Watch intro videos shown in the venue at the 2011 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup
By Kate Guerra
Kaitlyn Hall is one of the youngest among the qualifiers for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, but she does not let that intimidate her going into competition. Just shy of 13 years-old, Hall is well-known among her peers to be a determined perfectionist.
With her many athletic talents, KGDC Twisters is happy Hall decided to pursue her passion for gymnastics. She also participates in diving, and can do a double front in the air. Her mother, Laura, wanted her to follow in her footsteps and be an ice skater. Fortunately, all Hall wanted to do was gymnastics.
Jennifer Green, one of her coaches at KGDC Twisters, believes that though Hall's perfectionism is one of her greatest strengths, it can also be a challenge at times. Hall has a great competitive nature, and her drive can cause her to be a bit too hard on herself. However, Green also credits Hall with being a very positive person and great teammate who will go out of her way for her friends.
Hall's favorite event is the floor exercise because of her love of performing, and she won that event in the IGI Chicago Style in 2010. In that same year, she was Level Nine Regional vault champion and finished fourth in the all-around. She qualified for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup at the Folger's New Year's Invitational in Wichita, Kan.
Hall is in seventh grade and loves English more than her other classes. She loves to read, swim and dive in her free time, and she hopes to compete on the University of Florida gymnastics team when it comes time for her to go to college.
Mary Jane Horth
By Evan Reller
Like so many other gymnasts, Mary Jane Horth started gymnastics at a young age when her mother, Marilyn, took her to a Mom & Tot tumbling class when she was three. Much like the rest of her family, she was a natural athlete.
Horth's mother played volleyball in college, and her father, David, was a skier at Stanford. She has four brothers, three of whom play soccer and the other plays volleyball. Her oldest brother is now a professional soccer player. And, brother Tim, one of the soccer players, is her twin.
Horth hails from Akron, Ohio, and trains at Gym World. Friends and family call her "MJ."
Horth, 16, has excelled at gymnastics. In 2010, she was the Ohio State all-around champion, the National Invitational Tournament all-around champion and a Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup qualifier. One year later, she qualified for her second straight trip to the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup by winning all-around at the Circle of Stars, a part of the 2011 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup Series. She also won the all-around, floor exercise and vault at the 2011 Rock-n-Roll Classic, where she finished second on the uneven bars.
Her favorite event is the floor exercise; however the uneven bars is a close second, where she typically scores the highest. She relishes the challenge that competing brings her every day.
"I would say that bars is my greatest strength," said Horth. "My biggest challenge has been my consistency on beam. It's something I really have to focus on."
Horth's schedule begins with school from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and then to the gym for four hours. When she gets home, she works hard to maintain a 4.4 GPA in her honors and AP level classes.
Her goal is a college scholarship. Horth is currently being recruited by the College of William & Mary, Cornell University and the University of North Carolina.
By Evan Reller
Amelia Hundley, who started doing gymnastics when she was four years old, comes from a family full of gymnasts.
Her mother, Sharon, was a gymnast when she was in college. Two of her brothers did gymnastics when they were younger but have moved on to other sports. Hundley's family owns a dance studio in Hamilton, Ohio, her hometown. She used to dance regularly at the studio before focusing on gymnastics.
Hundley, 13, qualified for the 2009 Junior Olympic National Championships after winning at the state and regional levels. In 2010 she qualified for the Visa Championships and the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup. At the inaugural Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, she posted the third highest score for the floor exercise.
In 2011, she qualified for her second Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup at the CGA Parents Club Coaches Spectacular by finishing second in the all-around in her classification. Fellow teammate Kayla Williams also advanced to the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup from that event.
"We love each other," Hundley said. "We always think of each other as teammates and it is great to go to this event (Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup) together."
Hundley and Williams train at the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, where Hundley trains five hours a day. At the 2011 IGI Chicago-Style Meet Hundley took top honors for the balance beam, was second in the all-around and tied for second on the floor.
Hundley attributes her success to the support of her parents and coaches. She is home-schooled and is in seventh grade.
Hundley has not yet started looking at colleges, but is would like to make the national team and earn a collegiate gymnastics scholarship.
