VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 23, 2005 – Nastia Liukin of Plano, Texas, won the all-around title at the U.S. Classic at the Virginia Beach (Va.) Pavilion. The competition, which featured both junior and senior levels, is the last event leading into the 2005 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS, Aug. 10-13, at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Although many of the competitors had already qualified for the Visa Championships, 14 advanced to the sport’s national championships based on their performance at the U.S. Classic.

Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., took second and third in the all-around, respectively. Individual event champions were: Annie DiLuzio of Folsom, Calif., vault; Liukin, uneven bars and balance beam; and Sacramone, floor exercise.
Liukin, who was the top-ranked junior at last year’s Visa Championships, moved up to the senior level in 2005. Liukin’s floor exercise routine included a quadruple twist in her first tumbling pass, which she did for the first time in competition. In addition to winning the all-around, she also won the uneven bars and balance beam.
“I am so glad I did the quad today,” said Liukin, who competes for the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy. “It felt great. I got it out of my system and I now I know I can do it. It’s a lot different doing it in competition than in practice because there is more pressure.
Valeri Liukin, Nastia’s father and coach, said, “I was pleased with how her quad twist on floor went today. She is the first woman to do this skill in competition. She’s such a good twister and we wanted to have a unique skill. This is what it is all about, trying it in competition. She’s learning where she’s at (landing). She does them differently in practice, but in competition she is two-feet higher (in the air with her twists) so she needs to learn where the landing is. We’re pleased with how today went.”
Bieger, who also is competing for the first time as a senior this year, finished second in the all-around, uneven bars and (tied) floor exercise, as well as placed third on the balance beam.
“I am very pleased with how it went today,” said Bieger, who is coached by her mom, Andrea, and competes for Twisters Gymnastics Academy. “I tried some new skills, like my double layout on floor and my double-twisting Yurchenko on vault. I hit all my routines so it went really well”
In addition to the all-around, Sacramone also placed third on vault.
“I competed my old floor routine today because it is more fun, but added my new tumbling passes,” said Sacramone, who competes for Brestyan’s American Gymnastics. “I’m happy with how things went and I am ready for the Visa Championships.”
In the junior division, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy teammates Ashley Priess of Hamilton, Ohio, and Monica Shoji of Cincinnati went one-two in the all-around, with Shawn Johnson of Des Moines placing third. Event champions were: Britney Ranzy of Gaithersburg, Md., vault; Priess, uneven bars; Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla., balance beam; and Shoji, floor exercise.
Gymnasts whose performance qualified them for the Visa Championships are: Susan Jackson of Houston; Geralen Stack-Eaton of Horsham, Pa.; Grace Taylor of Aiken, S.C.; Hayley DeProspero of Dallas; and Brittani McCullough of Corona, Calif. In the junior division, those who will advance to the Visa Championships are: Christa Tanella of Lucas, Texas; Sarah DeMeo of Overland Park, Kan.; Elizabeth McNabb of Fortville, Ind.; Catherine Nguyen of Plano, Texas; Amy Borsellino of Boonton, N.J.; Kyra Platt of Ft. Myers, Fla.; Randi Lau of Honolulu; Samantha Miller of Dallas; and Monique De La Torre of Glendale, Ariz.
The 2005 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is held at Conseco Fieldhouse, with rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics staged at the Indiana Convention Center. The women’s field for the Visa Championships will be released later this week.
Tickets for the 2005 Visa Championships may be purchased online at, over the phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.