US Nationals Men’s Day 2 – Live Commentary

In the news earlier today, the women’s Olympic spots were determined at the Pan Am Championships, with Rebeca Andrade dominating the competition to earn a spot for herself. We did have a bit of an upset for the second spot, with Luciana Alvarado of Costa Rica holding off the entire Mexican team to earn the second available spot. Alvarado had been sitting in the 4th alternate position from the 2019 worlds standings and improved on her 2019 score by more than three points today.

Now, to the US men. Eyes on Mikulak today to see if things go slightly less nightmarishly (although I still maintain he can afford for things to go nightmarishly), but I also want to see how things shape up for Wiskus, who did not exactly have a ME OLYMPICS kind of night on day 1 either. The US just generally needs to see more people who can get better than an 83.

One would think that Malone’s massive lead of more than 2.5 points would keep him in control today, but also this is men’s, so…

Nastia is going all Adidas Mermaid tonight.

Yada yada yada, Brody Malone is winning, Sam Mikulak did a little poopy.

Counterpoint: Sam Mikulak could keep doing exactly what he did on night one as long as he keeps hitting high bar and would be on that team.

Nastia being all like, “National titles aren’t that important. You can lose to Shawn if you want.”

Rotation 1

Mikulak – FX – punch randi, small hop – 2.5 to double front is a lot better, hop forward – double front pike, stuck – front 2/1 to front full, loose knees but hit – 2/1, stuck – 3/1 gets a little weird with a lunge back, but a solid hit today.

14.600 works.

Modi – PB – diam, crazy legs but fine – solid bhavsar – HIS COUSIN????? – hits tippelt – small hesitation on healy – a couple handstand arches and a little walking – FTDT dismount not as strong as day 1, larger lunge back. 13.700, one tenth down on the first day.

Bower went 14.300 on horse. Nedoroscik got I DON’T KNOW HERed today but did score another 15.100

If this were WAG, Akash’s

Moldauer – HB – a hit short on tak full, hits yamawaki, some piking – tkatchev, fine – stylish hop giant – tak 1/2, loses his form going intoit – not quite as short in the handstand as day 1 but still short – DLO 1/1, lovely and stuck

Diab 14.550 on rings. A great rings score but not a SPECIALIST rings score today when people like Malone are getting the same.

Briones – PB – Tim’s like, “I invented him you turkeys” – front straddle, solid – slow work but clean – bhavsar, good swing out – a couple small hesitations in handstand – really clean tippelt and healy back down – double front, large bound forward.

13.100 for Yul, only a tenth better.

Wiskus – FX – double front pike, nice annd high, small hop – doubel front 1/2 out, great, stuck – double double, takes it right to the corner, holds the stick – 2.5 to front full, 3rd stick in a row – front 2/1 to 1/2, pretty flat, small hop – 3/1, squats a bit to hold the stick. Really strong routine.

Malone – PB – works through his mount – makuts is pretty clean – tippelt, good – healy – small hesitation in handstand – ooooffff diam and it goes totally crazy in the legs and he falls off – stutz is fine – double pike, quite short, bound forward. Clanky start for him.

Damn 14.750 on floor for Wiskus. Huge.

Looking back on Diab’s rings – extremely flat and smooth positions – one hesitation in an inverted cross, the rest is great – very strong handstands – double double tuck, two small hops.

DOUBLE GLASSES ALERT. They show us Nedoroscik’s exceptionally clean routine again.

12.700 for Malone on PB.

Malone’s lead over Wiskus is now down to .850 just like that. And Wiskus is in 2nd now after that floor, Briones hanging onto 3rd, and Mikulak moves up to 4th.

So we didn’t see Penev on floor (yet), but he got a 15.000, so we’re really going to need to see that.

Andrea going all “Yul Moldauer and guests” on that picture of the OU gymnasts.

Sure is a lot of showing pictures of people when we could be seeing Eddie’s floor.

