2013 Winter Cup Challenge begins Thursday

p449905398-3INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 5, 2013 – 2012 all-around bronze-medalist Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Gymnastics, and his Olympic teammates Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma, and Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, will compete at the 2013 Winter Cup Challenge. The event, scheduled for Feb. 7-9 at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Sports Center, kicks off the Road to the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Joining Dalton, Leyva and Mikulak in Las Vegas is Alex Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center, who served as one of the replacement athletes for the 2012 Olympic Games. Jonathan Horton and Chris Brooks, both of Houston/Cypress Gymnastics, along with Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./University of Oklahoma, have withdrawn from the competition.

Representing 13 colleges, 44 current and former collegiate gymnasts, including five members of the 2012 U.S. Senior National Team, are expected to compete. Glen Ishino of Santa Ana, Calif./University of California – Berkeley, and Brandon Wynn of Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State University, join Dalton and Mikulak in the field. Pennsylvania State University leads the entries with seven, followed by Ohio State University and Stanford University (six); Cal – Berkeley, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan (four); the University of Minnesota (three); U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Iowa, and University of Nebraska (two); and the University of Illinois – Chicago, U.S. Military Academy, University of Oklahoma and Temple University (one).

Thirteen members of the U.S. junior national team are scheduled to compete, including reigning all-around champions Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Paragon Gymnastics, 16-18, and Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners, 14-15. Joining Whittenburg and Kimble are: Allan Bower of Chandler, Ariz./ Xtreme Gymnastics; Tristan Burke