Mikulak shines as gymnastics trials begin
Sam Mikulak walked down the hall after arguably the biggest day of his life, oblivious. It wasn't until Jonathan Horton told the laid-back...
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sam Mikulak walked down the hall after arguably the biggest day of his life, oblivious.
It wasn't until Jonathan Horton told the laid-back 19-year-old from Southern California that he posted the highest score on the opening day of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials that what he'd done started to sink in.
"What?" Mikulak said. "Seriously?"
Mikulak solidified his spot on the five-man Olympic team with a score of 91.80 on Thursday, just ahead of Danell Leyva at 91.70 and national champion John Orozco, and well in front of the rest of the field on a day the U.S. once again showcased its depth.
Orozco and Leyva remain in perfect position to earn an automatic spot on the team, which is reserved for the top two all-around finishers provided they also rank among the top three in at least three of the six disciplines. At the moment, Orozco and Leyva both fill that criteria, with Mikulak quickly closing in.
"Kid's a gamer," Horton said. "He just knows how to perform. That's all there is to it. He just knows how to go out there and do his job."
Mikulak attributed his performance to "beginner's luck" though he's hardly a newbie. The 2011 NCAA champion during his freshman season at Michigan was on his way to earning a spot on last year's world championship team when he broke both of his legs at a meet.
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