Rotation 2

Modi – HB – German giants, struggles a bit getting out of them – layout tkatchev to takev 1/2 – take 1/2 is solid in finishing position – layout tkatchev 1/2, caught – double double layout is hit well, hop back. Knees throughout.

They’re accurate in their commentary of Akash’s form, but they do not harp on people like Skinner in nearly the same way.

Moldauer – FX – punch randi is short today, hop forward – double arabian 1/2 out, slide and a college landing cover – much better on front 2/1 to front full – 2.5 to 1/2, small step – 2/1, stuck – 3/1 dismount, small hop. Not bad, but hoppier than yesterday.

13.700 for Modi, which is not that bad.

Briones – HB – layout tkatchev is strong – tkatchev – rybalko, normal late – tak full, very very late – tak 1/2, also late – DLO 1/1, great and floaty, stuck

14.300 for Moldauer, down 2 tenths on day 1, but I actually thought it would be lower. The landings were much stronger on Thursday.

Just 13.250 for Wiskus on horse.

Malone – HB – Cassina, just does get his hands around – Kolman, hit, strong – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – layout tkatchev 1/2, clean – tak 1/1 is finished well in vertical – tak 1/2 is short – DLO 2/1, good stick. Strong showing.

15.050 for Malone on HB. Like Sam, even if he doesn’t keep hitting the way he did on day 1, if he’s getting HB scores like that…

Recreates his lead with that routine.

Mikulak misses on pommel horse again, coming off on Russians after his legs go. So that won’t help.

Eepers. 12.600 for Mikulak on horse. That drops him immediately back to 7th place.

Wiskus remains in 2nd place now, but Malone’s lead is the biggest it has been.

Going back to see Wiskus on PH has more piking and leg separations than the horsies, but a perfectly fine and successful showing.

Rotation 3

Checking in on Gage Dyer on vault – Pulls around a Kas 2/1 but a roughish stagger on landing, a couple steps, came in a little under this time.

Second vault – double front, hits it, lands a little deep, hop forward

Moldauer showing off his lovely flair work on horse, but he loses it right afterward and comes off. Tim’s like, “YES YOU WERE TIRED HAAAAA”

Briones – FX – double front pike, good height, hop forward – double double tucked, also clean, chest a little forward with a hop – a couple small hops, but secure overall – and a great finish with his FTDT dismount and stuck. 14.350. He’s sticking right around. Puts him ahead of Moldauer.

Moldauer 13.250 which is kind of a successful escape for a PH fall.

Bower with an excellent stick on his Kas 1.5. Some knees, some feet, not the highest, but he gets the landing. 14.500

Malone – FX – sticks his double front pike this time – 2.5 to front 2/1 is rougher though, short with a hop to the side – double double tucked, stagger back – 1.5 to rudi, again another larger bounce back and landing deduction – 2/1, even a small step there – 3/1, slide back. First pass was great but didn’t hit any of the others.

Malone gets 13.900, which is close to day 1, maybe a little soft for me.

Mikulak now to rings. “He used to have WD40 coursing through his veins.” That sounds poisonous. Some hesitations in handstands, but he finds the stick on his double double tuck.

A look back at Wiskus on rings – I’m impressed that he doesn’t turn fully purple on rings. I would have expected him to go purple. Double double and a lunge back.

14.100 for Wiskus, 14.200 for Mikulak.

Modi – FX – double front pike, large bound – lots of hops on these early passes – randi gets a little side-winder but just a small hop – 2/1, lands short, hop – 3/1, small hop. Not his strongest.

13.350 and a 7.550 E. Not ideal.

So after 3, Malone’s lead remains gigantic, Wiskus stays in 2nd, and Briones is in third. Mikulak jumps ahead of Modi for 6th place, and Moldauer is down to 5th now.

Rotation 4

Just like the last time we say these standings before the previous commercial, Bordy Malone is still winning.

