KANSAS CITY, MO. – Gophers junior-to-be Shane Wiskus, the 2018 and 2019 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, won a national title on vault on Saturday night at the U.S. championships at the Sprint Center.
Another Minnesotan, 16-year-old Sunisa Lee of St. Paul and the Midwest Gymnastics Center, heads into Sunday's session trailing superstar Simone Biles by 1.750 in the women's all-around. Ch. 11 will begin its live coverage at 7 p.m.
Wiskus, who is from Spring Park, had a two-day total of 28.850 on vault. He also was third on parallel bars and fourth in all-around. He made a spectacular save on high bar, blindly snatching it one-handed following a release that was a little too big. Rather than smashing onto the mat, he kept going.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of Shane for the performance he put on this weekend," Gophers coach Mike Burns said. "This is a huge step in Shane's career and I'm super excited for him."
Sam Mikulak, a two-time Olympian, cruised to a record-tying sixth national title. The 26-year-old posted a two-day all-around total of 174.150, more than five points clear of runner-up Yul Moldauer and third-place finished Akash Modi.
Mikulak won gold in four events: the floor, pommel horse, high bars and parallel bars.
Biles also will be seeking a record sixth national title.
Lee, one of the youngest competitors in the 17-woman field, put up the top bars score (14.750) and was third on both beam and bars. She is in her first year of senior competition.
The world championship teams will be selected next month.