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Quick Hits: The 2015 Winter Cup – 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. You can watch a live feed here.

Who advances to the finals on Saturday, February 21? 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:

  • Jake “The Toes” Dalton  – Psych! Jake was supposed to compete, but he has withdrawn.
  • Steven Legendre, the owner of a World silver and bronze medal.
  • Sam Mikulak, a member of the U.S. Worlds Team that won bronze, the 2014 American Cup Champ, and the star of his own dance cam.
  • Paul Ruggeri, a member of the 2014 U.S. Worlds Team that won bronze. (He’s also the winner of the tattoo competition.)
  • Donnell Whittenburg, the runner-up at last year’s Winter Cup and a member of the 2014 U.S. Worlds Team that won bronze.
  • Chris Brooks, the winner of the 2014 Winter Cup.
  • Stacey Ervin, Jessica’s favorite and a former National Team member with a huge vault.
  • Peter Daggett, the son of one Mr. Timmy D!
  • Alec Robin, the 2014 NCAA floor and vault champion.

Bored while we wait for the meet to start? Read our quick hits from session 1.

After 1 session, here are your leaders:

1. Akash Modi 84.250
2. CJ Maestas 84.050
3. Danell Leyva 84.000
4T. Robert Neff 83.750
4T. Grant Breckenridge 83.750
6. Bobby Baker 83.000
7. Kiwan Watts 82.750
8. Jonathan Horton 82.300

Important warm-up update: Chris Brooks has one mean shimmy and booty shake to Pitbull’s “Fireball.”

Rotation 1

We were treated to yet another stirring rendition of the National Anthem performed by an actress from Bally’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

Paul Ruggeri on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on – front 2/1 off. A little form coming down for the landing. 15.350

Adrian de los Angeles on PB: Straddle cut to handstand. Peach 1/2. A little walking. Belle. Tippelt with lovely toe point during the bail before the skill. Healy. Stutz. Diamadov. Double pike. Big hop forward. 14.500

Sam Mikulak on PB: As usual, he’s taking forever to chalk the bars. It’s like Worlds all over again. A little bent arms on his first skill. Botches his peach 1/2. STruggles on the giant after. Leg separation on giant front 1/2. Straddle front. Tippelt. Stutz. Front uprise to a double front tuck. A little hesitation on the landing. 14.100.

Anthony McCaullum on VT: Over-rotates a HUGE Tsuk double pike! Watch the replay on the USAGym YouTube channel! 14.450

Marvin Kimble on SR: Azarian to cross. Maltese. Uprise to Maltese. Kip to inlocate to Yamawaki to Jonnason. To cross. Little arch in his handstands. Full-twisting double layout. 15.200.

Steve Legendre on PH: Missed it, but he spun on his butt on the pommel horse like a top, and he’s off. Gets up. Does a Tong Fei. A Sivado. And then up to his handstand. Struggles to maintain the rhythm and balance. 13.050.

Josh Dixon on VT: Yurchenko 1/2 on – front 2/1 off. A little cleaner than Paul’s. 15.300.

Whittenburg on VT: *Just* does a handspring double front. No Dragulescu today. Huge lunge forward. 14.700.

Chris Brooks on VT: Huge handspring double front. Over-rotates it into a donkey kick. Puts his hands down. 14.100.

Wolting on HB: He’s ranked 3rd in the NCAA right now in the all-around. Opens with a Yamwaki. Huge Tkatchev 1/2 stretched. Another Tkatchev 1/2 straddled. And then he pings off the high-bar onto the carpet, misses the mats entirely.

He’s sitting up now. Phew. He’s going to keep going. I don’t have those cojones.

Endo. Healy. Endo. Sticks his full-twisting double layout.

Still gets a 13.350.

Loochtan on FX: Opens with a lovely double front pike! And finishes with a full-twisting double tuck. (I didn’t see the interior due to the high bar situation.) 14.750.

After 1 Rotation:

1. Paul Ruggeri 15.350
2. Josh Dixon 15.300
3. Marvin Kimble 15.200
4. Allan Bower 14.900
5. Matthew Loochtan 14.750


Rotation 2

Sam Mikulak on HB: Uprise 1/2. Barely catches his Cassina. Kolman not in combination – Probably the best skill in the entire routine. Terrible Rybalko – catches almost under the bar.  Barely gets his hands on the bar for his Tkatchev 1/2. Wild Adler 1/1. Has to stop and take extra swings and kip up. Does a level 6-style crunchy, archy giant. Way off on his double-twisting double layout.

