Arlington, TEXAS — Baltimore's Donnell Whittenburg led for much of the day at the AT&T American Cup before being overtaken on the competition's final event and settling for third.
The Edgewood graduate was in first place in the prestigious international invitational, part of the International Gymnastics Federation's all-around World Cup Series, heading into horizontal bars, the sixth and final event.
He posted a 14.366, his second-lowest score of the day, to finish with an all-around total of 89.932 at AT&T Stadium. Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine scored a 15.066 to jump ahead to first overall (90.597), while Japan's Ryohei Kato finished with 90.098 after a 15.133 on horizontal bars.
Verniaiev put himself in position for the win with the day's highest men's score, a 15.9 on parallel bars. He's the defending world champion in that event.
"He's been hitting that set ever since world championships," Whittenburg said. "I didn't really care where I finished. I just wanted to hit all my sets the best that I can. I feel like I definitely did that."
The announced crowd of 10,383 on one sideline of the NFL stadium got a larger-than-life-sized view of all the gymnasts on the giant video board hanging about 50 feet above the floor. Huge black curtains closed off the other side of the 80,000-seat venue.
"It was definitely cool," Whittenburg said. "I kind of saw, corner of my eye, like, myself on TV. And I was like, 'All right, try not to look at it.' Just tried to just look forward and stay in my bubble."