There was little doubt that five-time U.S. All-Around champ Sam Mikulak was going to be in front at the halfway mark of the USA Gymnastics National Championships in Kansas City. But even with one major error, he ran out to a big edge on Thursday night.
Mikulak, trying to become the second men’s gymnast in U.S. history to win six national All-Around titles, posted a first-day score of 86.750, way ahead of 2017 National Champion Yul Moldauer, who scored 84.000.
Mikulak won the Floor event (14.650), the Parallel Bars (14.200) and Horizontal Bar (also 14.200), and finished in the top four in five of the six events. He had a major error on his landing in the Vault and fell back to 23rd with a score of 13.500, or he could have been a point higher.
Moldauer was expected to be the top challenger, and was second overall (84.000), but had his problems on the Rings, where he tied for 11th. The surprise of the evening was Minnesota’s Shane Wiskus, who just finished his sophomore year and was NCAA All-Around runner-up for the second straight year. He placed seventh at the 2018 Nationals in the Horizontal Bar, but is now in rarified air, in a tie for third place (with veteran Akash Modi) going into the second night of All-Around competition on Saturday.
The women will compete in their first All-Around tomorrow; NBCSN will have it at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Summaries so far:
USA Gymnastics National Championships
Kansas City, Missouri (USA) ~ 8-11 August 2019
(Full results here)
All-Around I: 1. Sam Mikulak, 86.750; 2. Yul Moldauer, 84.000; 3. tie, Shane Wiskus and Akash Modi, 83.950; 5. Trevor Howard, 82.250; 6. Riley Loos, 81.150; 7. Donnell Wittenburg, 81.100; 8. Matt Wenske, 80.950.
● Floor: 1. Mikulak, 14.650; 2. Loos, 14.350; 3. Moldauer, 14.300.
● Pommel Horse: 1. Stephen Nedoroscik, 14.950; 2. Mikulak, 14,750; 3. Michael Paradise, 14.550.
● Rings: 1. Alex Diab, 14.600; 2. Howard, 14,550; 3. Whittenburg, 14.500.
● Vault: 1. Wiskus, 14.500; 2. tie, Kiwan Watts and Tim Wang, 14.400.
● Parallel Bars: 1. Mikulak, 15.350; 2. Moldauer, 14.800; 3. tie, Wiskus & Modi, 14.500.
● Horizontal Bars: 1. Mikulak, 14.200; 2. Modi, 13.700; 3. Paul Juda, 13.600.