Maile O'Keefe

U.S. gymnasts sweep American Cup titles

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U.S. gymnasts Morgan Hurd and Yul Moldauer swept the American Cup, the biggest annual international meet held in the United States.

Hurd, 16, had the highest scores on balance beam, floor exercise and uneven bars in her first competition since winning the world all-around title Oct. 6.

“I went home from worlds, and I didn’t stop training,” Hurd, who was sixth at the 2017 U.S. Championships, told Andrea Joyce on NBC.

She totaled 56.599 points against an international field highlighted by Japanese Mai Murakami, who was fourth in the world all-around final with a balance beam fall.

Moldauer became the first repeat men’s American Cup champion since double 2008 Olympic medalist Jonathan Horton in 2006 and 2007.

Moldauer, the 2017 U.S. all-around champion who was seventh at 2017 Worlds, upset Japanese Kenzo Shirai. Shirai, the floor exercise and vault world champion, fell off the pommel horse twice and high bar once. He ended up sixth in the nine-man field.

Moldauer had the highest score on still rings and won with his trademark consistency and clean routines. He was top three on all six events.

The other U.S. woman in the field, national junior all-around champ Maile O’Keefe, finished third in her senior debut.

O’Keefe fell off the balance beam, and on uneven bars her feet landed on a bar on a release move.

The 16-year-old O’Keefe won the 2017 U.S. junior title with a score that would have placed second in the senior event behind Ragan Smith.

The next major domestic event is the U.S. Classic in Columbus, Ohio in late July. Simone Biles said in the fall that she targeted the U.S. Classic for her first competition since she won five medals at the Rio Olympics.

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Morgan Hurd returns at American Cup; broadcast schedule

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Morgan Hurd competes for the first time since her golden world championships at the American Cup, live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC on Saturday.

Coverage starts on Olympic Channel at 11:30 a.m. ET (streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for Olympic Channel subscribers) and continues with NBC’s broadcast coverage from 1-3 p.m. (also streaming).

The American Cup is the biggest annual international gymnastics meet hosted by the U.S. Past winners include Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas.

It’s also the first major U.S. meet since USA Gymnastics’ board of directors and national-team coordinator Valeri Liukin resigned and the Karolyi Ranch closed amid the organization’s sexual abuse scandal and Larry Nassar‘s sentencing.

“The present climate causes me, and more importantly my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty,” Liukin said in a Feb. 2 statement.

An American woman won every American Cup all-around title since 2002.

Two 16-year-olds — Hurd and two-time U.S. junior champion Maile O’Keefe — are tasked with extending the streak.

The spectacled Hurd broke out last fall. She went from fifth at the 2016 junior nationals and sixth at the 2017 senior nationals to winning the world all-around title in Montreal on Oct. 6.

O’Keefe’s score at the 2017 U.S. Championships to repeat as junior all-around champ would have placed second in the senior division.

The Americans’ biggest competition on paper is Japan’s Mai Murakami, who was fourth at the 2017 Worlds all-around with a balance beam fall.

None of the 2016 U.S. Olympic champion team is in the field, though Biles is expected to return to competition this summer.

The men’s field is led by Japanese star Kenzo Shirai and the top two Americans from last year’s nationals — Yul Moldauer and Allan Bower.

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MORE: Simone Biles forecasts retirement date