 U.S. National Team
  • Donnell Whittenburg, a member of the 2013-14 U.S. National Team

Important Fact: John Orozco may be the sweetest gymnast in the world. Prior to the second session, he was trying to grab a Quizno’s sub, and all the little boy gymnasts wanted to take a picture with him. He happily obliged and signed many an autograph.

Winter Cup: The place where male gymnasts get the rockstar status that they deserve.


For the listeners who asked… Short Shorts Update: Donnell Whittenburg will be facing off with Danell Leyva in the short short finals.

Rotation 1

After a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with a lot of glockenspiel, the men are warming up for the first rotation.

Stacey Ervin on FX: Front double full to front full; STUUUUCK Tamayo (Somewhere, Jess is losing her mind.) Wide-arm press handstand; Back 2.5 to bunch Barani; Back 1.5 to Rudi with a hop forward; Korobchynski (a little lacking in height); Man wipe; Double Arabian finish.

No Katherine Grable-esque Double Arabian half-out, which he warmed up. 15.250

Akash Modi on VT: A little form on his Kasamatsu 1/1

Adrian de los Angeles on FX: Randi to open; Front double full to front rudi–almost OOB; Back 2.5 to Barani; Beautiful toe point on his flair sequence; Wide-arm press handstand; Piked down his Korobchynski (stretched Thomas); Lands on hands on his triple full–perhaps he has the chance to have a new skill? Triple-twisting back handspring?

Eddie Penev on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on + double full off; Lots of form in the air and a big step on the landing, but much better than his warmups

Fabian DeLuna on FX: Double Arabian; Huge double layout; Judge drops flag as he lifts it up for OOB; Back 1.5 to Barani; Wide-arm press handstand–so low he has to tilt his head to the side to roll out; Back double full; Back 2.5 over-rotated with big step

Marty Strech on PB:  Peach to handstand; Front uprise; Handstand pirouette; Diamadov, Giant to handstand; Tippelt; Stutz–short on handstand; Double pike to finish

Marvin Kimble on SR: Uprise to Maltese; Uprise to L-cross to Maltese; Inlocate to Yamawaki to Jonasson; L-sit press to handstand; Giant–good handstand; Full-twisting double layout (A little pikey)

John Orozco on PH: Goes for a handstand travel and collapses mid-travel; Struggles on a scissors to handstand; And he’s off; Hips really cockeyed on his traveling loops; Dismounts and sticks the landing

Jake Martin on PB: Jumping in mid-routine; Back toss with 1/4 turn to single rail; Straddle 5/4; Stutz; Double pike to a STUCK landing. Haven’t seen too many of those today!

Josh Dixon on PH: Last person up in this rotation, and it’s on pommel horse. No pressure, right? Opens with a flop sequence; Tong Fei travel; Moves into some pretty flairs and cartwheels right off the pommel horse. Catches his leg on his Russian travel, and he’s off yet again. Triple Russian into a Wende dismount.

Again, the pommel horse is a man eater today and not in a good way.


Rotation 2

Random shoutout: Steve Butcher in da house!

Adrian de los Angeles on PH: Scissors 1/2 travel to middle; Extended flop sequence–first one is good; bangs leg on the pommels on second; Stayed on; Missed his dismount a bit and just does a simple handstand off

Akash Modi on PB: Kip to L-sit to handstand; Giant to handstand; Bhavsar; 1/2 pirouette; Tippelt; Healy; Diamadov; Back uprise to handstand; Stutz; Front uprise; He threw the Kato! He threw the full-twisting double tuck! Why isn’t anyone cheering like Yin Alvarez for that?!

Marvin Kimble on VT: HUUUUUGE handspring double front; almost runs off the mats he has so much power!

Paul Hichwa on PB: Jumping in mid-routine; Moy to Healy; Falls to armpits–takes intermediary swing; Straddle cut from arm pits; Tucked double to finish

Jake Martin on HB: Nice stretched Tkatchev; Straddle tkatchev combo! Way past handstand on Adler 1/2; Rybalko; Full-twisting double layout dismount–Really, really long routine with lots of intermediary giants

McGrath on VT: Another huge handspring double front; One big step forward

Brandon Wynn on SR:  Jumping in mid-routine; Really high on whip-it cross; Azarian roll to Maltese–really good; Uprise to Maltese to cross; Uprise to handstand; Giant giant full-twisting double layout with a lovely tight arch before the landing

Sean Melton on HB: Yamawaki to open; Hop full; Kolman–looks like he starts tucking and twisting too early; Kovacs (Not connected–no Epke release combos tonight) Full-twisting double layout with flexed feet;

Stacey Ervin on PH: Scissors travel to middle; Struggles a bit on single pommel Russian; Struggling on his travels, but keeps going; Has to preeeeess up to the handstand on dismount; WERK!

