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U.S. Rallies to Men's Gold at Pacific Rim
(8 votes, average 4.50 out of 5)

The U.S. dominated the second Subdivision and rallied to a convincing victory at the Pacific Rim Championships Saturday in Everett, Wash. Paced by the Chris Brooks and Sam Mikulak, who finished 1-2 in the all-around, the Americans defeated Japan, 352.050-344.700, with China taking the bronze with 343.250.


Chris Brooks (U.S.)

Australia placed fourth (334.950) over Russia (332.000), and Canada was sixth (330.250).

Brooks and Mikulak were neck and neck in the final rotations, and on the last event, floor, Brooks edged Mikulak for the gold, 88.70-88.65. Japan's Koji Uematsu won the bronze with 87.200.

Japan went 1-2 in the junior all-around with Kaito Imabayashi (84.90) and Koji Nonomura (84.40). Akash Modi of the U.S. took the bronze with 84.150.

Brooks' only major mistake was on vault, where he tried a handspring-piked double front but tucked and sat down. His best effort came on high bar, where his releases were in the rafters and his pirouettes smooth. Mikulak, who is still not 100 percent from two broken ankles sustained last summer, went six-for-six and showed a refreshing style throughout.

Both Brooks and Mikulak were aware of how close they were heading to the final rotation.

"You always want to win, but it's all about the team for me," Brooks said. "All-around is secondary, and being right there close to Sam was awesome. Sam's a great guy and a great gymnast."

Said Mikulak: "I knew as long as me and him went out hitting sets and USA came out on top, it was going to be a good result. I'm happy with the outcome."

Summaries of the teams are below:

USA

Starting on pommels, the U.S. knows that every hit routine will take them that much closer to winning this meet. And for the three seniors, complete, confident sets will also help in their individual quests to make the Olympic team. Junior Sean Melton opened with a steady hit, and junior Marvin Kimble did even better, showing a full kehre. The third junior, Akash Modi, performed another solid pommel horse set, and Chris Brooks kept the mojo going with another hit. Sam Mikulak made it five in a row, mounting with a scissor-half hop to other end. Jake Dalton went last, but only for his all-around total, and got through without any major breaks, but his 11.75/4.9 will hurt his all-around chances.

Melton was first up on rings and put his hands down on a double-double dismount, the first mistake for the U.S. Kimble followed with a hit set with good strength. He's got a lot of talent. Mikulak hit rings, with two Yamawakis and a tucked double-double. Brooks was looking strong until he had to bend his arms to save a handstand. But he still scored 14.65/6.2. Dalton showed excellent Malteses and control in his swing, and he ended with a clean double-double for an event-high 15.15/6.2.

Melton led off vault with a high double front that he almost stuck; his smile said it all, though. Kimble overrotated his double front and took a few big steps to stop. Mikulak, who can do a Lopez, opted for a Kasamatsu-1.5 here and landed with only a small hop (16.05). He did a double front second vault but collapsed to his knees. Brooks attempted a double front pike with tucked the second flip and sat down. Dalton was last with a Lopez, which just slightly short (16.10). His second was was a handspring-double twisting front, done well.

Melton got the team off to another strong start on p-bars, and Modi hit well and ended with a high tucked full-out. Mikulak followed with an innovative set with a front straddled salto to Moy. Everything he does has a unique flair. Dalton struggled a bit on p-bars but still avoided any major break, and he matched Mikulak's 14.65. Brooks couldn't keep his legs together on a peach-Diamidov but ended with a high double front (14.85/6.5). Kimble went last for his all-around but came off the bars. He finished strong, however, with a high barani-out dismount.

Melton finally broke on high bar, but stayed on and finished with a tucked double-double (11.65). Modi followed with a really clean set and layout full-out. Mikulak was very clean on high bar, and stuck his double-double for a huge crowd response. His Kolman was spotless and his Takemoto to Yamawaki right on top (15.25). Dalton messed up his Takemoto and didn't connect the Yamawaki. Brooks anchored with a dynamic set, highighted by a Takemoto-Yamawaki-Gienger combo. He also threw a high layout Tkatchev to cross-grip (15.65).

Modi and Melton began floor, setting up Mikulak, who is in the hunt for the all-around at this point. He mounted with a tucked double-double and followed with a back 1.5 twist to full-twisting front-1.75 (14.55). Brooks followed with a handspring piked double front and did a tucked double front in combination for a second. Brooks scored 14.85 to edge Mikulak for the all-around by .05. Dalton anchored with a 15.60, mounting with his layout Arabian double, sealing an easy win for the U.S. over Japan.

China

Junior Guanhua started p-bars with a beautiful routine that included a Bhavsar and excellent form and technique. Wang Peng did a clean peach-full to peach half and finished strong. Liu Rongbing fell apart midway through his set but finished a marathon routine with a stick. Cheng Ran looked strong until he missed a handstand and added and intermediate swing. He still led the team with 14.85 because of his 6.4 D-score. Tiny Kangye Xu got applause for his Bhavsar, which traveled the length of the bars, and he hit well (14.50) to enable the the team to drop Liu's 12.75.

