NORMAN – The top-ranked Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team breaks from NCAA competition this week as the nation’s attention turns to the 2017 Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 16-18. Six current team members and a handful of notable alumni will compete for positions on the U.S. Men’s National Team at the two-day event beginning Thursday.
Active Sooners Levi Anderson, Allan Bower, Peter Daggett, Hunter Justus, Yul Moldauer and Colin Van Wicklen, as well as assistant coach Steven Legendre and alumni Chris Brooks, Jake Dalton, Alex Naddour and Kanji Oyama, will all compete at this year’s Winter Cup. Freshman Matt Wenske qualified for the event but will not compete due to injury.
Performances at the 2017 Winter Cup will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships in August.
Following the two-day competition, the top four ranked all-around athletes will automatically qualify for the 2017 senior national team. The Men’s Program Committee will select up to eleven more gymnasts from the participants at the Winter Cup Challenge. The members of the 2016 Olympic team, plus the alternates, will automatically retain their spots on the national team provided they earn National Points on both days of competition.
The top 42 gymnasts, according to the all-around placements and Men’s Program Committee’s points ranking system, will advance to the final competition, along with the top three gymnasts on each apparatus. The all-around and individual event champions will be determined via a combined two-day score.
Last year as a freshman, Moldauer, along with Brooks, Dalton, Naddour and Legendre all made the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team. Brooks, Dalton and Naddour went on to represent the United States in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games. Team USA finished in fifth with Naddour bringing home the bronze medal as in individual on pommel horse. He was the first American man in 32 years to medal on the event.
The first day of competition will be broken into two preliminary sessions with the first beginning at 3 p.m. CT and the second at 8:30 p.m. CT. Second-day action begins at 9:15 p.m. CT. Justus and Daggett will compete in session one of the first day while the remaining Sooners will compete in session two. Live scoring will be available for both sessions on day one and Saturday's finals. You can follow the action with live streaming video here.