Feb. 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Redshirt senior Michael Newburger, sophomore Jake Martin and freshman Sean Melton, members of the No. 3 Ohio State men's gymnastics team, advanced to compete in the finals of the 2014 Winter Cup Challenge Thursday night during the second preliminary session at The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.
The top 42 gymnasts, according to the Men's Program Committee's points ranking system, along with the top three gymnasts on each apparatus qualified to Saturday's final competition.
Melton advanced to the finals after finishing the second preliminary session tied for second overall in the all-around (86.150) with 2012 Olympian John Orozco. The Orlando, Fla., native finished the second session within the Top 10 on all six events, including a second-place finish on high bar (14.850) and a third-place finish on floor exercise (15.100). In addition, Melton placed seventh on parallel bars, eighth on rings and pommel horse and ninth on vault.
Martin qualified for the finals after earning a fifth-place all-around finish during the second preliminary session to place sixth in the all-around overall (85.300). Martin placed first on vault with a career-high 15.350, third on high bar with a 14.500 and fifth on floor exercise and parallel bars with a career-high score of 14.950 and 14.550, respectively, during the second session.
Newburger advanced to the event finals on pommel horse after finishing third in Session II with a 13.600, while former Buckeye Brandon Wynn advanced to the event finals on rings after finishing second overall with a score of 15.350.
Freshman Jake Dastrup also competed for the Buckeyes, narrowly missing an opportunity to advance. Dastrup finished 49th overall after competing on parallel bars, floor exercise, pommel horse and vault.
Each gymnast competing in the finals will have a chance to make one of the seven spots remaining on the 15-man roster for the U.S. Senior Men's National Team. The eight members of the 2013 World Championships team retain their spots, with the seven new members being added for competition through the 2014 P&G Championships in August.
The top two all-around athletes who are not already on the National Team along with the top two gymnasts based on the National Team Points System, two gymnasts selected by the Men's Program Committee and one gymnast selected by the national team coordinator will be named to the U.S. Men's Senior National Team at the conclusion of competition.
The 2014 Winter Cup Finals are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET. Live video and results will be available at http://www.wintercup.com/.