LAS VEGAS – Competing individually, current and former members of the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team completed a fantastic first day at the 2016 Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev., on 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, Alex Naddour and Kanji Oyama will all compete in Saturday’s final. Jake Dalton was slated to compete as well but was scratched due to an injury.
“Winter Cup is a tough competition,” Oklahoma and 2016 Team USA head coach Mark Williams said. “You’re not always competing under ideal circumstances, but we’re happy to survive the first day of qualifying and looking forward to finals.”
Justus and Daggett started the day on the right foot. Justus finished in second in the first session and just .050 points off first place with an all-around mark of 80.700. He turned in his best marks on floor and parallel bars with 13.850 on each event. A 13.750 on rings, a 13.400 on pommel horse and a 13.350 on vault rounded out the junior’s first day in Vegas. Daggett posted a 76.900 to come in sixth in the first session. His best marks came on floor (13.500), rings (13.500) and vault (13.400).
Session two saw plenty of Sooner action. Bower and Moldauer tied for second in the all-around with a pair of 84.850s. Bower posted top-5 marks on floor (14.250), pommel horse (14.450) and rings (14.450) while Moldauer paced the field on rings (15.100) and came in second on floor (14.850), vault (14.850) and parallel bars (14.300).
2016 graduate Kanji Oyama was the next highest Sooner in the all-around. He posted an 80.700 to sit in eighth on the back of a strong 14.650 on vault that left him in a tie for fifth. Van Wicklen sits in 12th at 79.500 with his best mark coming on floor (13.950), Anderson is in 14th and scored 13.600 on high bar to place sixth. Naddour, a Sooner alumnus and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, competed on just pommel horse and rings scoring 14.800 on both to place second on both events. Legendre, current Sooner assistant coach, saw action on just floor (14.250) and vault (14.700) and placed in the top five on both.
Competition resumes with the finals on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9:15 p.m. CT. Live scoring and video will be available at WinterCupChallenge.com/live.
Performances at the 2017 Winter Cup Challenge 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 Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 17-20.