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Quick Hits: The 2015 Winter Cup – Finals


Welcome to the finals of the Winter Cup! Right now, the gymnasts are warming up. The coaches are yawning off their late nights of Vegas shenanigans. And Jessica, the Producer of GymCastic, is trying to contain her excitement. It is her first Winter Cup, and she is in the same location as her favorite, Stacey Ervin.

What’s at stake tonight? Being named to the National Team. According to the rules, the 6 men who competed at the 2014 World Championships and the alternate have guaranteed spots on the National Team. In other words, these guys don’t have to worry about a thing:

  • Donnell Whittenburg
  • Sam Mikulak
  • John Orozco
  • Jake Dalton
  • Danell Leyva
  • Alex Naddour
  • Paul Ruggeri

For the rest of the field, there are 8 spots open on the National Team. These spots will be determined by the following criteria:

  • The top three all-around gymnasts, who are not automatically qualified for the National Team
  • Two based on the National Team Point System
  • Two athletes selected by the Men’s Program Committee
  • One athlete selected by the National Team Coordinator

How can you watch the competition? There will be a live feed that starts at 7pm PST, and as always, the USA Gymnastics media team will upload the videos to their YouTube channel.

Rotation 1

Ryan Sheppard on VT: Sticks his Kasamatsu 1/1. Stanford has a huge cheering section.

Yul Moldauer on HB: Misses his Kovacs. Arms just weren’t long enough. Bends his legs going into his Stalder. Decent Weiler. Lovely full-twisting double layout – WITH the flair.

Bobby Baker on PH: Good swing on the Sivado. Little leg separation on his flop work and his swing starts to pike more. Up into the handstand. And he’s up in the handstand, and he’s done.

Josh Dixon on HB: Endo. Adler 1/2.  Extra giant before the stretched Tkatchev. A straddle Tkatchev. Doesn’t go over the right way on his Adler 1/1. Stalder. Simple full-twisting double layout.

Sean Senters on VT: Yet another huge Shewfelt vault from Senters. A little sad that there wasn’t a triple-twisting Yurchenko. Maybe he’s saving it for NCAAs.

Akash Modi on VT: A good Kasamatsu 1.5. He really cranks the twists in at the last second.

Paul Ruggeri on HB: Uprise to one-armed 1/1 giant. A little tucked and piked in the Cassina. Short of swing on his Tkatchev 1/2 – almost eats the bar and presses it up into handstand. Struggles on his second 1/2-twisting release. Double-double layout to finish.

Ellis Mannon on PH: My children will do flairs like Ellis Mannon. Opens with some scissors. And a flop on one pommel. Then goes into his flair work with spindles. And then a kid stood up in front of me and I couldn’t see. Looks like his routine finished strongly.

Jonathan Horton HB: Endo to Healy. Misses his hands on his Cassina. He looks peeved with himself. Stretched Kovacs and a Kolman. Adler 1/1 right on top of the bar into a Yamawaki. Stalder. Double-double layout into a small hop forward.

Steven Legendre on FX: Opens with a huge double full to punch double front. Big hop forward. Tamayo – lands with straight legs, and the Oklahoma boys jump with fear. Arabian double on the side. Back 2.5 to front full. Wide-armed press handstand. Man wipe. Stretched Thomas. Sticks his Arabian double pike. (Keep in mind that there’s stick bonus at this meet, and the stick bonus is applied to the D score.)

Danell Leyva on HB: (Competing at the same time as Sam) Wild Stalder 1.5 as usual. Stretched Tkatchev to Rybalko is a little wild. Double-twisting double layout to a small hop. The crowd goes wild, and so does Yin, almost punching Danell in the face as he cheers and pumps his fist.

Sam Mikulak on PB: Good peach 1/2. Misses handstand on next Peach. Good Straddle 1 1/4 to underswing. Double front to a low landing and hop back.

