There's a part in the pronunciation of Sam Mikulak's last name that could best describe his persona as he competed in the Men's Junior Olympic National Championships this past weekend in Tennessee.
You pronounce his last name, Ma-cool-ack.
Mostly everyone could see the Corona del Mar High senior was cool under intense pressure amid a battle against Jesse Silverstein. Mikulak, bound for the University of Michigan on a full-ride scholarship, edged Silverstein by eight-tenths of a point to become the all-around champion of the 16-18-year-old division May 8.
Mikulak's top score on vault definitely helped in the end, as he totaled 181.450 points. Silverstein ended up at 180.800.
"I've never felt so under control under pressure," Mikulak said Tuesday after a workout at SCATS in Huntington Beach, where he trains. "I was a bit shaky at first. There were times I really didn't hit the landing I wanted. But I was able to get in the right mind-set. I started to think about how I would do it back at home and I calmed down."