INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 6, 2018 – Four athletes qualified for the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for March 2 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., based on performances this past weekend at the Pikes Peak Cup in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Chris Waller’s Heart of Champion Invitational in Pasadena, Calif. The Nastia Liukin Cup Series continues this weekend with four invitationals: Salcianu and Brestyan’s Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev.; Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz.; Denver Winterfest Classic in Denver, Colo., and the Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational in Greensboro, N.C.
Tory Vetter of Columbus, Ohio/Universal Gymnastics, and Kennedy Quay of San Diego, Calif./ SCEGA, topped the all-around standings at Chris Waller’s Heart of a Champion Invitational to seal the junior and senior spots, respectively, at the Cup. Quay took top honors for seniors with her 38.850, while Vetter’s 38.200 secured the junior all-around crown. Anapaula Gutierrez of Highlands Ranch, Colo./TIGAR, and Jaedyn Rucker of Mesa, Ariz./Desert Devils, punched their tickets to the Cup at the Pikes Peak Cup. Gutierrez tallied a 37.825 to clinch the junior berth and Rucker earned a 38.450, which secured her spot in the senior competition.
The Sears Centre Arena will host both the Nastia Liukin Cup and, on the following day, the American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series. The Elite Team Cup, a team event with many of the USA’s top junior men, wraps up the weekend’s events on Saturday evening.
The 36 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features 18 of the country’s top gymnastics invitationals held throughout the United States. A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup with one junior and one senior gymnast qualifying at each invitational. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger. The age determination date is Dec. 31, 2018. The last Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers will be determined at two invitationals held just two weeks before the Nastia Liukin Cup. The remaining invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below.
- Salcianu and Brestyan’s Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 8-11
- Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 9-11
- Denver Winterfest Classic, Denver, Colo., Feb. 9-11
- Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 9-11
- Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 16-17
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 16-19
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 Nastia Liukin Cup; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.
Single-session tickets range in price from $29 to $79, plus applicable fees, and can be purchased by clicking here. All-session ticket packages range in price from $89-$149, plus applicable fees, and include tickets to all three of the weekend’s events (American Cup, Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup). Ticket prices vary according to competition session and seat location. To purchase tickets, visit www.SearsCentre.com, call 1-888-SEARS-TIX, or visit the Wintrust Box Office at the Sears Centre Arena. For more information on tickets, please go nastialiukincup.com.
Past sites for the Nastia Liukin Cup are: 2016-17, Newark, N.J.; 2015, Arlington, Texas; 2014, Greensboro, N.C.; 2013 and 2010, Worcester, Mass.; 2012, New York City; and 2011, Jacksonville, Fla.
- 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. Liukin’s Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin was the third of five 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 was a contestant in the 2015 spring edition of “Dancing with the Stars” and was the grand marshal for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. She currently serves as a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.
- American Cup. 2017 U.S. all-around champion Ragan Smith of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams, and Moldauer won the women’s and men’s titles at the 2017 American Cup at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The impressive list of former American Cup champions includes: Simone Biles, Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Gabby Douglas, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Danell Leyva, Nastia Liukin, Sam Mikulak, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton, Kurt Thomas, Peter Vidmar, Jordyn Wieber and Kim Zmeskal-Burdette. Past sites for the American Cup include: New York, N.Y. (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia, Pa. (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013); Greensboro, N.C. (2014); Arlington, Texas (2015); and Newark, N.J. (2016-17).
- Sears Centre Arena. Sears Centre Arena is an 11,000-seat multipurpose family entertainment, cultural, and sports arena located in Hoffman Estates’ Prairie Stone Business Park. The Sears Centre Arena, which opened in 2006, is designed to accommodate a variety of events including concerts, family shows and sporting events. For more information regarding the Sears Centre Arena and upcoming events, please visit the arena’s website at www.searscentre.com.
- USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.