Mikulak starts fast, closes in on men's team berth

Published: Friday, Jun. 29, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 1:57 pm

SAN JOSE – Sam Mikulak walked down the hall after arguably the biggest day of his life, oblivious.

It wasn't until teammate 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?"

Seriously.

Mikulak solidified his spot on the five-man Olympic team with a score of 91.80 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 Americans showcased their depth before heading to London.

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. "

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