Donnell Whittenburg on SR: Last competitor to go on rings; At the Houston National Invitational, he finished only 0.05 behind Brandon Wynn. Let’s see what he does here.

Cross; Maltese; Long inverted hang; Uprise to a shaking inverted cross; Jonasson (double pike); Uprise to Maltese; Nakayama to cross; Uprise to planche; Double-twisting double layout–a little bit of form in the air, but overall, a good routine! It should be a close competition!

The competitors have started warming up for rotation 3, but we’re still waiting on Whittenburg’s score.

HOLY MOTHER OF NADIA! Whittenburg just got a 15.700 on rings!


Rotation 3

During warmups, Marvin Kimble stuck his double front half-out on p-bars!

Akash Modi on HB: Adler 1/1 to giant to face-close-to-bar Yamawaki; Also really close on his stretched Tkatchev; Endo 1/1; Double-twisting double layout to a big step–he cranks his twists in right at the end

Hayden on VT: Lovely Yurchenko 1/1 with a small step

McCallum on VT: Falls to his right side; Ankles-ow.

Paul HIchwa on HB: Yamawaki to start; Stretched Tkatchev; Big Kolman; Kovacs–nice height; Missed his Weiler and has to take extra swings

John Orozco on VT: Handspring double front full–makes it to his feet without problems; Looks a little muscled off the table, but hey! He made it! I think that’s all he wanted!

Fabian DeLuna on SR: Azarian roll to cross; Maltese lower to cross; Inlocate uprise to handstand; Jonasson to Yamwaki to Straddle planche–feet a little low; Double tuck with 1.5 twists;

Marvin Kimble on PB: Jumping in at end of routine; Lovely Diamadov; Small hop on the double front half-out dismount

Josh Dixon on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on + Double full off–A little under rotation and takes a Shawn Johnson-esque step around to complete the twist

Jake Martin on FX: Didn’t see most of the routine, but he stuck his double Arabian dismount and coach does a Yin Alvarez-style fist pump.

Sean Melton on FX: Arabian double pike to a deep squat; Double full on the straight away; Wide-arm press; Roll forward to press through to pike-press handstand; Thomas–Good roll out–At US Nationals, he had to withdraw due to a concussion; Back 2.5 to finish

Adrian de los Angeles on SR: Jumping in mid-routine; Cross a litlte low; Muscles his way through some Yamawakis and Jonassons; Peels on the way up on uprise to handstand–Huge gasp from the audience; Full-twisting double layout and he puts a hand down on the dismount!

Bummer! Last year, he had such a good opening night during the Winter Cup!

At the halfway point:

  1. Sean Melton, 44.300
  2. Marvin Kimble, 44.000; Jake Martin, 44.000


Rotation 4

Fabian DeLuna on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5 to his seat; Bummer.

Marty Strech on PH: I see that he came off-didn’t see on what skill; He’s pacing and trying to get his composure; And he’s off again while attempting some kind of Russian travel ?; Finishes strong.

Something has to be wrong with that pommel horse, right?

Marvin Kimble on HB: Comes off on his Liukin (Stretched Tkatchev 1/1); Catches his stretched Tkatchev to Straddle Tkatchev 1/2; Endo; Full-twisting double layout to finish

Stacey Ervin on VT: Another big handspring double front–no classic Stacey Ervin stick, though, but Jess will be happy with that one.

Jake Martin on PH: Falls off!

John Orozco on PB: Piked Morisue; Peach to 1/4 turn to single rail; Straddle 5/4 to upper arms; Tippelt; 1/2 pirouette, Stutz; Double pike with a small step back

Eddie Penev on FX: Opens with the Penev (Tamayo + 1/2 out) Whip 1/2 to Randi; Wide-arm press handstand; Back 2.5 to punch front full; Little low on the Korobchynski; Triple twist and hops out of bounds on the dismount

Michael Newburger on PH: And he’s off! GAH! He makes his Magyar + 1/2 spindle–No one else doing that in the world that I know of; Then he falls off on his Russians! GAH!

Clearly, the pommel horse is possessed! We must have an exorcism before Saturday!

Josh Dixon on PB: Peach to handstand to start, Bit of a press; Tippelt; Tucked Morisue; Healy; 1/2 pirouette; clips his legs a bit on his tucked 1/2; Straddle 5/4; Double pike with a hop to the side

Donnell Whittenburg on PB: Flip from upper arms to hands; Peach to handstand; Dimitrenko; Moy to immediate double front! YES! That was a cool combination! Tuck 1/2; Double front tuck with a step

Sean Melton on PH: And he’s off, too! Finishes strong.