No dance cam today.

Trevor Howard on FX: Butt bounces his Tamayo. Front layout to front double tuck. Hop back. Back 2.5 to front full. Laid out Thomas. (Missed part to watch P. Daggett). Arabian double to a deep squat.

Peter Daggett on VT: Kasamatsu 1/2 with a big lunge forward.

Steven Legendre on SR: Cross. Uprise to piked planche. Jonasson and Yamawaki to a straddled planche – feet too low. Double-double tuck – hop back.

Stacey Ervin on HB: Yamawaki 1/2. Adler 1/2 – way past handstand, but the Michigan boys yell, “Nice,” even though it was past handstand — So college. Straddled Tkatchev. Misses his Tkatchev 1/2 – doesn’t even turn. Finishes strong.

Eric Klein on VT: Handspring double front. Deep squat – butt almost scraped.

Donnell Whittenburg on PB: (jumping in mid-routine.) Good Dmitrenko. Giant – kind of bent. Giant to back 1/2 to upper arms. Straddle 1 1/4 to upper arms. Walks his handstand. Front uprise to double front. Little shuffle on landing.

Steven Lacombe on FX: Opens with a punch randi. Front 2/1 to 3/2. Arabian double front 1/2 out. Love his Alvariño – Basically a Maltese on floor – press to handstand. Cartwheels out of one of his passes. Arabian double tuck to finish.

Chris Brooks on PB: Giant 1/1. Giant. Giant to back 1/2. Front 1 1/4 to upper arms. Sits his Tippelt down. Step back on his front double tuck.

Paul Ruggeri on PB: Mounts on the side – pirouettes in. Walks on his peach basket. Good Dmitrenko. Does a Kim Zmeskal-style reverse planche on p-bars. New skill? Uprise to straddle 1 1/4. Back toss to 1/4 off to one rail. Double pike dismount.

Glenn on FX: Back 2.5 to front full tucked. Low on the landing. Wide-armed press handstand. Weak hitch kick–Needs more kick and more amplitude. Sticks his double full side pass. Thomas into the corner. Back 1.5 to front tuck. Man wipe. Triple full – doesn’t have enough juice. Almost drags his knuckles on the floor as he lunges forward.


Rotation 3

Alec Robin on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5 with bent knees and puts it to his seat.

Josh Dixon on HB: EEndo. Adler 1/2. No connection. Stretched Tkatchev. Straddled Tkatchev. No connection. Doesn’t make it over on his Adler 1/1. Super close on Yamawaki. Misses his straddle up to handstand. Feet got stuck. Endo 1/1. Healy. Full-twisting double layout to finish.

He took out his Jaeger 1/1. 🙁

Steven Legendre on VT: Handspring double front – major cowboy. Little shuffle on landing. He sauntered into that.

Stacey Ervin on FX: Front 2/1 to front double. Huge, floaty Tamayo. It’s the Kytra Hunter of Tamayos. Back 2.5 to barani. Back 1.5 to rudi. Stretched Thomas. Huge, stuck Arabian double to finish. Big Stacey Ervin – Hulk style scream.

Hunter Justus on VT: Deep squat after his handspring double front. He must be doing Lisa Mason squats to keep his booty off the floor.

Donnell Whittenburg on HB: Yamawaki. Quast (hop full). Adler 1/2. Misses his Wally twirl. Barely gets hand on. Double-twisting double to finish. Rough high bar – really muscled.

Allan Bower on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5. Lots of form and a hop on the landing.

Chris Brooks on PB: “Fireball” is playing in the background. No shimmying like in warmups – all business. Yamawaki 1/2. That skill needs to die. Yamawaki to a straddled Tkatchev 1/2. This is a very Oleg Verniaiev-style routine. Needs a double salto if he wants to make a Worlds final again. A hit for Team OTC.

The judges are taking a long time to judge this routine. Perhaps trying to decide if some of those 1/2 twists were really 1/2 twists.

