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Horton holds off Kuksenkov by 0.166:

 

Jonathan Horton High Bar

 

 

Mykola Kuksenkov High Bar

 

Horton might not have been at his very best, but he showed a lot of tenacity and made a late charge on the final two events to pass Kuksenkov, the surprise leader after four rotations.  It was a spectacular finish to a meet marred by tons of falls off pommel horse in the 2nd rotation.  The solid Ukrainian had an extremely consistent meet though, scoring between 14.8 and 15.033 on five events and a 15.7 on vault.

 

 

Dalton places an impressive third, 0.133 ahead of Japan’s Uematsu:

 

Jake Dalton Floor

 

 

Koji Uematsu Parallel Bars

 

 

Just one month after winning the Winter Cup, Dalton was entered into the American Cup the morning of the competition as a replacement for an injured Russian gymnast, Sergei Khorokhordin.  Dalton seized the moment beautifully, posting the highest floor score with this phenomenal routine and finishing 3rd overall.  Had it not been for a botched pommel horse dismount that cost him dearly, he would likely have been right in the running for the title.

 

 

World silver medalist Boy has an up-and-down day and finishes 6th:

 

Philip Boy Parallel Bars

 

Disasters on pommel horse and high bar kept the 2010 world all-around silver medalist from challenging world bronze medalist Horton for this title, but Boy did manage to place 1st on vault and 2nd on p-bars.  He went on to win all-around gold at the European Championships a month later and his second consecutive world all-around silver medal in Tokyo six months after that.

 

 

The controversial Wieber-Mustafina battle:

 

Aliya Mustafina Bars

 

 

Jordyn Wieber Beam

 

 

Aliya Mustafina Floor

 

 

Jordyn Wieber Floor

 

What a controversial yet stunning finish to this competition.  When Jordyn Wieber fell from the bars in the second rotation and Mustafina nailed her jam-packed routine soon afterwards, it seemed that there would likely be no hope for the young American to upset the unstoppable reigning world champion.  Things got more interesting in the third rotation when Wieber clearly outperformed Mustafina on beam, but the Russian still had a very sizeable lead going into floor, an event where she almost never falters.  But then the unthinkable happened…in the midst of performing a new routine, the gymnast who dominated the world in Rotterdam just a few months before completely botched a pass she typically does effortlessly.  Wieber soon followed and made a couple of small errors of her own, but then nailed her last two passes and came up with essentially the exact score she needed to overtake the Russian.  It was an almost uncanny foreshadowing of what was to come several months later at the worlds in Tokyo, where Wieber came back from a mistake on bars to steal the world all-around crown from Russian Viktoria Komova in a strikingly similar fashion.

 

 

Raisman is consistent and reinstitutes an improved piked double Arabian:

 

Aly Raisman Floor

 

Raisman had introduced her piked double Arabian at the 2010 U.S. Classic, but took it out for the world championships that year and used a safer double tuck instead.  At this meet this big skill reappeared – with improved form and control – and has remained in her routine since.  Aly had a very solid all-around meet at this competition, hitting all four events and placing third behind Wieber and Mustafina.

 

 

Lopez has rough vault and bars and then nails beam:

 

Jessica Lopez Beam

 

After disastrous scores on vault and bars, Lopez showed just how much she has matured as an international competitor by putting up a confident and beautiful beam set, complete with a brand new layout to two feet.  She went on to hit a solid floor routine as well to finish up strongly in her 4th American Cup.

 

 

Whelan has a rough meet but displays some of the best choreography on floor:

 

Hannah Whelan Floor

 

Great Britain’s Hannah Whelan certainly had an “off” day at this American Cup – failing to even break a 14 on any event – but her floor routine still managed to be a highlight because of the downright cool music and choreography and spectacular whip-triple full opener.  Whelan sure got it together in time for the world championships in October, where she surprised many by helping her team secure an Olympic berth and placing 9th in the all-around.