Hurd, Mikulak win all-around championships at American Cup

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Morgan Hurd of the United States performs on the floor during the America Cup gymnastics competition Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Morgan Hurd is turning the page from a frustrating 2019 season and going for her first Olympic berth.

Her new approach is paying early dividends.

The 18-year-old from Middletown, Delaware, won the women’s all-around title at the American Cup on Saturday. This marks the second time in three years that Hurd has won the all-around title at the American Cup, the first major international competition leading to the Tokyo Games.

“I guess I just have almost a different mentality,” Hurd said. “I’m learning to be calmer and just really telling myself that I’m really just in a practice, (that) I’m not even doing a meet. That’s what I kept telling myself all day."

Hurd posted a total score of 55.832 to lead the 12 competitors. Kayla DiCello of the U.S. was second with 55.132. Hitomi Hatakeda of Japan was third with 53.799.

Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, California, made it a U.S. sweep later Saturday by winning the men’s all-around competition with a score of 85.332. Oleg Verniaiev, who finished second in the all-around at the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics and third at last year’s world championships, was second with 83.064.

James Hall of Britain was third (82.999) and Shane Wiskus of Spring Park, Minnesota, was fourth (82.797).

This year's competition didn't include Russia, which announced last week that it wasn’t making the trip because of the coronavirus.