INDIANAPOLIS, August 1, 2005 – 2005 U.S. Classic champion Nastia Liukin of Plano, Texas, 2005 U.S. Classic silver-medalist Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., 2004 World Cup Finals uneven bars champion Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., and 2004 World Cup Final vault champion Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., headline the women’s field for the 2005 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS in Indianapolis Aug. 10-13 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

2005 U.S. Classic junior champion Ashley Priess and three local gymnasts are also competing in the junior women’s division. The three Indianapolis-area female gymnasts are: Elizabeth McNabb of Fortville; U.S. junior national team member Samantha Peszek of McCordsville; and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro.
The Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships for men’s and women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and the national team trials for acrobatic gymnastics, is the first major competition in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In addition to Memmel and Sacramone, other senior national team members in the field are: Annie DiLuzio of Folsom, Calif., the 2005 World Cup vault silver medalist; Kelly Fee of St. Charles, Ill., the 2004 U.S. Classic floor exercise bronze medalist; Brittney Magee of Arlington, Texas, who at the 2005 North American International Tri-Meet competed on the gold-medal-winning team, as well as earned a silver in the uneven bars; Marcia Newby of Virginia Beach, Va., 2004 U.S. Classic all-around silver medalist; Kassi Price of Plantation, Fla., four-time Junior National Team member; Sarah Shire of Sweet Springs, Mo., the 2004 DTB World Cup vault silver medalist; and Melanie Sinclair of Orlando, Fla., the 2005 American Cup vault silver medalist.
Liukin, the 2003-04 junior national all-around champion, won the all-around at the 2005 U.S. Classic on July 23, becoming the first American to perform a quad twist in the floor exercise during competition. In addition to her back-to-back junior national all-around titles, Liukin was the junior national champion on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise in 2003-04. She competes for the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy and is coached by her father, Valeri, who won four medals for the Soviet Union at the 1988 Olympic Games. Liukin, who has been on the junior national team for three years, is competing at the senior elite level for the first time this year.
Bieger, who competes for Boca Twisters, is also in her first year at the senior level. At the U.S. Classic, she also placed second on the uneven bars and third on the balance beam. Earlier this year, she competed in dual meets with Great Britain and Switzerland, where the team won the gold medal at both and she placed second and third, respectively, in the all-around. As a junior, she was first in vault and third all-around at last year’s Visa Championships. Bieger, a member of the junior national team for two years, is coached by her mother, Andrea, who was a three-time Olympic gymnast for West Germany.
Memmel won the uneven bars at the 2004 World Cup Final and was an alternate on the 2004 Olympic Team. At the 2003 World Championships, Memmel was the co-champion in the uneven bars and a member of the team that won the gold medal. Earlier that year, she won the all-around gold medal at the Pan American Games. Memmel, a member of the national team for six years, trains at M&M Gymnastics and is coached by her father, Andrew.
Sacramone, who has been on the senior national team for two years, placed third in the all-around at the 2005 U.S. Classic. She won the gold medal in the vault and floor exercise at the 2005 World Cup in Ghent and won the vault at the 2005 American Cup and 2005 World Cup in Paris. In 2004, she took first in the vault at the World Cup Finals and the Pacific Alliance. Sacramone is coached by Mihai and Sylvia Brestyan at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics in Ashland, Mass.
Individual session ticket prices range from $10-$45 with all-session packages ranging from $75-$160. Artistic gymnastics takes place at Conseco Fieldhouse, with rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics slated for the Indiana Convention Center. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office. For additional ticket information, see | 2005 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS |.

List of women competitors (by state) for the 2005 Visa Championships
(as of 8/1/05)

NOTE: list shows gymnast’s name, her club and hometown; * denotes junior


*Monique De La Torre, Unattached, Glendale, Ariz.


Annie DiLuzio, Byers Gymnastics Center, Folsom, Calif
*Ivana Hong, Great American Gymnastic Express, Laguna Hills, Calif.
Allyse Ishino, Gliders, Santa Ana, Calif.
Ashley Jenkins, SCATS Gymnastics, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Brittani McCullough, Southern California Elite Gymnastics Academy, Corona, Calif.
*Shantessa Pama, Gym-Max Gymnastics, Dana Point, Calif.
*Makayla Stambaugh, Byers Gymnastics Center, Citrus Heights, Calif.


Jana Bieger, Twisters Gymnastics Academy, Coconut Creek, Fla.
*Kyra Platt, Coast Elite Gymnastics Academy, Myers, Fla.
Kassi Price, Orlando Metro, Plantation, Fla.
Melanie Sinclair, Orlando Metro, Orlando, Fla.
*Shayla Worley, Orlando Metro, Orlando, Fla.


*Randi Lau, Hawaiian Island Twisters, Honolulu, Hawaii


Kristina Comforte, Illinois Gymnastics Institute, Burr Ridge, Ill.
Kelly Fee, Illinois Gymnastics Institute, St. Charles, Ill.
Anna Li, Aerial Gymnastics Club, Aurora, Ill.


*Elizabeth McNabb, Deveau’s School of Gymnastics, Fortville, Ind.
*Samantha Peszek, Deveau’s School of Gymnastics, McCordsville, Ind.
*Bridget Sloan, Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy, Pittsboro, Ind.


*Shawn Johnson, Chow’s Gymnastics & Dance Institute, DesMoines, Iowa


*Sarah DeMeo, Great American Gymnastic Express, Overland Park, Kan.


Jennifer Iovino, Hill’s, Olney, Md.


Alicia Sacramone, Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, Winchester, Mass.


*Rebecca Bross, World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, Ann Arbor, Mich.


Sarah Shire, Great American Gymnastic Express, Sweet Springs, Mo.

New Jersey

*Amy Borsellino, North Stars Gymnastics Academy, Boonton, N.J.
Kayla Hoffman, Rebound Gymnastics, Union, N.J.


*Bianca Flohr, FLYTZ USA Gymnastics, Creston, Ohio
Jacquelyn Johnson, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Westchester, Ohio
Hilary Mauro, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Westchester, Ohio
*Ashley Priess, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Hamilton, Ohio
*Monica Shoji, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio


*Cortni Beers, Krafft Academy of Gymnastics, Tulsa, Okla.
*Rachel York, Krafft Academy of Gymnastics, Broken Arrow, Okla.


Geralen Stackk-Eaton, Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, Horsham, Pa.
*Amber Trani, Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, Richlandtown, Pa.

South Carolina

Grace Taylor, Aiken Gymnastics, Aiken, S.C.