Donnell Whittenburg on HB: Adler 1/2 to Yamawaki. Quast. Blind change. Adler 1/2 with bent legs. Wally twirl and he’s off. Remounts. Casts handstand. Tries the skill again. Endo. Stalder. Sticks his double-twisting double layout.

Stacey Ervin on PB: He will be competing at the same time as Whittenburg on HB. Opens with a peach to handstnad. Giant. Diamadov-a litlte crooked. Stutz. Front uprise to Straddle 1 1/4 to underswing. L-sit to press handstand. Sticks double pike.

After 7 rotations at Winter Cup… Steven Legendre leads.

1. Steven Legendre 103.050
2. Paul Ruggeri 102.750
3. Marvin Kimble 101.400
4T. Donnell Whittenburg 101.050
4T. Donathan Bailey 101.050
6. Allan Bower 100.100
7. Alec Yoder 99.550
8. Danell Leyva 99.500


Rotation 2

Josh Dixon on FX: Back 2.5 to rudi. Arabian double pike. Front double full to front full. Wide-arm press handstand. Stretched Thomas. Doesn’t get his triple all the way around.

Kevin Wolting on VT: Sticks the crap out of his Shewfelt.

Paul Ruggeri on FX: Opens with a Tamayo. Steps OOB. Arabian double pike with a small hop. Stretched Thomas. Wide-arm press handstand. Rolls out and presses through to handstand. Back 2.5 to front 1/1. Back 1.5 to front 2/1. Full-twisting double tuck to a small hop.

Akash Modi on PB: Wild legs on giant 1/1. Good Bhavsar. A little archy on 1/2 pirouette. Tippelt. Crazy legs on Diamadov. Uprise to handstand. Stutz. Lands low on Kato dismount, but only takes a small hop. No duck walk this time.

Jonathan Horton FX: double-double. Small hop. Deep squat on punch double front out of back 1.5. Wide-arm press. Punch 2/1 to barani. Huffing and puffing. Back 2.5 to front full. OOB. Thomas. Deep breaths. Full-twisting double. Gets it to his feet.

Donathan Bailey on VT: Kasamatsu 1/1 with a small hop.

Sam Mikulak on HB: Good Cassina. Catches Kolman under bar. Looks like he struggled on his Stalder-Rybalko. Double-double layout. He finishes just seconds after Leyva on floor.

Danell Leyva on FX: Double-double. Almost out, but stays in. Front 1/1 to front 2/1. Out of control ont he landing. Arabian double pike. Thomas. Whip to back 2.5 punch barani and almost takes off his head. Double layout with a step back. Yin is cheering his head off and jumping. Is the magic back?

Steven Legendre on PH: Opens with scissors. Really struggling on his flop. Almost comes off on his Russian on one-pommel. Bent legs. Crazy-parkour legs on his handstand pirouette/traveling dismount across the horse.

Donnell Whittenburg on FX: Back 1.5 to front double. Hop forward. Double-twisting double layout -pikes it down. Wide-arm press handstand. Lackadaisical stag jump. Front layout to front  double pike. Back 2.5 to front full. Stretched Thomas. Catches breath. Arabian double pike 1/2 out to finish.

Yul Moldauer on FX: Arabian double tuck 1/2 out – like Katherine Grable. Good flair work. Front 2/1 to barani – a little crooked. Wide-arm press handstand. Stag jump into the corner. Does a rudi instead of a randi. Whip to double full. Back 2.5 to a small hop to finish.

At the end of two, Paul Ruggeri leads by 1.450 over Legendre.


Rotation 3

Loochtan on VT: Launches a huge handspring double front. Sticks.

Paul Ruggeri on PH: Stays on, but has troubles on his Russians into his dismount. Legs get a little crazy.

Sean Senters on HB: He’s like the Kyla Ross of MAG. Consistent and clean. High stretched Tkatchev 1/2. Another stretched Tkatchev. Stalder. Rybalko. Stalder 1/2. Peels on his dismount and does a double layout to his feet. Then belly flops. (And I jinxed him on the consistency.)