Briones misses one scissor handstand position on pommel horse, pretty confident rhythm but does generate a clear pike in his swing. 13.300.

Penev exists starting now – no mention of 15 on floor – can’t control his Y2.5 landing today, large lunge forward.

Malone gets through pommel horse with a hit – a slower rhythm, a flatter and more piked shape, but no errors here.

14.500 for Penev on his 2.5.

They kind of tried to make it sound like Eddie wasn’t doing two vaults tonight but they just meant they weren’t going to show it.

13.950 for Malone on horse.

Moldauer on rings – I like the style of the little back arch he shows on his inverts – hop back on dismount.

No sign of Mikulak’s vault, though it’s Mikulak so I’m sure they’ll let us in on the secret when they come back.

13.700 for Bower on PB, which is a lot better than the first day.

Modi gets through pommel horse quite successfully, his best set of the day easily.

Look back at Wiskus on vault – again struggles on his Kas 1.5, comes up very short and has to take a big hop back. Now we see Mikulak, who finds the stick on his Kas 1.5 with an arm wave, a little sloppier in the legs in the air than his usual.

Bower – PB – clean healy, very nice vertical finish on diam – front straddle, some form at the very end – stutz, right to handstand – double pike, chest forward, hop forward. Good execution, not the most difficulty.

Modi got hosed on pommel horse again.

So let’s see where we are. After 4, Malone still with a big lead, the main change is Bower moving up to third, though he’ll have to do HB next. Briones is down to 5th now.

If Mikulak hits PBars this time he’ll move way up. At this point it will be tough for Modi to get into the top 6 AA (automatic trials spots based on AA standings), but he’ll be there anyway.

Rotation 5

The amount of rings routines we’ve had to watch today is really triggering.

Very smooth routine from Malone again on rings – double double tucked, small hop.

Moldauer to vault – Kas 1.5 – super clean and stuck. Really nice. Hopefully we see some separation there to reward him for the form compared to other people who stuck. Just a small amount of knees.

Malone went 14.550 on rings, basically the same as the first day.

14.450 for Moldauer’s vault.

Bower – HB – Yam – high Kovacs, hit – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – smooth zou li min – tak 1/1 very very late – same late on tak 1/2 – DLO 1/1, piking throughout, small hop.

Assuming they’ll go back and show us Yoder’s PH. He goes 15.050, so .050 shy of Nedoroscik this time.

Here we go. Extremely well extended, very comfortable routine. This is going to get very interesting.

Just 12.950 for Bower on HB.

Mikulak – HB – healy, clean, good hs – peach 1/2 gets a little crazy but he pulls it back – front straddle to long swing is nice today – clang, hit his feet on the bhavsar – tippelt is clean – stuz, very nice – double front, hop back. Well, he stayed on this time, but lots to take.

The theme of tonight has been very “and none for Akash Modi bye.” Hits rings, but a pretty large bounce back on double double.

Just 14.350 for Mikulak on PB. He should be getting 15s.

Mikulak will move ahead of Bower with that score. 13.950 for Modi on rings keeps him behind the leaders.

Tim being like “Really hard to have a bad rings routine.”

Counterpart: Really hard to have a watchable rings routine.

Very nice handstand positions for Briones on rings – double double tucked, a little under and a small hop.

Wiskus on PB now – he gets nice height on his front straddle, good rhythm through Bhavsar, but he hit his feet on the mat – tippelt afterward is a struggle, doesn’t get up to handstand afterward – double front, hop.

14.200 for Briones on rings. similar to the first day.

OK one rotation to go. Mikulak has moved into 5th, and it will be interesting to see whether he can use high bar to jump into a more significant position. Malone is already assured as the winner.

OK let’s get a move on with this shall we?

Terry saying “Girls5Eva” isn’t nearly as funny a bit as they think it is.

