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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Martha Karolyi doesnt know who will replace her as national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics when she officially steps down later this month.She does, however, have a message: Dont get cute.The program is already built, Karolyi said. I just really hope that they dont try to fix a program which proved itself and right now really shows that its the highest level program in the world.Its hard to argue with the results. The Final Five -- a name chosen by Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian to honor Karolyi as she heads to retirement -- will return to the U.S. following the Olympic closing ceremony with nine medals, including a second straight team gold and a record-tying four for Biles. No other country earned half that total. The Americans medaled in every event and placed the maximum two competitors in every final except for vault, which Biles captured with remarkable ease.At this point, even the U.S.s closest competition is willing to admit that right now, there are the Americans and there is everyone else.When I competed I realized I didnt have chance to win gold medal or silver medal but it was so pleasant for me, said Russian star Aliya Mustafina, who finished third in the all-around behind Biles and Aly Raisman.The gap appears to be widening. The U.S. has won every major international competition since 2011, a combination of the fruits of the semi-centralized system Karolyi perfected when she took over in 2001 and inability of traditional powers like Russia and Romania to consistently develop the talent necessary to keep pace. The Romanians failed to even make the games, a startling fall for a country that had finished on the podium in the team competition in every Olympics since 1972.The Russian were a staggering 8 points behind the Americans in the team final. The gap between second and eighth-place Brazil was half that.I think that its true to say that we could have fielded two teams here and they would have gone first and second, Olympic coach Aimee Boorman said. Maybe first, second, third or fourth if we threw in a third team.Its not hype. The three Olympic alternates included MyKayla Skinner and Ragan Smith -- both of whom finished ahead of Douglas and Kocian at Olympic Trials. Maggie Nichols, a member of the 2015 world championship team, would have been in the mix if not for a knee injury in the spring that slowed her training. Ashton Locklear, the other alternate, might be the best bars specialist in the world not named Kocian or Mustafina.Karolyi exits with the Americans bursting at the seams in talent, even if Biles, Raisman and Douglas never compete again. All three plan to take extended breaks before making any sort of firm decision. Hernandez, who turned 16 in June, is primed to fill the void left by their absence, with plenty of company to come along for the ride.USA Gymnastics is purchasing the training center at the Karolyi Ranch from Martha and husband Bela next week. While president Steve Penny told The Associated Press before the games the search for her replacement is still in its early stages, the most obvious choice would be Valeri Liukin. A two-time Olympic gold medalist for Russia and the father of 2008 Olympic champion Nastia Liukin, hes spent the last four years as the elite program development coordinator. Liukin is already familiar with the group pointing toward the 2020 Tokyo Games and well-versed in the system Karolyi so carefully constructed.Mihai Brestyan, Raismans longtime coach, has spent more than four decades coaching with Karolyi and has expressed interest in continuing Karolyis legacy.It looks like our way is the best and this is the result, Brestyan said. And its going higher and higher. Were going farther and farther. Right now it looks like weve run away from everybody else.Whoever takes over will inherit a program at the peak of its power after two dizzying weeks in Rio de Janeiro.Theres always somebody in the USA Gymnastics system to step in and step up for the team, she said, later adding, Nobody thought they will see Simone Biles. You probably will see someone like this or greater in the future. Jim Kelly Jersey . U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in Manhattan agreed that lawyers on both sides could make their formal requests by Nov. 8. 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All of the video replays we were shown on TV were inconclusive about whether the puck had entirely crossed the line or not. AKRON, Ohio -- Javarion Franklin and Zach Terrell made sure one of the biggest weeks in the 100-year history of the Western Michigan football ended on a high note.Franklin, a junior running back, rushed for a school-record 281 yards and quarterback Terrell threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as No. 24 Western Michigan -- ranked in the Top 25 this week for the first time in school history -- shut out Akron 41-0 on Saturday.Corey Davis caught two touchdown passes to add to his career school record, finishing with eight catches for 63 yards. The Broncos (7-0, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) had 585 yards of offense.It was an incredible credit to our players, Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck said. They played possessed. They executed the game plan perfectly.Franklin, whose previous career-high rushing game was 211 yards against Idaho two seasons ago, ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Terrell was 21 for 31 for 207 yards.By the time the fourth quarter started, I really had no idea I had a lot of yards, Franklin said. Jamauri (Bogan) kept saying something about 200 but I thought he was lying, so Im like, `hey, whatever. I just go out there and move the chains.Western Michigan held Akron (4-3, 2-1) to 283 yards of offense and snuffed out their biggest threat in the second quarter when quarterback TraVon Chapman was intercepted by Broncos linebacker Casey Carson at the WMU 3-yard line.Chapman, subbing for injured starter Thomas Woodson for the third straight game, was 13 for 31 for 153 yards and was intercepted twice.THE TAKEAWAYWestern Michigan: The strong season continues for the Broncos. They looked efficient on most of their offensive drives and shut down the Zips. Every win makes coach P.J. Fleck more attractive to the Power Five teams expected to have coaching vacancies after the season.Akron: The Zips suffered their first MAC loss, but theyre still likely to compete for the East Division crown. That means they could see WMU again in the conference championship game.Every now and then, you just get beat, Akron coach Terry Bowden said. Tonight, we just got beat on offense and on defense. Western Michigan justt took it to us, and we didnt have any answers.ddddddddddddOLL IMPLICATIONSNot many people saw Western Michigan roll over the Zips. But the score was decisive enough for the Broncos to hold their No. 24 spot or even move up.GIVING IT UPWestern Michigan became the last FBS team in the nation to commit a turnover when Akron defensive end Daumantas Venckus recovered a Davon Tucker fumble at the Akron 14 in the second quarter. WMUs Terrell had thrown an interception deep in Akron territory in the first quarter, but a defensive holding call nullified the play. Akron intercepted Terrell for real in the fourth quarter.WORKING ON A DREAMWestern Michigan is 7-0 for the first time since 1941, when it finished the season 8-0. The Broncos havent won the conference since 1988, when they went 7-1 in the MAC and 9-3 overall. They were 1-13 in 2013 -- Flecks first season -- before going 8-5 the past two years.THATS NOT VERY NICEA motivating technique for the Akron players Saturday was a pregame burning of an oar -- designed to make light of Flecks Row the Boat mantra, which is supposed to symbolize a group of people working in unison for a common goal. Fleck, who came up with the mantra after losing an infant son shortly after birth a few years ago, didnt like it.Its not very classy, in my opinion, Fleck said after the game. Were not into revenge. I do believe in righteousness....Very simple, I think its just two different cultures.ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAMOne of the biggest cheers from the sparse crowd at InfoCision Stadium came in the second quarter when the PA announcer informed the crowd that the Cleveland Indians had taken the lead in the American League Championship Series being played about 40 miles away at Progressive Field. The Indians took a 2-0 lead over Toronto.UP NEXTWestern Michigan: The Broncos return home to play Eastern Michigan.Akron: The Zips travel to face Ball State.---Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacyFor some of his other recent stories: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/mitch-stacy ' ' '

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