Nastia Liukin Cup field nearly complete

6264INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 19, 2014 – Seven more athletes punched tickets to the Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for Feb. 28 in Greensboro, N.C. The Nastia Liukin Cup will be held the night before AT&T American Cup at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The final competitor of the 36-athlete field will be named Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, which will be held on the same podium as the AT&T American Cup and Nastia Liukin Cup.

The qualifiers from this past weekend, along with the invitational where they qualified, are listed below.

  • Hannah McCrary of Murfreesboro, Tenn./Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior; Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio
  • Morgan Hurd of Middletown, Del./First State, junior, and Bridget Dean of Fort Myers, Fla./Orlando Metro, senior; The Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla.
  • >Kelsey Knox of Oklahoma City, Okla./Dynamo, junior, and Brehanna Showers of Belmont, Mich./R-Athletics, senior; Presidential Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
  • Rachael Flam of Houston/Stars, junior, and Mackenzie Brannan of Austin, Texas/Capital, senior; Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas

McCrary will join Cincinnati teammate Briana Brown, who qualified earlier, after posting a 37.350 at the Buckeye Classic. Dean, a 2013 Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier, earned a 38.775 at the Magical Classic to earn a return trip to the Cup. Hurd will compete in the junior division after earning a 38.125 in Orlando.

Knox earned a 38.050 at the Presidential Classic, and Showers posted a 38.975 to earn junior and senior spots, respectively, at the Cup. At the Metroplex Challenge, Flam scored 38.325, and Brannan posted a 38.725 to advance to her third Nastia Liukin Cup.

A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger.

Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the AT&T American Cup and recognition during the event; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.

A portion of the proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup benefits the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund in partnership with the National Gymnastics Foundation (www.usagym.org/foundation).

Background information

  • Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin’s total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin’s Olympic medals are: gold Acaa all-around; silver Acaa team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze Acaa floor exercise. Liukin was the third of four U.S. women to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including “Gossip Girl,” “Make It or Break it,” and the feature film, “Stick It.” She was also chosen as one of 2009’s most influential women by MSN Lifestyle. Liukin is now attending New York University in New York City, studying sports management. Also, Liukin currently serves as a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports and will appear as a special contributor during NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. In 2012, she was a member of the creative team and a cast member for the Kellogg’s Tour of Olympic Champions, a national, 40-city tour that followed the 2012 Olympic Games. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.
  • AT&T American Cup. The 2014 AT&T American Cup is one of the most prestigious international invitational events and features an all-around format. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport’s best-known names, including Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. For more information, go to www.attamericancup.com.