Wu hit high bar and was all smiles afterward. Wang was loose in places but threw a high Tkatchev and nice layout double-double. Liu hit cold with a Moznik and perfect layout double-double. Cheng followed and his hand missed on a half-Takemoto and he collapsed, so it will be up to Xu to save the event again. Xu is really short (looks to be under 5 feet tall) but has the physique of an adult. He may well have the best strength-to-weight ratio of his team. He mounted with a cool full Takemoto to undergrips but later fell off on a Tkatchev. China definitely lost some ground to the field on this event.

Lead-off man Wu was unsteady on some landings on floor. Wang was loose on floor in his Thomas salto. Liu and Cheng hit for 14.60 and 14.70, so Xu scratched from the event.

On pommels, China scored in the 13's for its first four routines, and Xu struggled to an 11.20/4.4.

China showed superb strength, and Cheng dismounted with layout double-double, stuck. Xu also dismouted with a layout double-double. Wu led the team with a 14.70/5.7.

With low level vaults, China wound up finishing third, behind Japan, which had won the first subdivision.

Canada

The Canadians did low difficulty vaults but scored well in execution. Everyone was in the 9's, with Scott Morgan scoring 9.60 for two different vaults.

Canada was solid on p-bars until Zachary Clay missed a hand on his peach mount, but Anderson Loran and Robert Watson anchored the event with a pair of team-high 14.20s.

Anchor Loran did a clean Takemoto-Yamawaki and Kolman but got crooked on a pirouette and had to come to a front support and cast back to giants. Watson did a high Kovacs and led the team with a 13.95/5.3.

Scott Morgan woke up the crowd with his floor mount of double layout punch front 1.25, but he put his hands down on a full-in at the end. Watson was top man with 14.75/5.9

Canada was up and down on pommels, and finished on rings, led by Morgan's 14.80/6.4.

Russia

The young Russians were not that sharp on floor, with Daniil Kazachkov posting their highest score, 14.25. Pavel Pavlov was next best with 14.05.

Russia didn't have a lot of difficulty on pommels, but Sergey Stepanov and Grigory Zyrianov led with 13.30 and 13.35, respectively.

The Russians swung excellent rings overall, and Kazachkov was tops with 14.80/6.2. Most of this team has lean bodies and good lines but just need a bit more strength, which will come.

Russia had some problems on vault when Pavlov fell on his double front and Kazachkov stepped off the mat on his Kasamatsu-1.5. Mikhail Bodnar hit his double front to help the cause (16.00).

The Russians lacked difficulty on p-bars, but Zyrianov posted a 14.10/5.2 to help the event total. Bodnar had the highest D-score, 5.7.

Russia showed potential on high bar, with Bodnar's 7.0 set (6.45 E-score), and Pavlov pitched in a 13.55, showing a very clean Kolman.

Australia

Joshua Jefferis led the Aussies on rings with a 15.10/6.5, and Samuel Offord was solid for a 14.95.

Brody-Jai Henness and Thomas Pichlar earned 15.60 and 15.70 for their double-twisting Yurchenkos to lead the team.

Joshua Jefferis had a great set going until he collapsed on a Healy, but he had plenty of amplitude on his peach and Belle, and he did a Tippelt to glide.

At high bar, Thomas Pichler threw a clean Winkler (full-twisting layout Jaeger) and great set overall.

As last up on floor, Pichler couldn't pull around a tucked full-in at the end. Jefferis was best with 14.25.

Offord, Jefferis and Pichler led the team through pommels to help the team finish fourth, ahead of Russia, which must have felt good.

2012 Pacific Rim Championships
March 17, Everett, Wa.

Men's TeamFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.United States59.1053.9558.1064.1558.7058.05352.05
2.Japan58.0050.4057.8562.7057.3058.45344.70
3.China56.4053.7057.7063.3057.6054.55343.25
4.Australia55.6548.9557.7062.1055.6054.95334.95
5.Russia55.0051.0557.9061.9052.9553.20332.00
6.Canada55.7549.4055.0561.8055.4052.85330.25
7.Chinese Taipei52.0547.6550.8555.7054.1052.15312.50
8.Mexico51.3043.1550.1560.6551.7052.65309.60
9.Hong Kong50.9044.7549.0560.7545.3043.05293.80

