Mar 1, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT
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 Biles, Kyla 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.
Jul 1, 2015, 10:07 AM EDT
Walsh Jennings had never been part of such a rout with Misty May-Treanor.
Jun 30, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT
“We’re not discussing right now the possibility of not submitting a bid.”
Jun 30, 2015, 2:37 PM EDT
Bolt flew to Munich to treat an injury.
Jun 30, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
Obama has never attended an Olympics as president, and this is his last chance.
Jun 30, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT
Shnapir won Olympic bronze in Sochi.
Jun 30, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
Franklin beat out another Rio 2016 Olympic hopeful for the honor.
Jun 30, 2015, 9:19 AM EDT
Ronaldo debuted at the Olympics two years before his first World Cup.
Jun 30, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT
The 2015 Hall of Fame class also includes four men’s Olympic medalists.
Jun 30, 2015, 8:10 AM EDT
Most decorated Olympian of all time turned 30 on Tuesday.
Jun 30, 2015, 7:50 AM EDT
Phelps still trails a legendary gymnast, U.S. track and field champions and one of his 2004 Olympic swimming teammates.
Jun 30, 2015, 7:43 AM EDT
Phelps turned 30 on Tuesday, which means his Olympic debut was half a lifetime ago.
Jun 29, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT
The U.S. appears headed for a historically strong World Championships medal haul.
Jun 29, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT
“The critical issue that everyone asks is, ‘Can we run a privately funded Games with a surplus?'”
Jun 29, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT
Agnel isn’t the only men’s swimming star who will be absent from Worlds.
Jun 28, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT
The women’s 800m final was the craziest of the day.
Jun 28, 2015, 4:17 PM EDT
“I want justice for everyone involved.”
Jun 28, 2015, 3:53 PM EDT
Three first-time Worlds members in the women’s 5000m.
Jun 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Justin Gatlin is slated for the 200m.
Jun 27, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT
The world’s fastest 400m woman in 2014 and 2015 failed to qualify individually for Worlds, but she still might make it.
Jun 27, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Allyson Felix and LaShawn Merritt are among those in action.
- USOC eyes majority support for Boston 2024 ‘relatively soon’ 0
- Usain Bolt pulls out of July track meets 1
- Michael Phelps’ career in photos on his 30th birthday 0
- Michael Phelps’ potential record chases at Rio Olympics 0
- Flashback: Michael Phelps at the Sydney 2000 Olympics 0
- Five takeaways from U.S. Track and Field Championships 0
- Boston 2024 releases Olympic bid version 2.0 (photos) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)