Men’s Olympic Trials – Day 2 Live Blog

Decision day!

Heading into today’s competition, the default team must be considered Malone, Mikulak, Wiskus, and Moldauer, with it taking some real issues today to shake that up.

For the +1, the Nedoroscik miss on the first day has put Yoder in the driver’s seat, though I don’t think I’m quite as “IF YODER HITS HE HAS IT” as Tim sounds like he is. If Nedoroscik hits and scores higher than Yoder today, I think he’ll still be considered, which is fine by me because the US men don’t have the luxury of selecting for consistency. They must select for peak scoring ability if going for actual medals. Also, let’s all hope Whittenburg pulls out the Dragulescu today and hits both vaults to act as the chaos agent we need.

No AA for Whittenburg today. He’s listed for just rings, vault, and floor. Basically it’s all about vault for him today anyway.

Nastia opting for a moving ode to red wine today.

NBC is like, “Yeah, this is the team of four, here’s what events they’re doing.”

Oh yes, won’t someone please think of the stress the selection committee is under. THE REAL HEROES.

NCAA wgym/pro wrestling intros.

Nope. Don’t try to do a thing. Stop. We are judging you.

Rotation 1

Penguin Sam is back pre-rings.

Malone – PB – very nice makuts – peach – tippelt, hit, not the very highest but clean – diam, small hesitation – stutz very solid – double pike, small step. Solid. 14.400

Mikualk – SR – solid maltese and planche – slight hestiation in lowering to cross – another small hesitation on hs – tucks and pikes are good but not his most secure handstands – makes up for it with a stick on his double double dismount. 13.700

Dyer 14.650 on floor.

Malone up on his PBars, and Mikulak up on his rings.

Dyer – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, small shuffle back, some knees – double double layout, very strong landing – front 2/1 to front full, stuck – double front 1/2 out, strong – 2/1, good – tong fei, thrilling – 2.5 to layout, solid – double double, hop back.

Strong work. But if that, basically as well as he can do, is going 14.650, that’s not going to make his case as a floor specialist.

Modi went 14.300 on PB, which is a really nice number for him.

Whittenburg – SR – planche to maltese and Tim is like THAT’S THE WRONG ORDER – nice stick on his double double layout with a lean to hold it, but he had a very hesitant position in there. 14.100

Nice stick from Briones on his double front PB dismount

Moldauer – FX – quickly out of his randi, near stick – double arabian 1/2 out, good stick – front 2/1 to front 1/1, stuck – 2.5 to half, sticks agaim, a little pike – 2/1, good – 3/1, stuck. As well as he can land.

Wiskus sticks double double tuck rings dismount

Hugely huge 14.800 for Moldauer on floor.

Bower – FX – double front pike, hop forward – nice stick on second pass – front 2/1 to front 1/1, holds the stick, knees – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, small shuffle. Solid.

Strong first rotation across the board, but because the top four all improved their scores on those events from the first day, no one has been given an opening yet.

Whittenburg to vault in the second rotation, the key specialist routine in the next group.

Rotation 2

Modi – HB – german giants, struggles a bit coming out fo them again – layout tkatchev – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, solid finishing position – tkatchev 1/2 – tak to endo – double double layout, stuck. Two really good routines to start for him.

Whittenburg – VT 1 – Tsuk double tuck full, RSG – struggles more on the landing today, lands it but jumps to the side and off the mat.

Still just 13.650 for Modi on HB.

Whittenburg – VT 2 – tries for the Dragulescu – does pull it around but lands very short, ankle crunch, lunge forward. Not a fall?

Wiskus – VT – hits a solid Kas 1.5, just a hair short so takes a .1 step back.

Moldauer through horse successfully, so he’s more than on track thus far.

Mikulak hits his Kas 1.5, but won’t be as high as some of the other scores with a bounce forward.

14.250 for both of them.

Malone – HB – Cassina, hit, taken verry far – Kolman, solid – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – layout tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/1, really strong finish position – tak 1/2 is later but not nearly as bad as we see – stuck dismount. Will be big score.

14.800, very strong.

Bower is through pommel horse with another hit. 14.150, though lower than Moldauer on horse doesn’t help him.

After 2, the top 4 remain the top 4, nothing changing yet. Mikulak with a chance to improve on his PB score from day 1 in the third rotation.

Rotation 3

Wiskus starts off our third rotation as the broadcast switches to NBC with a 14.350 on pbars, which is not QUITE what he can do, but still a useful score.

Briones doing quite well so far with a 14.400 on floor.

I thought Moldauer was a little quick on his straddle planche position but otherwise strong, stuck double double tuck with an arm wave. 14.15 a good score for him.

Yoder goes 14.000 on PBars, though that’s not really determining anything for him.

