Ferrer, Karas qualify for 2015 Nastia Liukin Cup


Note: Bailey Ferrer has withdrawn from competition and has been replaced by Jacqueline Kranitz.

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 27, 2015 – Bailey Ferrer of Orlando Metro and Olivia Karas of IK Gymnastics both qualified for the 2015 Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for March 6 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, based on performances this past weekend at the Sand Dollar Invitational in Orlando, Fla. Competition in the Nastia Liukin Cup Series continues this weekend at four invitationals scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 1: Chow’s Challenge in Galveston, Texas; Circle of Stars in Indianapolis; Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas; and Wisconsin Dells (Wis.) Gymnastics Vacation Classic.

Both Ferrer and Karas are making return trips to the Nastia Liukin Cup and this year scored a 38.375 to qualify. Ferrer won the meet’s junior division, and Dallas will be her third Cup appearance; she finished 26th in 2013 and was fourth in 2014 junior division. Karas, who placed sixth at last year’s Nastia Liukin Cup, was the highest senior (third place) who had not previously qualified for this year’s Cup.

AT&T Stadium will host both the Nastia Liukin Cup and, on the following day, the 2015 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event that features some of the world’s biggest names in gymnastics. Named for 2008 Olympic all-around gold-medalist Nastia Liukin, the Nastia Liukin Cup was first held in 2010 in Worcester, Mass.

Tickets for the 2015 Nastia Liukin Cup are $50 for reserved seats and $35 for general admission, plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased online through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. For group (10+ people) sales information, please call AT&T Stadium group sales at (817) 892-8688. Discounted tickets are also available through local gym clubs that participate in the Club Ticket Sales Program. For more information, go to nastialiukincup.com.

The 35 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features 25 of the country’s top gymnastics invitationals held throughout the United States. A total of 17 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. The final Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers will be determined at six invitationals held just three weeks before the Nastia Liukin Cup.

The remaining invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below with the number of qualifiers in parentheses.

  • Chow’s Challenge, Galveston, Texas, Jan. 30-Feb.1 (1 Sr.)
  • Circle of Stars, Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 30-Feb.1 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 30-Feb.1 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Jan. 30-Feb.1 (1 Sr.)
  • Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 6-8 (1 Jr.)
  • Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 6-8 (1 Sr.)
  • Fiesta Bowl Gymnastics Meet, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 6-8 (1 Jr.)
  • Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 6-8 (1 Jr.)
  • Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 6-8 (1 Sr.)
  • Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 6-8 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 13-15 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • IGI Chicago Style Meet, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 13-15 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Excalibur Cup, Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 13-15 (1 Sr.)
  • Magical Classic Gymnastics Meet, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15 (1 Jr.)
  • Presidential Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 13-15 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)

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 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).

Past sites for the Nastia Liukin Cup are: 2014, Greensboro, N.C.; 2013 and 2010, Worcester, Mass.; 2012, New York City; and 2011, Jacksonville, Fla.

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 –Oall-around; silver –lteam, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze –mfloor 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." 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 was 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 2015 AT&T American Cup, a FIG World Cup event, 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 attamericancup.com.

  • AT&T Stadium. AT&T Stadium is the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world. Designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, the $1.2 billion stadium features two monumental arches, the world’s largest HDTV video board cluster, an expansive retractable roof and the largest retractable end zone doors in the world. Features of the stadium include seating for 80,000 and expandability for up to 100,000, over 300 luxury suites, club seating on multiple levels and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, open to the public year round. The stadium is also home to a world-class collection of contemporary art, made up of over 50 pieces from an international array of curated artists displayed on the walls and in the grand public spaces of the venue. In addition to being the home of the Dallas Cowboys since opening in 2009, the stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 NBA All Star Game, the annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. In 2014 it will be home to the NCAA Men’s Final Four and in 2015 the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game. The venue has also played host to high school and college football, concerts, championship fights and other special events. For more information, go to http://stadium.dallascowboys.com.