Senior Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Chris Brooks6.014.855.913.856.214.656.614.856.514.856.815.6588.70
2.Sam Mikulak5.714.556.013.705.614.256.616.055.914.856.515.2588.65
3.Koji Uematsu5.614.806.112.555.914.456.215.656.514.207.315.5587.20
4.Jake Dalton6.615.604.911.756.215.157.016.106.214.655.913.6586.90
5.Liu Rongbing6.014.605.813.806.014.456.215.806.012.756.815.1086.50
6.Joshua Jefferis5.514.254.712.556.515.106.215.556.714.406.014.4086.25
7.Tatsuki Nakashima6.414.956.311.905.214.257.015.856.614.855.614.3086.10
8.Cheng Ran6.114.705.513.105.514.307.016.356.414.855.512.7586.05
9.Thomas Pichler6.514.205.112.655.614.256.215.705.714.305.414.0085.10
10.Wang Peng6.113.605.413.656.214.256.215.756.114.705.012.9584.90
11.Anderson Loran5.714.455.213.305.213.706.215.505.514.206.213.0084.15
12.Robert Watson5.914.754.712.055.813.805.815.155.614.205.313.9583.90
13.Daniil Kazachkov6.214.254.512.006.214.806.614.554.813.405.313.9082.90
14.Samuel Offord5.413.804.912.606.314.955.414.855.612.704.913.4082.30
15.Rodolfo Bonilla5.312.555.310.805.713.856.315.705.414.605.514.4581.95
16.Mikhail Bodnar5.313.455.011.506.014.506.616.005.712.707.013.4581.60
17.Pavel Pavlov5.514.054.412.305.614.406.614.804.612.355.413.5581.45
18.Jean Nathan Monteclaro5.512.605.311.355.813.856.616.155.313.554.813.4580.95
19.Chen I-Hsiang4.212.904.813.404.813.204.613.504.713.654.613.4080.05
20.Chen Szu-Chieh4.513.355.912.054.312.205.414.555.114.204.212.7579.10
21.Bobby Kriangkum5.814.004.410.305.813.656.215.454.712.955.012.0078.35
22.Huang Sheng-Meng4.312.953.99.656.013.554.613.804.713.404.513.3076.65
23.Ng Kiu Chung4.711.702.710.706.014.206.614.954.812.602.310.8575.00
24.Santos Martinez5.412.853.89.405.212.106.615.305.111.404.612.7573.80
25.Liu Kam Wah4.612.453.410.655.112.956.615.454.111.7063.20
26.Shek Wai Hung 5.713.105.213.406.616.405.914.4057.30
27.Takuya Nakase5.612.006.415.156.514.156.614.2055.50
28.Mikhail Koudinov4.311.555.113.055.813.955.413.8552.40
29.Scott Morgan6.012.956.414.806.215.8043.55
30.Jorge Hugo Giraldo5.412.006.114.9026.90
31.Axel Elias4.913.255.011.8025.05

Junior Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Kaito Imabayashi5.014.005.513.955.213.306.215.354.913.905.314.4084.90
2.Koji Nonomura5.314.254.812.254.914.006.215.655.314.104.814.1584.40
3.Akash Modi5.414.005.113.355.113.756.215.505.114.054.713.5084.15
4.Wu Guanhua5.213.505.113.155.714.706.215.405.613.555.213.7584.05
5.Grigory Zyryanov5.113.755.213.354.413.406.215.705.214.104.213.0583.35
6.Sergei Stepanov5.313.554.813.305.414.206.615.504.213.404.712.8082.75
7.Marvin Kimble5.314.005.513.055.114.056.615.805.512.104.613.6082.60
8.Sean Melton5.414.105.312.905.313.156.616.205.214.354.511.6582.35
9.Kenzo Seryu4.913.854.111.355.013.456.215.555.013.855.513.5581.60
10.Brody-Jai Hennessy5.412.403.711.104.713.256.215.605.314.004.712.7579.10
11.Nikolai Kovinov4.712.205.312.405.013.806.215.404.612.754.612.0578.60
12.Zachary Clay4.813.504.512.604.312.305.815.354.412.604.411.9078.25
13.Joshua Stuart4.713.054.511.454.712.755.014.454.413.404.013.0078.10
14.Lachlan Savill4.713.404.111.154.412.254.613.804.612.904.213.1576.65
15.Rodolfo Gomez4.412.653.710.004.812.556.215.004.312.604.312.7075.50
16.Leo Golder4.213.003.310.603.111.554.613.553.912.903.712.3073.90
17.Lin Jia-En4.411.554.011.053.911.904.613.604.011.904.612.7072.70
18.Andres Resendiz4.211.804.310.554.811.355.414.654.210.504.012.6071.45
19.Reegan Edwards4.212.803.711.952.610.204.013.253.910.553.312.1070.85
20.Poon Chun Kit4.212.553.910.003.711.903.012.452.39.053.510.2566.20
21.Cory Paterson4.111.454.812.605.414.654.413.604.112.9065.20
22.Kent Pieterse4.812.304.813.405.815.254.511.654.612.4565.05
23.Tin Tak Seto4.812.801.810.004.613.953.211.952.37.5556.25
24.Xu Kangye4.411.205.813.805.614.505.012.0051.50
25.Sergio Elias4.411.655.413.454.413.103.912.7550.95
26.Liu Fu-Li4.411.153.511.603.912.854.212.7048.30
27.Chao Yu-Chin4.212.854.613.7526.60
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