VEGAS, Nev. — Three members of the No. 4 Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2010 Winter Cup Challenge, Feb. 3 and 5. Senior co-captain Steven Legendre and sophomores Jacob Dalton and Alex Naddour will face a field of the nation’s top gymnasts at the two-day event held at the Las Vegas Sports Center.
Performances at the 2010 Winter Cup Challenge will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2011 Visa Championships in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17-20.
“Winter Cup provides a good opportunity for our guys to rejoin the U.S. Senior National Team,” said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. “It should be a great two-day event and we are looking forward to a great weekend of competition.”
Former Sooner and 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist Jonathan Horton will also be competing at the Winter Cup. As members of the 2010 World Championships Team, Horton and Legendre automatically retain their spots on the national team, while Dalton and Naddour will look to earn their spot back on the team.
Legendre and Horton’s last competition together came at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands when they competed as members of the U.S. Senior National Team with OU graduate assistant Chris Brooks
“Jake and Alex have already made the U.S. Senior National Team once before, and they hope to put themselves back in position to make the team again,” added Williams. “With three guys going out there, we are hoping to have some success.”
Recovering from injury, Brooks will not compete at the Winter Cup but, like Horton and Legendre, automatically retains his spot on the nation team as a member of the 2010 World Championship team.
The seven members of the 2010 World Championships Team retain their spots on the national team.
After the conclusion of the Winter Cup, the remaining eight spots will be determined based on the following criteria: the highest-ranked all-around athlete who is not a member of the 2010 World Championships Team; the top four gymnasts based on the National Team Point Program; two athletes selected by the Men’s Program Committee; and one athlete selected by the national team coordinator.
The top 42 gymnasts, according to the Men’s Program Committee’s points ranking system, will advance to the final competition, along with the top three gymnasts on each apparatus. The all-around and individual event champions will be determined via a combined two-day score.