Nope, they just wanted to confirm that he deserved a 16.200, with a 9.100 in execution. Seems a little high. It shouldn’t score that well internationally.

Wolting on PH: Only seeing the end. Wu Guonian down. Roth back. Russians dismount.

Paul Ruggeri on HB: Long wait before his routine. One-armed giants. Piked Cassina. (His Kolman was prettier.) Adler 1/2 to stretched Tkatchev. No connection. Straddled Tkatchev. Adler 1/1 to Yamwaki 1/2. Double-twisting double layout with a step forward.

At the halfway point, Paul Ruggeri is leading the meet. He’s 1.55 ahead of where Akash Modi was at the halfway point.

1. Paul Ruggeri 45.200
2. Chris Brooks 44.850
3. Marvin Kimble 44.550
4. Donathan Bailey 43.900
5. Donnell Whittenburg 43.800
6. Hunter Justus 43.550
7. Allan Bower 43.500
8. Kevin Wolting 43.800 – Even after the high bar craziness

Sam Mikulak scratched FX. Maybe he’s saving himself for American Cup? After his rough high bar, it’s probably for the best.

Rotation 4

Cameron Bock on VT: Kasamatsu 1/1. Good clean. Much more power than he had last year.

Donnell Whittenburg on FX: Double-double layout as his second pass. It’s too easy to be his first pass. Front layout to front double pike. He uses that layout as a whip. Back 2.5 to front full – a little offline. Stretched Thomas. Arabian double pike 1/2 out – Gosh, don’t you miss Katherine Grable?

Loochtan on VT: Handspring double front – STUCK.

Chris Brooks on FX: Front layout to front double tuck. Big squat. Front full to front double full. Side steps. Thomas. Man wipe. Arabian double tuck to big hop forward. He’s huffing and puffing after that routine.

Paul Ruggeri on FX: Tayamo with a hop back. Arabian double pike. Hop forward. Back 2.5 to front full. Back 1.5 to front 2/1. Full-twisting double with a step back.

Adrian de los Angeles on PH: Lovely flop work. Good Tong Fei. Simple handstand dismount. No traveling or pirouetting.

Sam Mikulak on PH: Will he stay on pommels? Opens with the Mikulak. Decent Tong Fei into some Russians. He whacks his shins on the pommel horse reaching forward. He’s off.

McCallum on FX: HUGE double layout full out. Sorry, Simone Biles, but you just got bested. Honestly, that’s the best I’ve ever seen. Arabian double pike. Back 2.5.  Back 1.5 to front full. Does a forward roll out of his full-twisting double. Super short.

Needs more connection bonus to be a world-class routine, but that opening pass is one of the Wonders of the Gymnastics World.

Josh Dixon on FX: Back 2.5 to Rudi. Whip to Arabian double pike – OOB and on his butt. Double full side pass. Wide-armed press handstand. Thomas down the diagonal. Triple twist to a step back. Steps out of bounds. The line judge doesn’t raise the flag. Does he have a flag?

Marvin Kimble on HB: Wasn’t he supposed to go to Michigan? He’s the last gymnast up in this rotation. Uprise 1/2. He almost catches his Liukin (Stretched Tkatchev 1/1). Stretched Tkatchev to Straddle Tkatchev 1/2. One-armed giant with 1/1. Adler 1/2 – past handstand. Endo 1/1 – bad timing, hands too close on regrasp. Full-twisting double layout to finish.


Rotation 5

Tim Daggett is wearing shorts tonight, and you can see the ginormous scar on his leg from his Cuervo injury in 1987.

Chris Brooks on PH: Was doing so well. And he fell off at the very end. He’s shaking out his arms and wrists. Gets back up and finishes.

Steven Legendre on HB: 

Peter Daggett on FX: Opens with Arabian double pike. Whip 1/2 to rudi. Wide-armed press handstand. Double full side pass. Puts his hands down on his 2.5, which he barely rotates around. He’s huffing and puffing at the end of that routine.

Peter and Tim are having a tiff on the sidelines. Tim just turned his back to his son while Peter was talking to him. Peter walks over to the seating area – appearing to be a little miffed. Tim joins him. Things look calmer.

Hunter Justus on HB: Opens with a very piked Yamawaki. Good Kovacs. Quast – way past handstand. Shoulders too far forward on his Weiler. Sticks his full-twisting double layout.

