Cameron Bock, a University of Michigan senior, was the surprise winner of the Winter Cup, the first significant U.S. gymnastics meet of the Olympic year.
Bock tallied 84.15 points, prevailing by nine tenths over Riley Loos, a Stanford sophomore.
“I view this competition as the first step in the Olympic process,” Bock said on NBCSN. “It’s not the direct qualification process, but I view it as a good stepping stone to get on that team.”
Yul Moldauer, the 2017 U.S. all-around champion and most decorated man in the field, finished third after a major mistake off a high bar handstand attempt.
Bock, 22, placed seventh in the all-around at the 2018 U.S. Championships. He didn’t compete at the 2019 Nationals after earning two medals at the Pan American Games days earlier.
Bock, fourth in the 2019 NCAA Championships all-around, could become the first man to make an Olympic team coming off an NCAA season since Sam Mikulak, a fellow California native who also attended Michigan, in 2012.
“[Bock’s] stock just went way up,” NBC Sports analyst Nastia Liukin said. “You have to think that he just put his name pretty far up that list.”
Athletes are preparing for the national championships in June in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Olympic Trials three weeks later in St. Louis. The Olympic team will be four men, plus up to two more in individual events only.
Winter Cup lacked three of the five men from the team that finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships — six-time U.S. all-around champion Mikulak, Akash Modi and Trevor Howard, all Olympic team contenders.
Winter Cup continues with women’s competition on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.
Rio Olympic team gold medalist Laurie Hernandez headlines the field, competing for the first time since the 2016 Games. Recent world championships team gold medalists Jade Carey, Suni Lee and Riley McCusker are also entered.
Simone Biles skipped the Winter Cup while focusing on training and is expected to next compete at a World Cup in Tokyo in May. She last competed at the October 2019 World Championships.
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