By Evan Reller
Arizona native Kassandra Lopez is a senior at Amphi High School in Tucson. She has been interested in gymnastics since her parents first enrolled her in classes in 2003. Lopez's father, Antonio, was a soccer player and her mother, Jessica, participated in both track and volleyball in high school.
Lopez trains at Tumbleweeds Gymnastics in Tucson. She typically trains 4-5 hours per day. Keeping up with academics is difficult she says, but over time she's gotten used to fitting it all in.
She feels her greatest strength is her work ethic. Focus and consistency will hopefully pay off in competitions. Although she has suffered the inevitable injuries here and there, she feels that mental perseverance helps her overcome any difficulties.
While gymnastics is a huge part of her life, Lopez still manages to find time for friends and family.
For Kay-Lo, as her friends call her, the best part of gymnastics is competing with her team, especially her best friend Caitlin Mann. One of her finest achievements was competing with the 2010 Junior Olympics Team and her ultimate goal is to compete at the Olympics.
In 2011, Lopez placed second all-around at the Classic Rock Invitational qualifying event for the 2011 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup.
At the 2010 inaugural Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup she placed second in the all-around. Lopez also placed fourth at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships and was first in the all-around at the 2010 Regionals.
Lopez plans to attend the University of Utah in the fall on an athletic scholarship.
By Kate Guerra
Alexandra McMurtry is the picture perfect example of hard work paying off. She qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships three years in a row, from 2008-10. In just three years, she improved from her 35th-place finish at her first nationals to second in the all-around in 2010.
She also has a streak of taking the gold medal in all events for three years in a row at the Virginia state competition. The 14 year-old trains at Richmond (Va.) Olympiad, and this will be her sixth year with Virginia's 2010 Coaches of the Year Boris and Larissa Choutkin.
McMurtry qualified for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup at the Excalibur Cup in Virginia Beach, Va., where she won the all-around, balance beam and floor exercise and tied for second on vault. At the 2011 Hill's Maryland Classic, she won the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles and was second in the uneven bars.
Her achievements also include co-recipient of Virginia's Gymnast of the Year Award in 2009-10; member of the Junior Olympic Team from 2009-11; and member of the Region 7 All-Star Team from 2009-11.
She began gymnastics when she was two years old and had an energy level that was, as she claims, "all over the place." Her favorite event is the floor exercise because it gives her the opportunity to pick her own music and openly express herself more than the other events do.
As with most eighth graders, McMurtry is excited about attending high school. For her the step has added appeal because it will be the first time she will attend public school. She loves science and wants to attend medical school one day. She believes her greatest weakness is the fear that comes with certain aspects of competition, but that her greatest strength is overcoming those fears and competing as hard as she can.
By Evan Reller
Jordan Naleway has been doing gymnastics for as long as she can remember. When she was just one year old, her mother, Lynn, took her to a Mom and Tot tumbling class. Since 1993, she has come long way.
Naleway, 18, qualified for Junior Olympic National Championships the past three years. Following a rough outing in 2008, she came back in 2009 to place eighth in the uneven bars. In 2010 she improved to sixth in bars. In 2009 she also placed first in bars at the State Championship Meet. She qualified for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup by winning the all-around at the 2011 Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, where she also won the uneven bars and tied for third on vault.
"I always want to come back and do a better job than before," said Naleway, whose nickname is JoJo. "I am motivated and determined to improve on my past performances."
Naleway typically spends more than four hours training every day at Aerial Gymnastics Club. Her family's support gives her the strength to keep competing. She has worked with her school guidance counselor at Vernon Hills High School, where she is a senior, to create a schedule that provides her with more time during the school day to get her work done and the flexibility to leave early.
She isn't the only athlete in her family. Naleway has two younger brothers. Patrick, 16, is a wrestler, and Jack, 10, plays a bevy of sports, including football, baseball and basketball.
Naleway spends what little free time she has as a typical high school girl: hanging out with friends, going to movies, and just relaxing in her hometown of Vernon Hills, Illinois.
She is planning to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on an athletic scholarship.
USA Gymnastics is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States, consistent with the Ted Stevens Olympic & Amateur Sports Act, the Bylaws of the United States Olympic Committee and the International Gymnastics Federation. The mission of USA Gymnastics is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of gymnastics.