2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships: Brody Malone goes back-to-back, Donnell Whittenburg earns world team spot

By Patricia Duffy | August 20, 2022
2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships: Brody Malone goes back-to-back, Donnell Whittenburg earns world team spot
The top 6 all-arounders from the 2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships in the senior men's division. From left to right: Colt Walker (Stanford), Fred Richard (MEGA), Donnell Whittenburg (Salto), Brody Malone (Stanford), Asher Hong (Cypress), and Yul Moldauer (5280). (© Amy Sanderson)

TAMPA, Fla. – The senior men’s division concluded competition at the 2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Amalie Arena on Saturday evening.

Brody Malone left little doubt that he would defend his 2021 U.S. all-around title after finishing first on Day 1. The Stanford gymnast extended that lead to over five points, including bonus, before the night was over, winning with a 176.590 after 12 total rotations.

When asked about the large margin between him and Donnell Whittenburg (Salto) in second place, the ever-humble and stoic Malone said, “Oh, I didn’t… I didn’t know that. Everyone is doing really great. We’re all pushing difficulty. And, you know, Asher (Hong) had a couple of mistakes… We’re all doing what we’re supposed to be doing to meet the end goal of getting on the podium.”

In addition to defending his title, Malone won floor and high bar, retained his spot on the U.S. senior men’s national team, and earned an automatic berth to the 2022 U.S. men’s world team. He’s also slated to compete at the Paris World Challenge Cup in September.

Malone started the night on one of his tougher events, hitting his pommel horse set and setting the tone for the night. He closed things out on floor where he earned a 15.116 after throwing a routine that included a front full to front double pike, 2.5 twist to double front, and double-double.

The 22-year-old Olympian also acknowledged the inflated scores earned thanks to the U.S. men’s bonus system that was started at Winter Cup earlier this year, which bolstered his all-around total by 3.424 points over two days of competition.

“Every score I got, I was looking up there and trying to subtract the bonus off to see kind of where I was actually scoring,” Malone said after the meet. “We all have a lot of work to do to be able to keep up with those top guys. I’m hungry to get back in the gym.”

If it looks like elite-level gymnastics comes easy to Malone, know that is not the case. Saturday night was just the third time Malone has competed the all-around since the NCAA championships in April, when he wasn’t doing his highest level of sets due to an ankle injury.

“I can tell you the meet here went a lot better than how training has been going,” Malone admitted. “Training has been looking pretty rough… It’s hard to get in shape, and it’s been a process, but I think it’s looking good for worlds. We’re definitely on the right track.”

Malone isn’t the only one who earned a berth to compete at worlds in Liverpool, England, in October.

Whittenburg, who turned 28 on Thursday, edged 18-year-old first year senior Asher Hong (Cypress) in the final rotation 171.571 to 171.210. The battle for second was even more lucrative than normal, as the second place finisher could automatically earn a world team spot if they also placed top three on at least two events.

Whittenburg and Hong both achieved that second piece of criteria earlier in the meet, so when they headed to horse and high bar, respectively, it was all about hitting. Hong was gassed from 12 rotations and struggled on his dismount, putting his hands down and incurring a significant deduction in the process, and Whittenburg, the two-time world medalist, booked his ticket to Liverpool and will also join Malone in Paris.

“I’ve been owning my gymnastics,” Whittenburg said. “I just had to come out here and show it on the floor and just be consistent, because that was the main concern with me.”

Hong is still a favorite to make the world team but will have to earn his spot at selection camp in October alongside other national team members.

Fellow first-year senior Fred Richard (MEGA) finished fourth (169.166) after an outstanding season that saw him win five gold medals at the Junior Pan American Championships. Due to his performance as a junior in a FIG-sanctioned competition, he is not eligible to compete as a senior internationally until next season, but Men’s High Performance Director Brett McClure did previously say he hopes to have Richard participate in selection camp for the experience.

Rounding out the top six all-around were Yul Moldauer (5280) with a 169.139 and Colt Walker (Stanford) with a 169.049. The other Olympian in the field, Shane Wiskus (USOPTC), finished 7th with a 167.429.

Standout specialist performances included Curran Phillips (Stanford) on parallel bars (16.949), Alex Diab on rings (15.095), and Stephen Nedoroscik (Penn State) on pommel horse (15.393).

After the meet, the senior men’s yearly awards were announced, with Stanford head coach Thom Glielmi taking home coach of the year and Malone winning athlete and sportsperson of the year.

2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships – Event Winners

  • Floor: Brody Malone (Stanford)
  • Pommels: Stephen Nedoroscik (Penn State)
  • Rings: Donnell Whittenburg (Salto)
  • Vault: Asher Hong (Cypress)
  • Parallel bars: Curran Phillips (Stanford)
  • High bar: Brody Malone (Stanford)
  • All-Around: Brody Malone (Stanford)

2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships – Senior Men’s National Team

Senior National Team

  • Taylor Burkhart, Morrison, Colo./Stanford University
  • Alex Diab, Glen Ellyn, Ill./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center
  • Asher Hong, Tomball, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics
  • Paul Juda, Deerfield, Ill./University of Michigan*
  • Ian Lasic-Ellis, Dover, Mass./Stanford University
  • Riley Loos, El Dorado Hills, Calif./Stanford University
  • Brody Malone, Aragon, Ga./Stanford University
  • Yul Moldauer, Wellington, Colo./5280 Gymnastics
  • Stephen Nedoroscik, Worcester, Mass./Penn State University 
  • Curran Phillips, Naperville, Ill./ Stanford University
  • Fred Richard, Stoughton, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy
  • Blake Sun, San Antonio, Texas/Stanford University
  • Colt Walker, Cedar Park, Texas/Stanford University
  • Donnell Whittenburg, Baltimore, Md./Salto Gymnastics
  • Shane Wiskus, Minneapolis, Minn../U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center

Senior National Team

  • Jeremy Bischoff, Canyon Country, Calif./Stanford University
  • Garrett Braunton, Olympia, Wash./U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Matthew Cormier, Milton, Mass./Penn State University
  • Isaiah Drake, Los Angeles, Calif./U.S. Naval Academy
  • Joshua Karnes, Erie, Pa./Penn State University

*Petitioned to team.

Toby Liang (Roswell) scored a 155.400, which earned him a spot on the 2022-23 Junior Men’s National Team as the top 18-year-old not named to the senior teams.

See the full scores from Day 2 of senior men’s competition at the 2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships here: Senior Results: All-Around | Events.

Relive the competition with our live blog here.