Feb. 19, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four members of the No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team will compete at the 2014 Winter Cup Challenge Thursday and Saturday at The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. Redshirt senior Michael Newburger, sophomore Jake Martin and freshmen Jake Dastrup and Sean Melton will all contend for a spot on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.
Schedule of Events (All Times PST)
Thursday, Feb. 20 – Session I (Prelims) 10:50 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 20 – Session II (Prelims) 4:20 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 – Session III (Finals) 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Seven spots are open on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team, as the six members of the 2013 World Championships team as well as the two alternates retain their positions. 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 through the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships.
A native of Austin, Texas, Newburger claimed the 2013 Winter Cup pommel horse title with a two-day score of 30.300. So far this season, the defending national champion and two-time All-American on pommel horse has claimed two individual event titles and has ranked No. 1 for five consecutive weeks (Jan. 20 – Feb. 17). In addition, Newburger was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and CGA Gymnast of the Week after scoring a career-high and Ohio State record 16.250 on pommel horse at the 2014 Windy City Invitational to set a new NCAA record on the event.
Martin, an Oviedo, Fla., native, competed on vault, parallel bars and high bar in the preliminary round at the 2013 Winter Cup before withdrawing from competition.
Martin has earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors twice this season, the most recent weekly award coming after a strong performance against No. 8 California at St. John Arena Feb. 14. The sophomore posted a career-high 15.800 to claim the individual event title on high bar and a career-high 89.000 to win the all-around title against Cal. Martin earned his first career Big Ten weekly award after winning pommel horse (15.600) and vault (15.300) with career-high scores at No. 2 Michigan Feb. 1.
Overall, Martin has earned four individual event titles and eight Top 5 finishes this season and will compete in the all-around this weekend.
A current member of the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team, Dastrup finished 12th overall at the 2013 Winter Cup. The Lindon, Utah, native placed eighth on pommel horse (28.150) as well as 15th on parallel bars (27.850) and 18th on floor exercise (28.000) en route to posting an overall two-day score of 162.750.
This season, the Lindon, Utah, native has won one individual event title and earned seven Top 5 finishes. He will compete on floor exercise, pommel horse, vault and parallel bars this weekend.
A former member of the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team, Melton finished fifth overall at the 2013 Winter Cup. The Orlando, Fla., native finished third on parallel bars (29.350), fourth on rings (28.350), seventh on pommel horse (28.300) and eighth on vault (29.250) en route to posting an overall two-day score of 168.750.
Melton earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after winning three individual event titles and claiming five Top 5 finishes against No. 8 Cal. He posted a career-high 15.200 to claim the title on floor exercise, a career-high 15.200 to win vault and tied a career-high 15.400 to win parallel bars, also placing third in the all-around with a career-high 88.550.
Melton has won three individual event titles and earned 11 Top 5 finishes so far this season, and will compete in the all-around this weekend with teammate Martin.
Former Buckeye Brandon Wynn is also expected to compete this weekend. The Voorhees, N.J., native has already secured a spot on the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team, having represented Team USA at the 2013 World Championships. There, Wynn scored a 15.666 to place third overall on rings, marking only the second time the United States has medaled on rings at a World Championships.
Wynn captured his third U.S. Championship on rings at the 2013 P&G Championships.
The Buckeyes return to team competition Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. with the Arnold Challenge at the Columbus Convention Center.