Akash Modi on FX: Arabian double pike; Back 2.5 to Rudi; Front double full to a gainer barani; Holds his V-sit; Randi; Stretched Arabian 1 3/4 roll-out; Triple twist to finish–He has the twisting speed to compete with Shirai Kenzo if he just had a little more height.

Hayden on PB: Kip to L-sit to handstand; Peach and muscles it to handstand; Giant to handstand; Extra swing; Collapses on his Moy; Nails his legs on his straddle 5/4 to upper arms; He’s off again; Tucked double to finish

Dastrup on PH: He fell off, too!

Good thing we aren’t doing shots for every pommel horse fall! No one could survive that.


Rotation 5


John Orozco on HB: Catches his Liukin; Stretched Tkatchev 1/2; Straddle Tkatchev 1/2; Adler 1/1 to Yamawaki; Hop full; Full-twisting double layout

Marvin Kimble on FX: OPens with a layout to pike double front; Arabian double pike second pass; Double tuck on straight away; Wide-arm handstand; Cartwheel to corner–checks to make sure he didn’t go OOB; Double layout; hop on the landing; Looks like he stunned his ankles a bit; He’s crouching down in the corner; Gets up and walks it off

Josh Dixon on HB: Endo 1/1; Winkler (1/1-twisting Jaeger); Stretched Tkatchev; Adler 1/2; Straddle Tkatchev 1/2; Muscles his Adler 1/1 over to his Yamawaki; Sticks his 1/1-twisting double layout

Neff on FX: Back 3.5!!! but he sits it down, but who cares! He did a 3.5!

Stacey Ervin on PB: Peach to handstand; Giant to handstand; Diamadov; Stutz; Front uprise to Sasaki-bends knees a bit… Switching over to pommel horse to see a guy hit (Maybe?) a pommel routine!

Akash Modi on PH: Hits his routine until the dismount; presses up; presses down; presses up and can’t pirouette off; comes off on the same side as he started–shouldn’t receive dismount credit unless he gets back up; Gets back up and finishes with a real dismount

Adrian de los Angeles on PB: iP-bar scores are taking a while. Straddle cut to handstand; Peach to handstand; Giant to handstand; Belle; Tippelt; Healy; Stutz; Diamadov; STUCK double pike! Lovely toe point and tightness!

It looks like Stanford (with the exception of Modi) decided to skip pommels. Probably a good idea given the way things are going today.

Pochinka on PB: Moy to handstand; Comes down on upper arms on his Healy; Double tuck to finish

Fabian DeLuna on PB: Giant to handstand; Tuck 1/2 to upper arms; Diamadov; Straddle 5/4 to upper arms; Healy; Stutz; STUCK double front! Nice!


Rotation 6


Sean Melton on VT: Shuffle sidewasy on his handspring double front

Josh Dixon on FX: Triple twist–very pretty; Whip to Arabian double pike; Front double full to front full; Wide-arm press handstand; Big stag jump to corner; Korobchysnki; Full-twisting double tuck. He should get bonus: No man wipe before final pass

Donnell Whittenburg on FX: Double-double layout! Way short on his double pike but keeps it on his feet; Back 2.5; Korobchynski; Arabian double pike 1/2 out–OOB;

Stacey Ervin on HB: Yamawaki 1/2 and presses it up; Adler 1/2 way past handstnad; Lots of fight going on, but doesn’t come off;

Adrian de los Angeles on HB: Yamawaki–small leg separation; Stretched Tkatchev–catches it even though he fell during warmups; Misses his Adler 1/1; Falls on his double-twisting double layout

Jake Martin on VT: Big Shewfelt–small step

Akash Modi on SR: Whip-it cross; Kip to cross; Jonasson to Yamawaki to uprise to straddle planche–feet a little low; Straddle L to press handstand; Double-double tucked; small hop on the landing

Belanovski on PH: Yes! He made it through without a fall!

Marvin Kimble on PH: Scissors to handstand–second one is a bit pressed; A little piked on his Magyar on the end; Sivado; Presses up to handstand and fist pumps AS he is coming down from the dismount. Nice.

McCallum on FX: Beautiful double layout; HUUUGE Arabian double tuck WITH knees glued together; Back 1.5 to front full; Full-twisting double tuck–chest a little low

John Orozco on FX: Opened with a Lou Yun-style double side somi! Hop on the 2.5 dismount


Final Rankings for session 2:

1. Marvin Kimble, 86.200

2T. John Orozco, 86.150

2T. Sean Melton, 86.150

4. Donnell Whittenburg, 86.000

5. Jake Martin, 85.300

6. Akash Modi, 85.050

7. Josh Dixon, 84.650

8. Eddie Penev, 83.550

9. Adrian de los Angeles, 81.750

10. Tristan Burke, 80.550




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Andrew Novialdi
10 years ago

“HOLY MOTHER OF NADIA” < That was Genius!

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