Glenn on VT: Sits down his Kasamatsu 1.5. (For WAG fans, that’s a Tsuk 2.5 in your book.)

Paul Ruggeri on PH: He stayed on. Just saw the end. Minor leg bend on his triple Russians before his dismount. (No handstand dismount for Paul anymore.)

Fabian de Luna on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5 – with some bent legs.

Eric Klein on FX: I just saw the end, but he ended with a back 2.5 stepout. No joke.

Trevor Howard on VT: Kasamatsu 1.5 – One of the better ones we have seen today.

Donathan Bailey on VT: Kasamatsu 1/1. Good height. Opens early.

Donnell Whittenburg off pommels. Didn’t see on what. Gets up. Really manic, somewhat sloppy Russian traveling. Barely gets his hand on the pommel for his dismount.

Alec Robin on HB: Adler 1/2. Blind change. Endo 1/1 – very slow pirouette. Doesn’t get his healy all the way around, but keeps going. Good hop on his Quast – but past handstand. Double layout- full-out dismount. A little archy wild in teh air.

Marvin Kimble on FX: Front layout to double front pike. Arabian double pike to a seat drop. Double tuck side pass. Russians. Wide-armed press to handstand. Cartwheel into the corner. Front 2/1 to front 1/1. Man wipe. Double layout. Steps back. He had to have been OOB, but the judge didn’t raise the flag.

These floor judges don’t give two darns.

With one event to go…

1. Paul Ruggeri 73.800
2T. Donnell Whittenburg 72.500
2T. Donathan Bailey 72.500
4. Chris Brooks 72.200
5. Steven Legendre 71.950
6. Alec Yoder 71.350
7. Hunter Justus 71.250

Paul Ruggeri needs a 10.450 to tie Akash Modi’s all-around score.


Rotation 6

Paul Ruggeri on SR: Kip to V-cross. Press up to L-sit. A little shaky in his handstand. Jonasson to Yamawaki. To whip it cross. Shoulders a little high into the cross. Double tuck with 1.5 twists – A Mustafina off rings.

Hunter Justus on FX: Just saw the end of his routine. Puts his hands down on his full-twisting double.

Stacey Ervin on VT: Big handspring double front with a big cowboy. Hop on the landing. I’ve seen him do better ones in college meets.

Alec Yoder on HB: Yamawaki. Kolman. A fairly decent one compared to some of the ones we’ve seen today. Jam to handstand. Endo. Sticks his double-twisting double layout. Good routine – Needs  to work on connecting more skills for a bigger start value.

His dad may cheer louder than Yin Alvarez.

The OTC Coaches have one coach on top of a chair, which is on top of a block – with another coach spotting the chair. This is some serious chalking business.

Alec Robin on FX: This should be good. He’s the NCAA champ on this event. Huge stretched Thomas. Back 2.5 to front 1/1. Wide-armed press handstand. Double full side pass. Back 1.5 to Rudi. Triple twist to a big hop back.

Marvin Kimble on PH: Scissors to handstand. Leg cuts. Scissors to Handstand. Flop work. Moves to the other pommel for more Flop work. Magyar on the end. Handstand dismount. Hits his routine. Good for him!

Needs to work on squaring his shoulders on pommels.

Steven Legendre on FX: Front double twist to double front. Sticks it. Lands short on his Tamayo – hops back. Whip to double Arabian as a side pass. Back 2.5 to front 1/1. Wide-arm press handstand. Man wipe. Stretched Thomas. Another man wipe. Arabian double pike to finish. Hop back.

Meanwhile, Sam Mikulak is taking photos with a bunch of little gymnasts. Adorbs.

Chris Brooks on SR: Jumping into the middle of this routine. Legs were a little low on his straddle planche. Arch on his handstand before his Mustafina off rings.

Final scores for session 2:

1. Paul Ruggeri 87.700
2. Steve Legendre 87.600
3. Donathan Bailey 87.500
4. Donnell Whittenburg 87.200
5. Marvin Kimble 86.300
6. Chris Brooks 85.850
7. Alec Yoder 85.700
8. Kevin Wolting 85.550

To Come: Gymnasts who qualified for finals


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9 years ago

“Man Wipe” HAHA love it!

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