M Men at US Gymnastics Championship - Two make the National team, and only one of them is Sam Mikulak

Submitted by Michigasling on August 19th, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Sam Mikulak comes back from missing last year's US championship (torn Achilles) to soar (literally) over the rest of the field to win his 5th. He fell spectacularly off the high bar in the first round and still managed to finish in first place for the day. The second round was one of his first where he hit all six routines. High bar Day 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhatyN1FWPE  Parallel bars (described by the commentators as "perfect":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXizDYXmyDU  [see if that works]

The future:  Two of our "rising sophomores" (Cameron Bock and Jacob Moore) were impressive, with Bock placing 7th overall and Moore placed 8th in floor, which I believe is the only event he competed in regularly in his freshman season at Michigan, and did quite well. [The gym roster link at MGoBlue.com isn't working, so can't check the facts.]  Good sign for the team that he's now doing well enough (or healthy enough) in the all-around to make the US finals.  

Two surprises (for me) were that Cameron's 7th place put him on the US team.  (Would post the picture if I knew how with this new system...)  [Hmmm.... I think I got it!]


Another pleasant surprise was discovering someone in the Jr. Championships named Kevin Penev, listed as from UofM.  (See MGoBlue roster disclaimer above.)  He's obviously an incoming freshman and couldn't yet compete in M colors, but you could see the Michigan coaches there keeping an eye on his performances when they could. He was 3rd or 4th in four of his six routines, coming in 8th overall.  Not being able to check his bio, but recognizing his last name, Google confirmed that he's the younger brother of Eddie Penev, US teammate of Mikulak, and former Stanford star who regularly competed against him.  (Eddie apparently is still a member of the US Team by petition, meaning he probably couldn't compete this weekend because of injury.) 

Two other current members of the team have competed well in the national competitions, but not being able to link to the roster/bio pages (have I mentioned this enough?) I can't guess if they're injured, as both had been on and off.  Another alum, Adrian de los Angeles, who came in 2nd at the NCAAs behind Mikulak in one of their consecutive NCAA Championships, competed as a National Team member, but only in 4 events and didn't make this year's team.  




August 19th, 2018 at 5:45 PM ^

Correction:  Checking the competition videos, Kevin Penev IS wearing blue & maize.  [How do you edit an original post?]  I was thinking of another video I found of him competing earlier in the year, wearing something uncomfortably red and gray, but with maize-wearing Golder watching approvingly.

rob f

August 20th, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

Great post, OP.  Not going to pretend that I follow gymnastics other than to cheer for the USA every 4 years in the Olympics, but it's always good to read about UofM athletes succeeding nationally.  And as for Sam Mikulak, not much doubt he's one of the best athletes we've seen at Michigan over the last few decades.