Skip to content

Sam Mikulak, Elizabeth Price win American Cup (video)

Mar 1, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT

Sam Mikulak Getty Images

Sam Mikulak wants another shot at the World Championships and Olympics. Elizabeth Price eyes her first trip to either.

Mikulak and Price took early steps to both major competitions by topping international fields at the American Cup in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday.

Mikulak overtook Japan’s Shogo Nonomura in the final rotation after Nonomura fell on high bar. Mikulak, the reigning U.S. all-around champion, won his first American Cup with 90.098 points.

Nonomura finished 1.133 behind. Another American, John Orozco, was fifth.

“Final rotation was intense,” Mikulak said on NBC. “There was a lot of nerves going in. Big crowd. Big stadium. I just wanted to go out there and hit my routine, no falls, and then let the pressure sink in on the other competitors. It worked out in my favor.”

Price cruised with 59.966, bettering fellow American Brenna Dowell by a comfortable 2.434. She also won her first American Cup.

“To add this title to a list of many, it’s pretty cool,” Price said. “I hope to keep making the list bigger and bigger.”

Mikulak was the least experienced member of the 2012 U.S. men’s Olympic team that finished a disappointing fifth in London. The 21-year-old Michigan senior came back in 2013 to win his first U.S. all-around title.

But Mikulak won zero medals at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, where he finished sixth in the all-around after being second to Japanese legend Kohei Uchimura in qualifying.

Mikulak remained the best American man by topping Orozco in Greensboro.

“To be able to win another American title outside of the NCAA season, it just feels spectacular,” Mikulak said. “I’m excited for what else is to come.”

Orozco, also 21, won the 2012 U.S. all-around title going into the Olympics, but he did not bring back any medals from London. He suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in October 2012 and came back to win world bronze on parallel bars in Antwerp.

Mikulak and Orozco could face competition from Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva and two-time Olympian Jonathan Horton at the U.S. Championships in Pittsburgh from Aug. 21-24.

Leyva, 22, needs to improve upon results from last year’s U.S. Championships (seventh overall) and last month’s Winter Cup (ninth overall) if he’s to be an international medal threat again.

Horton, 28, had shoulder surgery in early 2013 and missed the entire season. He petitioned onto the National Team for 2014 though, a strong indicator of his intention to compete again.

This year’s World Championships, in October in Nanning, China, will include a team competition, unlike in 2013. The U.S. men should vie for medals with powerhouses Japan and China.

Price, 17, notched her biggest victory on U.S. soil at the American Cup. The alternate for the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships is a threat for medals at this year’s U.S. Championships and World Championships should she stay healthy.

“Being so close to the Olympic team back in 2012 definitely made me like really hungry for more meets,” Price said. “Hopefully I can soon say that I’ve won even bigger meets than this one.”

Dowell, also 17, made the 2013 World Championships team after taking third in the all-around at the U.S. Championships. She did not compete in Antwerp, however. Instead, the U.S. opted to enter Simone BilesKyla Ross and McKayla Maroney in all-around qualifying.

So Price and Dowell go into the major spring, summer and fall events with something to prove. The next big meet is the Pacific Rim Championships at the 2010 Olympic speed skating oval in Richmond, B.C., from April 9-12.

The women-only U.S. Classic just outside Chicago is Aug. 2.

Biles and Ross, the world all-around gold and silver medalists, missed the American Cup with injuries. Maroney is trying to bolster her all-around prospects after winning a world title on vault last year.

That’s not to mention the expected return of triple Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, perhaps at the U.S. Classic. Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber have said they’ve returned to training, but it’s unknown when they will compete again.

Ryan Hall impressed by president Obama’s jogging skills

Latest Posts
  1. Usain Bolt eases Jamaica to win in his first race of 2014

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    Usain Bolt Getty Images

    Bolt expected to anchor Jamaica in Commonwealth Games final on Saturday.

  2. Simone Biles returns to Secret Classic a different gymnast

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Simone Biles AP

    Texan hasn’t competed since winning World Championship all-around in October.

  3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch has no second thoughts about retirement

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

    Maria Hoefl-Riesch AP

    Retiring had nothing to do with her World Cup Finals crash, German star said.

  4. USA Basketball uniforms for FIBA World Cup unveiled

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

    James Harden

    Team USA can qualify for the Olympics at the August/September tournament.

  5. U.S. Sailing not hindered by contaminated Rio bay before test event

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Guanabara Bay Getty Images

    U.S. sailing official says worst parts of the bay are not in competition areas.

  6. U.S. Swimming Championships entry lists released

    Jul 31, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte AP

    Which events are Phelps, Lochte, Franklin and Ledecky entered in?

  7. German amputee long jumper won’t fight European Championships exclusion

    Jul 31, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT

    Markus Rehm AP

    Markus Rehm insists he has no competitive advantage.

  8. Meryl Davis, Charlie White to be grand marshals at NASCAR race

    Jul 31, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

    Sochi Olympics Figure Skating AP

    Ice dancers continue whirlwind post-Olympic tour.

  9. Meb Keflezighi, Caroline Wozniacki to run New York City Marathon

    Jul 31, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Meb Keflezighi AP

    Boston Marathon winner Keflezighi returns to site of 2009 triumph.

  10. Adelina Sotnikova: I want to show I deserved to be Olympic champion

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

    Adelina Sotnikova Reuters

    “After the Olympics I grew up,” Sotnikova told RIA Novosti.

  11. U.S. swimming rankings going into National Championships

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Michael Phelps AP

    Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky slated for meet in Irvine, Calif., next week.

  12. UCLA track and field stadium flooded (photos)

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

    Drake Stadium

    Water main break sent up to 10 million gallons of water around campus.

  13. U.S. pairs figure skaters throw unusual ceremonial first pitch (video)

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    Felicia Zhang, Nate Bartholomay AP

    Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay have ended their pairs partnership but teamed up at Tropicana Field.

  14. German long jump champion, a Paralympian, left off European Championships roster

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

    Ulm German Athletics Championships Getty Images

    German track and field president said the jumper could gain a “catapult effect.”

  15. Jonathan Horton enters P&G Championships

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT

    Jonathan Horton Getty Images

    Every 2012 Olympian and 2013 World Championships team member is in the field.

  16. Chinu Xxx wins Commonwealth Games bronze; how the wrestler got his name

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    Chinu XXX Getty Images

    It became Xxx at a passport office, according to the BBC.

  17. Mayor Marty Walsh says Boston in ‘very good position’ for 2024 bid

    Jul 29, 2014, 4:35 PM EDT

    Marty Walsh Getty Images

    Boston is one of four finalist cities for a potential U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympics.