The senior men’s finals competition certainly did not disappoint. The field of men stepped it up big time after a rough night one. There is a great deal to be excited for moving forward to 2018 Worlds and beyond! Among the highlights:
Feature Photo by Grace Chiu
Sam Mikulak put on a show on Saturday evening. It was a performance that was world-caliber in every regard! The Style. The skills. The swag. All of it was met with approval from both the judges and the audience, which roared in approval after every routine. Recovering from a spine strain just last week, he led the rest of the field by a 4.75-point gap. A brilliant performance… absolutely stunning, stylish gymnastics. Bravo!
A Moldauer Moment!
2017 U.S. All-Around Champion Yul Moldauer came back with a vengeance after an uncharacteristically shaky performance in the preliminary round. Suffering from a back injury, Moldauer altered his sets to go back to what he primarily uses during the NCAA season, but he put in a performance that was nearly picture-perfect, earning the silver. What a talent; what a competitor!
The rotation full of Oklahoma competitors rekindled memories of NCAA finals, where team camaraderie reigns! A nearly full Olympic Training Center rotation group was also among the most spirited of the night. Love that energy!
Calm, Collected and Consistent
Allan Bower is a quiet presence on the competition floor but a solid performer who’s composed under pressure time and time again. Overlooked for a spot on the world team last year, it will be hard to cast him aside this year. He’ll look to continue to up his D-scores as Tokyo approaches, but the reliability is to be commended.
Donothan Bailey finished just outside of the medals, but showed he is a world team contender. One to watch!
Alec Yoder may lock up a spot on the world team just based on his pommel prowess. With scores of 15.150 (what!)) and 14.7, his set is world-class and entertaining to watch. Well done!
When you need a little motivation, just go back and watch Sam Mikulak’s high bar set on YouTube. During the event, we commented that it almost looked like an animation because of how crisp the set was and how big the skills were. #MotivationMonday material for the future!
Come on, Boston!
On the disappointing side, the crowd for today’s competition was miniscule at 3,321. It’s a shame that the best of the best in the country are competing for national honors in front of such a small crowd. Hindered in part by the separation of U.S. Congress (held last week) as well as poor marketing, the event should draw a much larger crowd on a Saturday, especially being in such a large city. Here’s hoping that in the future the event will get more promotion and more involvement from the host city.
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