Feb. 6, 2013
CHICAGO - UIC gymnast Dan Zerbel prepares for competition at the 2013 Winter Cup Challenge, being held at the Las Vegas Sports Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday through Saturday. Zerbel is one of 78 gymnasts set to compete at the three-day event.
"Dan and I are both really excited to represent UIC at such a major event," head coach Charley Nelson said. "The 2013 U.S. National Team will be set and, similar to last year's appearance at the Visa National Championships, being there places Dan among the nation's top gymnasts. I think there is a serious chance for Dan to qualify for the day two finals, which would truly place him among elite company."
Zerbel will be among current and former collegiate gymnasts, representing 13 colleges, including five members of the 2012 U.S. Senior National Team. Thirteen members of the U.S. junior national team will also be present.
"For an NCAA student-athlete, the Winter Cup is somewhat unique in that it is an individual competition. It will be difficult for Dan to compete without his team behind him, but I know that he will be doing his best to represent himself and his teammates."
The top 42 gymnasts will advance to the final competition, along with the top three gymnasts from each event. Performances will help determine the 15 men who will comprise the U.S. Men's Senior National Team through the 2013 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Hartford, Conn., Aug. 15-18.
"For the rest of the team, the Winter Cup weekend begins a two-weekend break from competition where we'll look to focus on the details of our routines. Everyone will be working to find .3 of improvements. It doesn't sound like much, but if we're successful, it will mean an additional nine points in the team score."