Las Vegas has a reputation for picking up people’s dreams and burning them to the ground. It also has a reputation, however, for fulfilling lifelong dreams, which Cal men’s gymnast Kevin Wolting personally experienced this past weekend. Wolting placed sixth at the 2015 Winter Cup Challenge, fulfilling his dream of earning a spot on the United States Senior National Team.
“It was absolutely amazing to see all his hard work pay off and finally get recognized for it,” said head coach Brett McClure. “It’s extremely exciting — not just for him, but for Cal men’s gymnastics as a whole.”
Wolting finished the competition, which took place across a span of two days, with a combined all-around score of 171.900. He finished day one with an overall score of 85.550, which earned him an eighth-place finish in the preliminaries.
For Wolting, the prelims were highlighted by a set of impressive scores he put up on both the floor and the pommel horse. Wolting put up a strong floor score of 14.950, which ranked as one of the top floor scores in the prelims. He also finished day one with a pommel horse score of 14.900, which is one of the best scores he’s ever received in this event. He ended the prelims, however, with score of 13.550 on the high bar, a score he would drastically improve upon in the finals.
Wolting responded to the pressure in the finals by performing well all around, finishing the meet strongly and securing a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team. The finals for Wolting were highlighted by his impressive scores of 15.200 on floor and 15.250 on vault. He finished the finals with an overall score of 86.350, improving upon the 85.550 that he put in prelims.
His final event totals, across both days, were also impressive — most notably his combined scores of 30.150 for floor (fourth overall), 30.000 for vault (seventh overall) and 29.300 on the pommel horse (eighth overall).
“He really did a phenomenal job on the floor exercise — he looked extremely calm and confident,” McClure said. “It was really fun to watch. Just to see how happy he was after every single routine was quite endearing.”
There were several other key performances at the 2015 Winter Cup Challenge, especially when it came to former Bears Donothan Bailey and Steven Lacombe. Bailey finished in fifth place with a two-day total of 172.050, joining Wolting as a member of the national team.
Lacombe’s highlight of the competition came with his event total of 30.050 on the still rings, which ranked second overall for that event. But he fell short of making the U.S. national team.
Wolting is returning to California a little differently from the way he left: He’s returning with a future spot on the U.S. Senior National Team.
“He’s now eligible to go as far as he wants to go in this sport,” McClure said.
Alex Quintana covers gymnastics. Contact him at [email protected]