Jonathan Horton on PH: Struggles on both of his scissors to handstand. He’s off on his Russians. Presses up to handstand on his dismount.

Emyre Cole on VT: Decent Shewfelt. A little short on twisting rotation.

Bobby Baker on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5. Good rotation.

Sam Mikulak on FX: Back 1.5 to front 2/1. Sits down his front full to front double. Not even close. Back 2.5 to rudi. Good. Air flairs. And he falls on those. Wide-arm handstand. Stretched Thomas.

Danell Leyva on PH: Legs bent a bit on his first scissors to handstand. Straddles legs on his Russians. Really struggles on his triple Russians on the end of the pommels. Makes it up to handstand. Yin is happy with it.

Stacey Ervin on FX: Cowboys too hard on his front double twist to double front and flies forward. Good Tamayo. Wide-arm press handstand. Back 2.5 to barani. Back 1.5 to rudi. Doesn’t go up on his stretched Thomas. Sticks his Arabian double tuck.

Donnell Whittenburg on PH: Opens with scissors to handstand. Has to press up the second one. He’s off before just before the dismount. Re-mounts and finishes.

Donathan Bailey on PB: (jumping in the end) Good Stutz. Nice tight double pike. Chest up on landing, and takes a small step back with his right foot.

Cameron Bock on PB: Peach – a little archy up on the way up to handstand. Good bail to  back 1/2 to upper arms. Diamadov. Moy. Half pirouette. Looong Bhavsar. Hits the rails on his Tippelt. Safety rolls forward out of his double pike.

Kiwan Watts on FX: Sky high double-double. Back 2.5 to barani. Wu Guonian (Arabian 1 3/4.) Lovely flairs and spindles up to handstand. Back 1.5 to front full. Very dramatic mine wipe – with style. Touches his hand down on his triple twist. He has a similar problem with pulling his twists around on vault.

At the halfway point, Paul Ruggeri is tied for the lead with Steven Legendre…

1T. Paul Ruggeri 131.500
1T. Steven Legendre 131.500
3. Marvin Kimble 130.800
4. Donnell Whittenburg 129.250
5. Allan Bower 129.100
6. Donathan Bailey 129.000
7. Akash Modi 128.600
8. Danell Leyva 128.250


Rotation 4

Allan Bower on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5. A little bent in the air. Deep squat. And a shuffle sideways.

Jonathan Horton on SR: Falls on his dismount. Seems to be lacking in stamina right now. Perhaps too many late nights with the baby.

Steven Legendre on VT: Sticks his handspring double front. The best one we have seen all day. As Jessica put it on Twitter, “He slammed the vault mat into another dimension.”

Marvin Kimble on HB: 1/2 pirouette. Catches his Liukin. Stretched Tkatchev to Tkatchev 1/2 that barely gets araound. Has to tuck through on his Adler 1/2 to stretched Tkatchev 1/2. Really late turn. Not sure if it should get credit, but the judges will give him credit anyway. A full-twisting double layout to finish.

Hunter Justus on VT: Handspring double front. Deep squat. Step forward. Steps looked a little choppy right before the landing.

Sam Mikulak on PH: Really good form on his Russians–Rare in this competition. Nice stretch on the Sivado. Up to the handstand without a problem. Huge cheer from the Michigan crowd before he even lands. Pommel horse, the event that tricked him up at P&G Championships, has been Sam’s best event thus far.

Donnell Whittenburg: Uprise to planche. Giant to handstand. Double-twisting double layout to a hop back. (Missed the beginning of the routine due to Sam on pommels.)

Cameron Bock on HB: He’s off on his straddle Tkatchev.

Bobby Baker on PB: Has to take an extra swing on his mount. Crazy legs on his Diamadov — the kind of crazy legs that you see during the warmups for the men. Is he getting deducted too much on the skill? Should he keep it in? Good Tippelt. Rushes his double pike. No height and has to take a hop forward.

