US Nationals – Men’s Day 2

Men’s action on day 2 starts with the juniors at 1:00pm CT (Stream, Scores). After the first day, Winter Cup champion Colt Walker leads the 17-18 age group by recording an 80.100 and placing in the top 5 on every event. He has nearly 2 points on anyone else, so he looks to be in control there given a relative hit today.

In the 15-16 group, Nicolas Kuebler stuck the crap out of everything I saw on day 1 to place first with 79.600, but he’s only a couple tenths ahead of Taylor Burkhart in 2nd. Other possible favorite and professional Rami Malek impersonator Isaiah Drake had a nasty on PH on the first day to fall to 6th but could make some ground back up today.

The senior men get underway at 6:30pm CT (Stream, International Stream, Scores). With a lead of nearly 3 points after the first day, Sam Mikulak is going to win. Yul Moldauer is currently in 2nd, only a hair’s breadth ahead of Akash Modi and Shane Wiskus. You like Moldauer as the favorite there for 2nd, but they could end up in any order. Wiskus and Trevor Howard were the big winners of day 1 in terms of improving their prospective cases for the worlds team—also Riley Loos who placed 6th AA but is more under the radar simply because we didn’t see any of his routines on the broadcast. As the less-expected members of the top group, however, they’re going to have to reconfirm that status on day 2. If they falter while people like Yoder and Bower move back up, then we could have a reassertion of the status quo when it comes to the selection camp group.

Just 8 were invited to the selection camp last year, and I have a tough time winnowing down this year’s potential group smaller than 10 or 11 people, so it’s going to get interesting today.

The Oklahoma group will be depleted today as both Colin Van Wicklan and Matt Wenske have been forced to withdraw from the competition. Van Wicklen’s concussion took him out of the first day as well, and Wenske suffered an ankle injury on vault on day 1. Van Wicklen is petitioning to the selection camp, and I have to imagine that will be accepted since he’s a major contender for the worlds team and the selection isn’t for another month.

We’ll be doing the live chat watch party again on GymCastic for night 2 of the men, so get in loser.


9 thoughts on “US Nationals – Men’s Day 2”

  1. I wish they’d give Akash his due, he alternated AA NCAA gold medals every year with Yul and they’re often neck to neck in elite events, Yul ahead with execution, Akash ahead with difficulty. Random tangent.

    The world team selection process will be interesting. Unfortunately, Bronze will be the fight after China/Russia’s big point gap to Japan, USA, Great Britain, Brazil, Switzerland).

    Sam will be the underdog for any bronze medal (AA, FX, PH, PB, HB).

    PH — Alec Yoder, Stephen Nedoroscik or Brody Malone, could all potentially medal there if given the chance on the team and others falter.

    The men’s team need to get upcoming gymnasts to focus on 2 or 3 events instead of AA or we’ll continue to be out of range of medals.

  2. USAG announced those going to The World Team Selection Camp:
    Allan Bower, Trevor Howard, Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Akash Modi, Colin Van Wicklen, Donnell Whittenburg, Shane Wiskus.

    Basically, Sam will AA and they’ll figure the combo for the best 3 up on each event from that pack. Not knocking anyone, but AA for anyone else would be destructive for team medal and they would have no chance at an AA one, Sam will be a dark horse for one himself.

    My guess for Worlds Team:
    Sam (AA)
    Akash (PH, SR, PB, HB)
    Yul (FX, VT, PH, PB)
    Colin (FX, VT, HB)
    Trevor (SR)

    -Yul and Shane have nearly identical apparatus strengths and weaknesses, so it’s really them competing each other for a spot.
    -I feel like Akash is guaranteed a spot because he is reliably good on multiple team ‘weaker’ events.
    -Depending on Colin, Trevor and Donnell’s performances at camp, any combination of those 3 could be selected to fill in the team holes, but I seriously doubt Allan will be in contention unless an injury happens.

    1. I don’t see Shane beating out Yul. I think Yul’s a lock. His execution is really valuable and Shane only outscored Yul on 2 events (vault and pbars) and that was only by .10 and .05. Plus Yul has pommells and Shane doesn’t.
      I’m afraid Shane could end up alternate, despite his great performance here, because his strengths (FX, V, PB) are not where the U.S. is weak and other combinations of athletes can score similarly.
      I don’t think Bower is out of the picture. With Mikulak, Moldauer, and Bower, you have Floor and Pommells covered, and he can do a decent vault and Pbars as well.

      1. But can his headband do 2 vaults? If so, by all means, put it on the team. Now the only question is, should the headband lead-off and Donnell anchor? Or vice versa?

      2. The best thing for him and his headband is Tai Chi. His intensity and frustration might make him more explosive, but also are the primary roadblocks to Tokyo.

  3. The men’s team is oddly in the same situation as the women’s team where Mikulak and Biles are locks but where the rest of the team is up in the air with some gymnasts more likely than others.

    Obviously the main difference is that on the women’s side the big question is whether to go for the maximum 11 medals or to win the team competition by a record margin while on the men’s side it’s how to assemble a team that might have a chance at team bronze.

    Mikulak is always on the cusp of an AA medal but even with a 6/6 hit he’s not guaranteed one. Beyond him, no one else should be going for the all around. Team selection should be purely about the team competition – any event final qualifications would be a bonus.

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