Feb. 19, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Redshirt sophomore Sean Melton posted the top all-around score on the opening day of competition at the 2016 Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas Thursday evening.
Melton, competing against 87 of the top gymnasts in the United States, finished the day with an all-around total of 87.750, just ahead of Yul Moldauer of Oklahoma (87.350) and three-time U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak (87.100).
Performing in the second of two preliminary sessions, Melton scored above 15.000 on three events — rings, vault and parallel bars — and finished 10th or better on four of six events. His 15.400 on rings tied for first overall, while his 15.050 on parallel bars earned him runner-up honors.
Freshman Alec Yoder is eighth overall after preliminary competition with a score of 85.750. He joined Melton in the evening session and finished in the Top 10 on rings (ninth, 14.500) and parallel bars (ninth, 14.300).
Former Buckeye All-American and current student assistant coach Drew Moling was sixth in the first session of day and 24th overall with a score of 82.150. Moling’s top performance came on rings, where he finished 13th overall with a score of 14.350.
Freshman Tristan Burke competed in five events for the Buckeyes in the second session, highlighted by a ninth-place effort on rings.
Melton, Yoder, Moling and Burke will represent the Scarlet and Gray on the final day of competition Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. The finals will be webcast live at WinterCup.com/live.
Senior Alex Johnson and former OSU All-American and current U.S. National Team member Brandon Wynn also represented the Buckeyes on Thursday. Johnson performed on three events for OSU, while Wynn competed on parallel bars.
In addition, future Buckeye Andrew Brower was ninth in the opening session and 34th overall (80.200). He tied for 18th on pommel horse with a 14.150.
The all-around and individual event champions at Winter Cup will be determined via a combined two-day score. Performances at the event help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships in Hartford, Conn. June 3-5. The six members of the 2015 World Championships squad, plus the alternate, retain their spots on the national team. The remaining eight spots will be determined based on the following criteria: the top three ranked all-around athletes who are not already on the senior national team; two based on the National Team Points System; two athletes selected by the Men’s Program Committee; and one selected by the national team coordinator.