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Mikulak Wins Fifth National Title
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

Sam Mikulak (USOTC) won his fifth U.S. Championships, tying Blaine Wilson with the most titles. Frank Cumiskey and George Wheeler also won five national titles. The event was held at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, August 16-19.

Mikulak avoided the falls he had on day one (pommel horse and high bar) and hit all six routines. He also had three stuck landings: tucked double-double off rings; tucked barani-out off parallel bars; double-twisting double layout off high bar.

"This is the favorite U.S. championships I've won so far," said Mikulak, who won floor exercise, parallel bars and high bar. Later he proclaimed, "It's time for me to go and get what I want."

Perhaps a sixth national title?

Athlete of the Year Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) climbed from sixth on Thursday to second place. He fell on floor during a flair sequence but hit a clean pommels set. On rings he performed a Yamawaki to Jonasson and he stuck his tucked double-double. He might have been underscored on parallel bars, and he performed a clean high bar set but dismounted with a full-twisting double layout instead of the triple version on day one.

"Obviously on Thursday I wasn't prepared enough," said Moldaur, whose coach, Mark Williams, was Coach of the Year. "I knew if I could start well (on Saturday), just keep that flowing and keep the energy high. Today was fun. There were more people here, the guys were good and I was with my teammates."

Allen Bower (Oklahoma) finished third, the same rank he held on Thursday. He's definitely known for his consistency.

"I just try to stay within myself," he said. "I am pleased with [the result] but I know I can do better."

Alec Yoder, coached by Rustam Sharipov at Ohio State, finished fifth and he won pommel horse, where he performs a full kehre and full stockli. Considering that the men's program is often weak on that event, perhaps he could be added to the 2018 Worlds team. Those worlds are breaking the tradition of a six-member team and lowering it to five. Eight gymnasts will go to a training camp at the USOTC to select the team.

Sportsman of the Year Akash Modi, who is coached by Thom Glielmi at Stanford, had a couple of mishaps, the biggest being a fall on a Bhavsar on his best event, parallel bars, and on high bar he went the wrong way on a Takemoto. After placing second on Thursday, he dropped to sixth on Saturday.

For full results of the U.S. Championships, click here.

Read the full story in the 2018 September issue of International Gymnast. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast, click here.

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