LAS VEGAS – Oklahoma men’s gymnastics sophomore Yul Moldauer headlined a spectacular finals for the Sooners at the 2017 Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday night. Moldauer won the all-around competition with a two-day combined score of 171.750, becoming the first Sooner to win the event since two-time Olympian Jake Dalton did so in 2011.
In addition to Moldauer, senior co-captain Allan Bower placed third in the all-around. Both Sooners qualified automatically for the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team by virtue of their top-4 finishes in the all-around.
The list of Sooners making the squad didn’t stop there, however. Sophomore Hunter Justus, as well as alumni Chris Brooks, Dalton, Alex Naddour and Kanji Oyama also all made the national team. In total, seven of the 15 national team members are Sooners.
“I’m really pleased overall with the performance for the championships,” Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams said. “We had the largest group at the finals and competed good gymnastics. Having Yul and Allan (Bower) be No. 1 and No. 3 in the all-around is a testament to the hard work they put in to be prepared for this event.”
In addition to his all-around crown, Moldauer also won the event titles on rings (30.100) and parallel bars (29.300). He also placed second on floor (29.650) and vault (29.450). Moldauer finished fifth in the all-around a year ago, earning a place on the 2016 U.S. Senior Men’s National team.
By virtue of his performance, Moldauer has also been invited to take part in the 2017 American Cup, held March 4 in Newark, N.J. The event is the only World Cup event held in North America this year and will feature an exclusive handful of the world’s best gymnasts. It will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
Bower was equally impressive over the weekend. Always consistent and well-rounded, he finished with a two-day mark of 169.900 in the all-around and placed in the top seven on every event and in the top five on four events. He put up his best marks on pommel horse (29.350, third) rings (28.900, fifth) and vault (28.900, fifth). Bower makes his second appearance on the national team, having also qualified in 2015 as a sophomore.
Justus improved on his day one total of 80.700 by more than two full points to secure an eighth place finish with a total of 163.500. He turned in his best performances on parallel bars, placing fourth on the event at 27.950. Justus made another top-10 finish on pommel horse with a 27.350.
Oyama, a 2016 graduate, was right behind Justus in ninth. He too improved in the final round, scoring an 82.000 to finish with a total of 162.700. Oyama was strongest on vault, where he placed fourth (29.350).
Sophomore Levi Anderson turned in a tied-for-fifth finish on high bar (26.950). He finished 14th in the all-around. Fellow sophomore Peter Daggett scored a 76.900 on the first day of competition but continued the Sooner streak of improved performance in the finals by notching a 78.400 on day two.
Naddour, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist on pommel horse, won the event with a two-day mark of 30.100. He also took second on rings (29.650). Current Sooner assistant coach Steven Legendre finished 16th on floor and tied for 17th on vault. Brooks, also a 2016 Olympian, competed only on high bar, winning the event with a score of 29.550. Dalton did not compete due to an injury.
The Sooners will be back in action next weekend as they return to NCAA competition to host Air Force inside the McCasland Field House on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 6:50 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling the OU Athletics Tickets Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.