Paul Ruggeri on SR: Kip to V-sit cross. Presses up to L-sit. Presses up to handstand. Giant. A little swing and sag in the back. Uprise to handstand. Gets rid of the swing. Jonasson to Yamawaki to whip-it cross. Dislocate to Mustafina dismount (double tuck with 1.5 twists.) Looks like he let go too soon. Takes a few steps back.

Kevin Wolting on HB: He had a scary fall during prelims. Let’s hope he can stay on. Yamawaki to open. Big stretched Tkatchev 1/2. Big straddled Tkatchev 1/2. Sticks his full-twisting double layout. He looks relieved and really happy.

With two more rotations to go, Steven Legendre is in the lead with a 146.800. That’s a 1.100 lead.

1. Steven Legendre 146.800
2. Marvin Kimble 145.700
3. Paul Ruggeri 145.150
4. Donnell Whittenburg 144.100
5T. Allan Bower 143.450
5T. Akash Modi 143.450


Rotation 5

Danell Leyva on VT: Kasamatsu 1/1. A little hop on the landing.

Donnell Whittenburg on VT: Handspring double front. Huge. Just huge. With a small hop on the landing.

Marvin Kimble on FX: Front layout to front double pike. Sits down his Arabian double pike. Double back side pass. Russians–could be a little faster. Cartwheel into the corner. Front 2/1 to front full. Double layout with a little hop back.

Sam Mikulak on PB: Could only see parts of routine. Had level problems on the Maltese. Does a reverse planche – a la Zmeskal – before his dismount. Pulls it together and does a good double-double.

Josh Dixon on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on to double full off. Doesn’t get the twist all the way around. Crosses legs on landing. He totally Skinnered the vault – one-arming it.

Allan Bower on PB: Bent legs on his opening. Okay peach. Bail to back 1/2 to upper arms. Bent legs on Diamadov. Bent legs on front uprise. Bent legs on straddle 1 1/4 to upper arms. Stutz. Back 1/2 from uppers to uppers. Double pike with a hop forward.

Bobby Baker on HB: Endo. Endo Healy. Front one-armed giant with 1/1. Good healy. Weiler. 1/2 pirouette. Opens up OUT of his triple back, and the crowd lets out a huge OOOOOH!

Paul Ruggeri on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on to double full off. Twists a little as he lands. Side step.

Peter Daggett on HB: Opens with a Yamawaki. A little leg separation on his one-armed giant with 1/1. Past on his Adler 1/1. Past on his Stalder. Full-twisting double layout. He spots the ground so well.

Kevin Wolting on FX: Opens with a side pass: A Thomas. Front 2/1 to front 1/1. Back 1.5 to rudi. Sticks his double full side pass. Press handstand from split. Back 2.5 to barani. Sticks his triple twist. He’s happy. Fist pumping, as he should. He’s on the bubble for being on the National Team.

With one event to go, Paul Ruggeri is leading the pack…

1. Paul Ruggeri 160.500
2. Steven Legendre 160.450
3. Donnell Whittenburg 159.100
4. Marvin Kimble 158.800
5. Akash Modi 158.050
6. Allan Bower 157.750
7. Kevin Wolting 157.500
8. Donathan Bailey 157.250
9. Alec Yoder 156.160
10. Danell Leyva 155.750


Rotation 6

Sam Mikulak on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5. A hop back on the landing. Looks like he jumps too high onto the board instead of pushing his power forward. But now is not the time to change his technique.

Marvin Kimble on PH: Stays on, and he’s happy.

Justin Spring is kneeling and jumping and kneeling during Bobby Baker‘s floor routine.

Stacey Ervin on VT: Handspring double front to a deep, deep squat. Steps. Those quards are firing.

Donnell Whittenburg on PB: Gets a huge cheer for his Dmitrenko. Flings his double front forward. But gets it to his feet and hops forward.

Donathan Bailey on PH: Stays on, but should have minor deductions for things like shoulder angle on his circles. A small leg deduction on his traveling too. But it should keep him in National Team contention.

