Vladi Klurman and Kevin Tan Advance to Finals of Winter Cup Challenge
Fans can follow the action from the final day of the Winter Cup Challenge via a free, live Web cast at usa-gymnastics.org.
¡°We're excited to have two guys make it another day,¡± said 16-year Penn State head coach Randy Jepson. ¡°Kevin did a good job with new routines. Vladi gets a chance to improve on what he did tonight.¡±
Klurman¡¯s best performance came on the still rings, as he secured eighth place with a score of 14.900. He also finished 20th on the parallel bars, 31st in the vault, and 52nd on the pommel horse.
Tan, the defending Winter Cup rings champion, dominated the competition, taking first with a score of 16.300; a mark nearly one-point higher than the second-place finisher. The former six-time All-American at Penn State also had solid showings on the pommel horse (12th), high bar (14th), and parallel bars (22nd). Tan¡¯s point total of 75 placed him ninth among the field of 42 that has advanced to the finals competition.
At stake in the Winter Cup Challenge finals are seven spots on the U.S. Men¡¯s Senior National Team. Three athletes will be added to the team based on the national team points system rank order, while the final four gymnasts will be selected from the Winter Cup Challenge participants and petitioned athletes by the Men¡¯s Program Committee. These seven, along with the seven members of the 2006 World Championships Team who already qualified for the team, will comprise the Senior Men¡¯s National Team until the 2007 Visa Championships in August.
For Klurman, this will be his first shot at a place on the U.S. Men¡¯s Senior National Team¡¯s roster. In 2002, the Ukrainian-born native Floridian was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team.
In 2006, Tan captained the U.S. Men¡¯s Senior National Team at the World Championships in Denmark in the fall and then went on to win a bronze medal in the still rings competition at the DTB Pokal World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany in November.
Other Nittany Lions also turned in impressive performances in preliminary competition. Junior Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) and senior Matt Cohen (Agoura Hills, Calif.) competed in the all-around, finishing 17th and 31st, respectively. Helsby¡¯s best showing was on the pommel horse (22nd) while Cohen had strong efforts on the parallel bars (19th) and the vault (20th). Freshman Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.) rose to the occasion, placing seventh in the vault. Classmate Cody Carnahan (East Brady, Pa.) earned 20th place in the floor exercise.