Sam Mikulak sits atop the Men’s U.S Olympic Trials leaderboard after a consistent day one which earned him an all-around total of 90.650. Less than two points behind Mikulak is Chris Brooks, who put together an 89.175 on day one and currently holds the second position. Daniel Leyva sits the third place, but he will need a strong final day performance if he wants a spot on the podium.
Mikulak maintains form throughout day one, looks in good shape heading into day two
Mikulak continued his form from his recent win in Hartford, and a solid day all-around put him in a strong position to win on Saturday. He began his meet with a show-stopping performance on the floor as he scored a 15.650 to put him in the first position. The 2012 Olympian went on to clinch second on the pommel horse and seventh on the still rings before going on to top the rest of the field on the vault. He sloppily finished up his day on the parallel bars and high bar, but his day one scores never fell below 14, which is why he holds a 1.475-point lead heading into the deciding day.
“I think I let this whole Trials thing get to be a little too much,” Mikulak told reporters in the mixed zone. “Instead of doing my gymnastics with trust and belief, I got in my head a little too much. I was definitely mad (after high bar).” But the University of Michigan graduate has nothing to worry about with five positions available for the Olympic Games.
Gymnasts in contention to make Rio trip
Brooks and Leyva joined Mikulak near the top of the leaderboard. Donothan Bailey holds fourth position thanks to steady results on the floor and the pommel horse. Bailey is amongst the tight pack within the score of 88 and 89. Jake Dalton and Donnell Whittenburg are currently in a tie for fifth at 88.325. Dalton made the trip to London in 2012, but his slip up on the pommel horse could cost him as there is a chance he will not qualify for Rio.
Yul Moldauer, Akash Modi, Brandon Wynn, and Paul Ruggeri III round off the current top ten with three of the four holding scores of at least an 87. But for some, chances at making the Olympic team seem out of reach after day one.
2012 Olympians’ chance to relive glory
Day two will determine the five-person team for the 2016 Olympic Games. For the previous four Olympians, it would be their second chance to live out their dream. Three of the four sit inside the top five, but John Orozco sits in near last after scratching on the floor and on the vault. But Saturday will determine the fate of the future Olympians.