Steven Legendre on HB: Didn’t see the beginning of the routine, but I did see the open triple tuck. It was like Kytra Hunter-style open at the end. For a triple back. No big deal.

Kyle King on VT: A huge Kasamatsu 1.5. Stuck. Even the Michigan coach is cheering for that. I mean, how can’t you?

Paul Ruggeri on PB: Opens on the side. Clear hips up. Pirouettes in. Peach to handstand. Cowboyed Dmitrenko. Diamadov. Stutz. Has to press up on his handstand. Good straddle 1 1/4. Sticks his double pike. Paul Ruggeri should win the 2015 Winter Cup title.

Kevin Wolting on PH: Gets his legs caught on his opening scissors travel to the middle. That was the quickest pommel horse routine ever. It was pretty much Russians the entire way through. I guess if you’re good at them, might as well do them, right?

Akash Modi on SR: Whip it cross. L-cross. Presses up to L- sit. Legs low on his straddle planche. A little swing on his handstands. Safety rolls out of his double-double. That’s going to hurt his automatic qualification for the National Team. He might need to rely on a wild card slot.

Danell Leyva on PB: Lots of chalk time. Gotta get the bars perfect. Yin kisses Danell on the head. Flicks his ears. And Danell is ready to begin. Peach to handstand. Walks hands. Peach 1/1. Peach to single rail. Touches his legs on his Straddle jam over one rail. Lacks height on his back 1/2 from uppers to uppers. A little cowboy and flexed feet on double front. Hop on the landing.

Emyre Cole on FX: Just watch this routine. It’s beautiful. It deserves the GymCastic Prize for Elegance.

Final All-Around Standings

1. Paul Ruggeri 175.250
2. Steven Legendre 174.700
3. Donnell Whittenburg 174.500
4. Marvin Kimble 173.800
5. Donathan Bailey 172.050
6. Kevin Wolting 171.900
7. Allan Bower 171.700
8. Alec Yoder 171.250
9. Akash Modi 171.150
10. Danell Leyva 170.800

Floor:  1. Steven Legendre 31.100
2. Stacey Ervin 30.550
3. Paul Ruggeri 30.300

Pommels: 1. Ellis Mannon 30.700
2. Marvin Kimble 30.200
3. Donathan Bailey 30.050

Rings: 1. Marvin Kimble 30.300
2. Steven Lacombe 30.050
3. Steven Legendre 29.700

Vault: 1. Paul Ruggeri 30.700
2. Steven Legendre 30.500
3. Josh Dixon 30.450

P-Bars: 1. Danell Leyva 30.550
2. Donnell Whittenburg 30.250
3. Marvin Kimble 29.650

High Bar: 1. Paul Ruggeri 30.550
2. Jordan Valdez 29.750
3. Robert Neff 29.150

Event winners get a plaque, as well as a bright orange-ish red jacket. Marvin Kimble and Stacey Ervin dance their way off the floor.


Automatically qualifying for the National Team based on their AA scores:

Steven Legendre
Marvin Kimble
Donathan Bailey

Automatically qualifying for the National Team based on their points:

Kevin Wolting
Akash Modi

Receiving the Wild Card spots:

TBA – Those will be announced online by USA Gymnastics


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Elena Lozano Futter
Elena Lozano Futter
9 years ago

Great Meet Right here in my Home Town. Quality of Gymnastics was Excellent.

For my Husband and I. It was sooo Good To see our Friend & Gymnastic Legend Vitaly Sherbo have A Gymnast in the meet who did so Well 🙂

Great to see Friends.

Another Great meet USA Gymnastics & Dusty Ritter. Thanks you Loves N Hugsl

Futter Family

9 years ago

Why didn’t Chris Brooks compete in the finals? And, now he is not on the national team?

Papa Liukin
9 years ago
Reply to  Willow

He got injured in warm-ups just before the meet.

9 years ago
Reply to  Papa Liukin


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