Mikulak – PB – healy – peach 1/2, some arch but pulls it off – disaster on his front straddle 1 1/4, and has to correct – finishes double front with a hop. He’s doing his best to try not make this team , but he’s just too useful.

Malone – FX – front full to double front pike, hop forward – back 2.5 to front 2/1, nicely done, small hop – double double tuck, larger bounce back – 1.5 to rudi, stuck – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, bounce. Another good hit.


Long, “What do we do about Sam” scoring break.

Modi – FX – double front pike, hop forward – 2.5 to rudi, ragged legs and a hop back – rough randi, large bounce back – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, stuck.

They go 13.750 for Mikulak’s PB, two tenths lower than his miss from day 1.

A look back on Briones on FX – double front pike, small hop – double double tuck, hop back – front full to front 2/1, some knees, small hop – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – back 1.5 to front tuck full, hop forward – double arabian 1/2 out to finish, small movement, really nice.

Top four remain steady in the top 4. Probably incumbent on Mikulak to have a nice high bar to eliminate any doubts that you absolutely need him if the Olympics are going to be a try.

Rotation 4

Tim has officially transferred Yul’s name from gray to white in the team. BREAKING.

Mikulak – HB – Cassina is hit – Kolman good – tkatchevtkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, nice rhythm out of it – tak 1/2 – stalder – double double layout,s tuck landing. And that’s why he’s a lock.

14.750. Critical score.

Moldauer with a hit on his Kas 1.5, but not a super strong one, very deep landing and some legs in the air. 14.450 is very high for that.

Nedoroscik time on pommel horse, here we go. It’s a hit this time! A couple leg breaks but a hit.

Again apparently “on the verge of qualifying” an apparatus world cup spot. Correction, he was not.

14.650 for Nedoroscik. Yoder can beat that with his normal difficulty.

Very comfortable PH hit for Malone.

Just 13.600 for Wiskus on high bar. He wanted more.

Nedoroscik needed to make the argument that he has a higher scoring peak than Yoder today, and he didn’t get that.

Diab goes to rings in this rotation. His 14.500 from the first day doesn’t get him a specialist spot. He’s going to need to show 14.9s.

Dyer 14.750 and 14.350 for his two vaults, which keeps him in the picture, but not as high as you would want. If Yoder gets another 15, he has a much better argument.

A look back at the Wiskus HB – Kolman, leg break, caught – Kovacs, solid – tak 1/1 and tak 1/2 will both be hit for lateness – double double 2/1, holds the stick but such a large lean forward that it will have caused more deductions than a step.

Modi went through pommel horse well. He’s having a good day on a number of events.

But he’s still 7th.

Two rotations left. The team is the team.

Rotation 5

This team graphic with Wiskus on pommel horse instead of Mikulak is a choice.

Stuck doubel double tuck for Malone on rings, will be another high score.

Good PB score for Juda at 14.250.

Bower improves on his PB with a 13.700. A 14.200 on floor for wiskus is also a step up.

Mikulak – FX – randi, good, holds the stick, chest forward – 2.5 to double front is stuck but landed with one foot OOB – double front pike, stuck – 2/1 to front full, another stick – 2/1, stuck – 3/1 is more of a struggle, chest well forward, big hop, will still be a useful score.

Diab – SR – good position on his inverted cross, no hesitation on handstands – planche lower to cross is good – double double tuck, lunge back. Awesome on the rings though.

Mikulak goes 14.700 on floor even with that 3/1. OK girl.

Diab gets his 14.900. Will it be enough after the 14.500 on the first day? I’m quite skeptical.

Moldauer – PB – very pretty work as always, one elbow hesitation on a handstand and pauses in the middle of his makuts – double front 1/2 out, step back

The top 4 AA have only extended their advantaheading to the last event. All eyes on Yoder.

Rotation 6

Will be interesting to see if Wiskus can re-pass Moldauer since Moldauer in on HB, but Wiskus is on PH so.

Wiskus survives pommel horse. 13.150 is low but he didn’t need it to be high. Chance for Mikulak to pass him now if he actually hits.

Malone finishes with 14.500 vault and an 86.350 AA score for day 2.

Modi goes 83.500 which is an improvement of a point over the first day.

Big horse routine from Yoder now. Small hesistation on first scissor and a small leg break in there – this isn’t as clean as the first day but he got through with a hit.

Good enough that I imagine at least something will get burned down if he doesn’t get the spot.

Yoder goes 14.550, which is lower than Nedoroscik today. But he hit both days.

Mikulak to finish up his day on PH – annnnnd another fall. Dude.

Sam got 12.400ed out on PH, just enough to keep him ahead of Briones by .050 in the final selection to keep him top 4.

Now NBC is like, ummm Cameron Bock…?

Dear NBC, Cameron Bock is not making the team for a 5.2/13.550 high bar.

