Moldauer Repeats as American Cup Champion
CHICAGO – Oklahoma men’s gymnastics junior Yul Moldauer’s long list of accomplishments grew Saturday as he won his second American Cup title in a row with an 85.964 all-around score. Moldauer became the first repeat champion since former Sooner Jonathan Horton won back-to-back American Cups in 2006 and 2007.
“It’s pretty special,” OU head coach Mark Williams said. “It’s hard to get back to the American Cup again and win back-to-back. Horton had a pretty special couple years leading up to the 2008 Olympics. I hope Yul is following in his footsteps.”
Moldauer scored above a 14.000 on five of six events and finished in the top three on all six.
“I am very pleased with Yul’s competition, he felt under the weather but it didn’t affect him,” Williams said. “He had a great day, hit six for six across the board.”
OU alumnus Allan Bower also competed for the United States, finishing fifth with an 81.864 all-around score.
“Allan did well,” Williams said. “He went six for six. He just needs someclean things up. I am really proud of him for his performancee. His pommel horse and vault were excellent. Finishing in the top-five was a great addition.”
The American Cup is part of the International Gymnastics Federation World Cup series and is the most prestigious event on American soil this year. The competition was the first of many international events leading up to the World Championships and eventually the 2020 Olympic Games.
Bower opened his day with a 13.333 on floor, finishing seventh on the event. Moldauer, who won on floor at last year’s American Cup, put together a clean routine and finished second with a 14.666. After the first rotation, the junior was just 0.300 points behind Kenzo Shirai of Japan.
Both Sooners leaped up the standings on pommel horse. Bower finished third on the event with a 13.966 to climb four spots in the standings to fourth. Moldauer took the lead for the first time with an impressive 14.066. James Hall from Great Britain claimed the event tile with a 14.166.
Moldauer extended his lead with a phenomenal performance on still rings. He earned his first event title of the day with a 14.333 and distanced himself from Wei Sun of China by another 0.200 points. Bower remained in fourth place with a 13.400.
On vault, Moldauer put up another solid score with a 14.733 which tied for third, while Bower finished fifth with a 14.533. Shirai earned his second event tile with a 15.066.
With only two rotations remaining, Moldauer rode his momentum to another outstanding routine on parallel bars with a second-place finish, scoring a 14.500, and increased his lead to nearly 2.500 points. Bower placed fifth on the event with a 13.766. Both gymnasts finished behind Petro Pakhniuk of Ukraine with a 14.933.
Moldauer only needed a 10.999 on high bar to win the all-around competition. He wrapped up his day with 13.666 on the event, good for second best. Bower concluded his competition with a 12.866. Hall won his second event title with a 13.866.
Moldauer is the 10th Sooner to become an American Cup champion and the third OU gymnast to win back-to-back titles. OU legend and Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner won the inaugural American Cup in 1976 and won again in 1980 and 1981. Former Sooner Jarrod Hanks won in 1992, and Jonathan Horton is a three-time American Cup all-around winner, having claimed the title in 2006, 2007 and 2011. Jake Dalton won the 2013 crown. OU’s 10 titles are the most of any NCAA program.
OU returns to NCAA action for “Senior Night” on March 10 at 7 p.m. against California at McCasland Field House. The Sooners will honor seniors Hunter Justus and Reese Rickett in the final home meet of their storied careers. For tickets to OU’s last home meet, call the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-GoOU, or click here.