Malone Wins U.S. Gymnastics Title
STANFORD, Calif. - Brody Malone, Stanford's two-time NCAA champion and two-time NCAA all-around winner, added his first U.S. Championships national title on Saturday, finishing atop the podium from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Malone finished the two days of competition with a combined score of 170.700 and held on to his first-day lead throughout the second day. Rising Stanford junior Brandon Briones (167.150) and Cardinal alum Akash Modi (165.500) took fourth and sixth in the final standings, respectively. Former Cardinal Robert Neff (162.350) and rising senior Ian Gunther (162.200) also finished in the top eight, taking seventh and eighth in that order. Rising sophomore Colt Walker (12th, 160.300) and incoming freshman Taylor Burkhart (15th, 159.400) continued the strong showing from the Cardinal.
A native of Summerville, Ga., Malone eventually finished 2.750 points better than Yul Moldauer (167.950) for the individual title. Six-time national champion and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak (167.400) finished third after making an impressive run from seventh place on day two. Sandwiched between Briones and Modi, Allan Bower (166.150) took fifth.
Malone finished top four on four of the six events, including winning vault with a combined mark of 29.000 – his 14.700 on day one holding as the top individual mark overall. Malone took second on rings (29.150) and high bar (29.500), and fourth on pommel horse (28.100).
A two-time NCAA champion on high bar, Malone hit for a 15.050 on day two, finishing with the best high bar score of the meet and second-highest score on any event.
The next step in the Olympic qualifying process is the Olympic Trials set for June 24-27 in St. Louis. Five Olympic athletes will be selected following competition - four to compete in the team event, with the fifth as an individual thanks to Paul Juda's finish at the Pan American Championships on Friday. Cardinal alum Eddie Penev is a strong contender for that potential event specialist spot after winning the floor title and finishing tied for second on vault at the U.S. Championships.
Based on their performances across two days of competition, 12 athletes were automatically selected to the U.S. Senior National Team at the event's conclusion:
- Allan Bower, Chandler, Ariz./University of Oklahoma
- Brandon Briones, Gilbert, Ariz./Stanford University
- Alex Diab, Glen Ellyn, Ill./University of Illinois
- Gage Dyer, Yukon, Okla./University of Oklahoma
- Ian Gunther, Houston, Texas/Stanford University
- Brody Malone, Belfast, Tenn./Stanford University
- Sam Mikulak, Newport Coast, Calif./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center
- Akash Modi, Morganville, N.J./Stanford University
- Yul Moldauer, Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics
- Stephen Nedoroscik, Worcester, Mass./Penn State University
- Eddie Penev, Penfield, N.Y./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center
- Shane Wiskus, Spring Park, Minn./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center
The five athletes who represented the U.S. this weekend at the 2021 Senior Pan American Championships in Brazil have also been automatically added to the team:
- Cameron Bock, Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan
- Vitaliy Guimaraes, Norman, Okla./University of Oklahoma
- Paul Juda, Deerfield, Ill./University of Michigan
- Riley Loos, El Dorado Hills, Calif./Stanford University
- Donnell Whittenburg, New Berlin, Wis./Salto Gymnastics
For full coverage of the U.S. Championships, please visit USAGym.org.