Moldauer will finish 2nd AA and will finish top 3 on three events.

Based on today, Wiskus and Mikulak still on the highest-scoring team.

Interesting that Tim says he thinks it will be Diab now. You definitely have a case based on the scores compared to worlds 2019. Nedoroscik is the one among the three who can make a D-score argument.

And now we wait.

One thing I would also consider for the +1 is that no one with Diab’s D score on rings (6.0) has won a rings medal this quad, while 6.4-6.7 has been in the medal range on pommel horse all quad.

Announcement coming!

“We are now only 28 days….from announcing this team.”

Brody Malone
Yul Moldauer
Shane Wiskus
Sam Mikulak

And +1 Alec Yoder

Ultimately we drama-ed things up at the end as you do. But that is what the results showed for the team, and I feel like they were always going to do a PH person, and Yoder hit both days and Nedoroscik didn’t.

Alternates are Briones, Bock, Bower, Modi, and and Diab. Interesting that Diab got the alternate special spot over Nedoroscik.

12 thoughts on “Men’s Olympic Trials – Day 2 Live Blog”

  1. Argh…I have YouTubeTV and my credentials will not allow me to watch the apparatus feed. I get “You are not authorized to view this content.” So annoying.

  2. Can’t imagine the team won’t be the 4 we all think it’ll be, no matter how much Tim is trying to create suspense. That individual spot though… the Stephen/Alec/Alex did make it interesting! Now we have to listen to the NBC commenters yap for a while.

  3. Wow, it’s almost as if Sam wants there to be drama regarding his selection… He basically did the bare minimum he needed to do over the two days to justify his spot.

    How can you possibly pick a +1 from this group? This is going to be the toughest decision the men’s selection committee has made in a long time. None of the specialists had two lights out days so my only idea is to look at international scoring and see who has the best chance of a medal on their peak day. In that case, looking at 2019 worlds, Alex Diab is closest to a medal-winning score with his 14.9 on day 2. HOWEVER, his low start value really puts a ceiling on his scores if the judges bunch up the execution scores like they tend to do on rings.

    Neither of the pommel horse specialists were as close as I would like to the 15.4 that won bronze in 2019. Donnell is the next closest to a medal after Alex in terms of pure potential, but he didn’t put together two clean vaults either day. And finally, you have Gage who showed a better two-vault package but has less scoring potential than Donnell.

    The +1 is going to be controversial regardless of who gets picked. There is a case for each of the names I mentioned above.

  4. I would have gone Whittenburg for the +1. He is as much of a medal threat on vault as any of the others are on their events, and he actually has an all around should a late sub be called for. I feel like having an all-around is a fair tie-breaker between the various ‘could medal on their best day’ folks.

    That said, I’m OK with the Yoder selection.

    1. I don’t think an all-around backup is needed since the team already consists of the 4 strongest all-arounders. I think had Whittenburg hit his vaults he would have made it. His day 2 vault was so rough that it totally knocked him out. I really hope he pushes for the 2021 worlds because he could medal on vault there.

      1. That’s fair. This particular team of four does have more of a “built-in alternate” than many/most MAG teams.

  5. I missed this. I thought this would have been primetime tonight…thank you NBC for showing reruns of College Bowl instead.

  6. So much to say about all this.

    First, if we’re going to go by trial numbers only, then I agree with their team choice. However, Akash was grossly underscored on PH both days. Now if you took what he should have made, then he should have been on the team instead of Sam for his PH/HB combo. And because no ‘specialist’ performed medal contending routines, I would have put Sam in the specialist spot for HB.

    I think they’re going to regret basing everything on trials, because the inconsistency of the people they sent and who they’ll be putting up in the team final is really crazy based on scores here. But best of luck to Brody and Sam, the best chance of USA medals in Tokyo! And congratulations to Yul for hitting when it mattered.

  7. Just need to point it out two things:

    Watching live when NBC pulled just Yul and Sam to interview and left the rest awkwardly standing up there… how could they not interview Brody Malone, THE WINNER, first?? Or pull the whole team down for interviews?? Boggles my mind. Typical NBC.

    Also and unrelated (or maybe really related if you think of NBC always looking for the exciting angle), I really appreciated Brody’s act-like-you’ve -been-there-before attitude when he finishes routines. No screaming, no chest beating, just “yes I did expect to do that”.

    1. It also looked to me like it was the NBC cameraman who asked them all to unmask and stand together for pictures, which felt really really weird. They are probably all vaccinated and most will be training together anyway shortly, so maybe it doesn’t actually matter, but if protocols were supposed to be masked when not competing it should not have been the NBC cameraman who overrode that! Especially if the point of the second squad is to be COVID- isolated from the main squad. They could have given them all Team USA masks or something if they wanted a more coherent look.

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