2011 Winter Cup champion Jake Dalton doubled his luck on the second night of the men’s “Winter Nationals” in Las Vegas, shooting from third after the first night of competition to end the competition in first place.
Dalton totalled 87.85 in the all-around on the second of two nights of competition, giving him more than he needed to make up to catch first night leader Adrian de los Angeles.
That gives Dalton pole position as he heads into next month’s American Cup, where he’ll face a strong international field, including Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva, who finished third at this meet.
Between them was the day one leader, Michigan’s de los Angeles, who hails from the same gym — SCATS in Southern California — that produced 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak, now a junior at Michigan.
Others who made a good impression at this meet: Fourth place finisher Eddie Penev of Stanford, a consummate vault/floor guy, youngsters Sean Melton and Akash Modi, and Olympic Trials veteran Glen Ishino, the only man in the top eight who’s really excellent on pommel horse (though Modi had the best score.)
So, the U.S. men’s national team for the next six months: 2012 Olympic team members and replacement athletes John Orozco, Danell Leyva, Jonathan Horton, Sam Mikulak, Jake Dalton, Chris Brooks, Steven Legendre, Alex Naddour, as well as Adrian de los Angeles, Paul Ruggeri, Sean Melton, Akash Modi, Brandon Wynn, Glen Ishino and Eddie Penev.
USA Gymnastics has the professional press release/results, Uncle Tim the quick hits and interviews on GymCastic.
Other notes of interest this week:
Ellie Black, Anderson Loran win Elite Canada: The Winter Nationals of Canada, or the first elite meet of the season for both men and women, took place this weekend in Edmonton, Alberta. We’re seeing the ascension of the dynamic Black (has there ever been anyone else who did a 2.5 twisting walkout on the world stage?) and Loran, a B-teamer who never quite got his due last quad, becoming the leading names in Canadian gymnastics. Behind Black, newbie seniors Maegan Chant (coached by former Romanian great Cristina Bontas) and Casey Carvalho. Behind Loran, veteran Ken Ikeda and newcomer Zachary Clay. (Gymnastics Canada)
Fleshing out the French International roster: Shortly after Winter Cup, USA Gymnastics announced that Danell Leyva, Jake Dalton, Steven Legendre and Alex Naddour would head to La Roche sur Yon in western France for the 2013 French International. The guys will be mostly competing on their specialties only — Leyva will do pommel horse, p-bars and high bar, Dalton will do everything but pommel horse and p-bars, Naddour will compete pommel horse and Legendre floor exercise. (USA Gymnastics)
Gabrielle Jupp to American Cup: The British women’s entrant this year is new senior Gabby Jupp, an impressive young woman who headed the British Junior team’s efforts at the 2012 European Championships in Brussels. (USA Gymnastics)
That’s Louis Smith, MBE to you: The two-time Olympic medalist was heralded by the Queen as he receives his MBE (Member of the British Empire), joining Beth Tweddle as the only gymnasts in recent memory to have earned na order of chivalry. She still gave it to him, even though he forgot his invitation to the event. (Inside the Games)
Whatever happened to Hallie Mossett?: The UCLA recruit speaks out on why she was MIA through most of 2012. (EasyReaderNews)
This week in women’s NCAA: Florida lived up to its potential, breaking 198 against defending NCAA champion Alabama and setting the high mark for a college program this season. Note that they did this with a less-than-100 percent Kytra Hunter, who battled the stomach flu all week and didn’t practice in the three days before the meet. Super freshman Bridget Sloan won the all-around with 39.675. Florida’s 198.1 is the second best score in program history. (GatorZone)
This week in men’s NCAA: Outside of Winter Cup, it’s really all about Penn State. The program, full of freshman promise a couple years ago, has matured to be the team to beat this season. A show of strength.
Another 10 in the NCAA: Utah vaulting sensation Tory Wilson records the first perfect score for the Utes since Ashley Postell in 2008. (Salt Lake Tribune)
American Cup history: The top three places from 1976-present. A most interesting list. (Full Twist)
Alexandrov to Brazil?: The saga continues, but it looks less likely that Alexandrov will go coach in Brazil. (Gym Blog Brazil)
Yamilet Pena hurts ankle: The Dominican Produnova-throwing vault sensation has an ankle injury that has limited her training, but she is determined to make a good showing at the French International next month.
Mykola Kuksenkov speaks out: The former Ukrainian competitor, now a member of the Russian team, talks to his journalist sister for Sovietski Sport. (via Rewriting Russian Gymnastics)
Sanne Wevers news: The Dutch star hopes to qualify for the European Championships in spite of a flu that has kept her out of the gym. (GymPOWER)
Evgeny Grebenkin on the state of Russia: Alexandrov’s replacement speaks out about how you can’t just replace the most talented Russian women’s team ever fielded. (via Rewriting Russian Gymnastics)
Catching up with Peng Peng Lee: The UCLA freshman on her knee, her new life and her return for a run at the 2016 Olympics. (International Gymnast Magazine)
Get to know Dylan Akers: The sophomore captain of the Oklahoma men’s team (and a frontrunner of U.S. junior teams of the past) talks about OU’s surprisingly slow start this season. (NewsOK)
How Caitlin Atkinson is changing Auburn: A profile of the former Texas elite standout. (Al.com)
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