Rotation 6

Bower – FX – double pike, medium hop – double double, small slide – front 2/1 to front full, scoots to the side and just does keep himself in bounds, some soft knee positions in that one – 2.5 to 1/2, nice stick – 3/1 is pretty solid to finish, small movement

Modi finishes on vault – excellent Kas 1.5, sticks the landing. Really strong. One of his best vaults. 14.450. Bower went 14.400 on floor.

Huge 14.800 for Moldauer on PB that we didn’t see.

Mikulak – HB – Cassina, gets his hand around – Kolman is good – layout tkatchev – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, swings well out of it – tak 1/2, gets to handstand, nearly goes over the wrong way but it was fine – DLO 2/1, stuck landing. Very good.

Wynn got a 14.300 on rings btw, which is much better than his first day but still not an “I”M THE RINGS” score.

Malone – VT – Nearly finds the stick on his Kas 1.5, ends up with a medium lunge back.

14.850 for Mikulak will get him into a 3rd or 4th place finish.

Malone 14.300 on vault to go 84.450 on day 2, compared to his 86.250 from the first day.

Moldauer went 84.350 today, Mikulak went 84.950, which will be the highest score of day 2.

Trevor Howard’s rings gets a moment, double double dismount, chest down, large lunge forward

Gage Dyer got a 14.800 on floor that we didn’t see.

Back to see Moldauer’s PB – a bit surprised that his score was so high because he does have a couple iffy handstands in here, one arch – but of course the technique is super clean – Double front 1/2 out, stuck.

Last routine to decide the top placements is Wiskus on HB – Cassina and falls, came in pretty close and couldn’t even do a one-hand catch –

Resumes with Kolman and falls again, doesn’t come close on that one. Oh Shane.

Resumes again and tries the Kovacs and falls again.

We’ll see if he’s going to try to finish.

Resumes and gets the Kovacs this time – tak full and can’t keep it together after landing perfectly in handstand, goes over the wrong way and has to support against the bar. And of course he finishes with a stuck double double layout.

AND WHAT A WAY TO FINISH THE MEET.

But actually we’re going to see Wang on high bar because he’s the only person left to go – nice layout tkatchev and tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2, struggles to swing out of it with an elbow bend but gets though it – Yam is caught rather close – DLO 1/1, hop forward.

Wiskus got an 8.8 on high bar, which actually ends up being significant insofar as it drops him to 9th overall. He’ll still be advanced to trials, but that will mean Modi finishes in those top 6 AA positions.

FINAL:
1. Malone – 170.700
2. Moldauer – 167.950
3. Mikulak – 167.400
4. Briones – 167.150
5. Bower – 166.150
6. Modi – 165.500

Here’s me on twitter talking about the highest-scoring teams. Because I don’t have copy paste energy anymore.

4 thoughts on “US Nationals Men’s Day 2 – Live Commentary”

  1. So, basically, Brody and then … ?! Shane’s HB meltdown was something to behold, but Brody did a similar thing on HB in ’19 at Pan Ams.

    I hope Colin VanWicklen shows up at OT and does what he’s capable of, because he’s the only contender we haven’t seen this year in any competition and the prospects are a little disappointing at this moment for any team configuration.

    Stay tuned for Olympic Trials! Brody is looking set for team, and then there’s a very strong fight for the specialist spot off the team — Stephen/Alec on PH, Gage/Eddie on VT/FX and maybe even Sam on HB?! o.o

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    1. Mikulak is going to Tokyo also. No way is USAG leaving him home.
      Bower is a forever alternate.
      Wiskus and Moldaeur have Worlds experience.
      Malone seems consistent and a potential medal prospect on high bar.

      USA has very little chance at a team medal so send those 4 as they are the best chances at event finals. High bar will be an insane event with king Kohei but hit sets from Mikulak and Malone might medal.
      Moldaeur and Wiskus might be able to sneak into floor finals.

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    2. As they will barely finish in the top ten in team, lol, there’s no possibility USGF is omitting Mikulak–they live in hope he’ll win a HB medal.

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