11. Jake Dalton, Oklahoma
Trivia Question 1: Did Jake do a Kasamatsu or a Tsukahara?
Answer: A Kasamatsu
Trivia Question 2: What's the name of this skill?
Answer: A Lopez
12. Chris Brooks, Cypress Academy
Trivia Question 3: What's the name of this vault?
Answer: A Blanik
Both Jake and Chris have huge vaults, but since there wasn't a vault on tour, it'll be interesting to see how they fare at the Winter Cup. My gut tells me that both gymnasts miraculously be able to chuck their huge vaults. I say "miraculously" because if I took several months off, I'd be performing a squat-through. Any old level 4 gymnasts remember that vault?
Trivia Question 4: What's the name of this vault?
Answer: If you said an Amanar, I hope that you walk around with a magnesium carbonate handprint on your butt for the rest of your life. In men's gymnastics, it's officially a Shewfelt.
Sean's Shewfelt is really, really, really, really, really, really pretty. Some of you might remember that Sean had one of the highest vault scores at Nationals last year. Can you imagine if someday Sean and Maroney had a little vaulter baby? Not only would their baby be adorbs
he would be amazing at Yurchenko vaults.
14. Akash Modi, Monmouth Gymnastics
While everyone (myself included) was loving Marcel Nguyen's Kato, we forgot to mention Akash Modi's dismount. It's one of the best full-twisting double backs being done, and I can't wait to see it with my very own eyes.
15. Danell Leyva, Universal Gymnastics
After watching men beat their upper arms to a bloody pulp for many years, I'm happy to see a parallel bar routine that does not include double pikes or double tucks between the bars. I'm kind of in love with Danell's pirouetting skills on parallel bars, and I'm interested to see if skipping the tour and spending more time in the gym will make his gymnastics look sharp. Plus, we must remember that he's the reigning World Champion on parallel bars, and this should be an early indication of whether he will be able to defend his parallel bars title in October.
16. Marvin Kimble, Swiss Turners
I'm looking forward to watching Marvin compete for several reasons. 1. He's from Wisconsin, and good things come from Wisconsin--cheese, cheeseheads, cheese curds, Johnsonville brats, Kohler toilets, Chellsie Memmel... 2. Everyone has been raving about him. (The Couch Gymnast published a piece on him, and Stick It Media has an interview.) 3. I've been very open about my hatred for double pike dismount on parallel bars, and well, Marvin does a double front with a half, which I love. (By the way, it's way harder than a double pike. Marvin's dismount is an F.)
17. Sam Mikulak, Michigan
Sam tore a muscle in his left calf earlier this year, so he's slated to compete pommel horse, rings, parallel bars, and high bar during the Winter Cup. While some might think of Sam as a vault guy, I enjoy watching him on parallel bars. One of my favorite skills happens around the 0:21 mark. It's a Sasaki (a 5/4 straddle forward to hang). Sam takes the skill rather high, and he really stretches out to grab the bar, which makes the skill look gorgeous in the air. (Let's just hope that they remember to tighten the bars this time.)
18. Paul Ruggeri, US Gymnastics Development Center
If you're hoping to see Paul's uneven bars routine, you'll be disappointed. Fear not, though. Paul is quite good on high bar. Though his 2012 routine was free of big releases, it scored quite well. But with a new quad comes a new Code, and I'm curious to see what will happen in 2013 since some of his connections have been devalued and since the judges will be cracking down on Tkatchev releases with a 1/2 turn (0:24 mark--Paul does about a 1/4 turn--at best--before regrasping the bar). I, for one, will be paying close attention to the composition of his new routine.
19. Jake Martin, Ohio State
This video is an old one, but it still shows you what is so beautiful about Martin's gymnastics: his long lines. We often talk about the long lines of someone like Khorkina on uneven bars, but the same look can be stunning on high bar, as well.
20. Danell Leyva, Universal Gymnastics
High bar tends to be the event that saves Danell's ass. Swinging pipe has helped him secure both his 2012 American Cup title and his bronze medal at the London Olympics. However, in recent videos, his high bar has looked a bit sloppier than normal. Time will tell if he pulls it together this weekend. (I'm also curious to see if the Yin Alvarez clap is allowed during competitions.)
There you have it: a few potential highlights at this weekend's Winter Cup. As far as I know, the meet will not be broadcasted, but I will be providing updates on the GymCastic website. So, look over there for quick hits and some quotable moments from the press conferences.