INDIANAPOLIS, March 1, 2016 – The seventh-annual Nastia Liukin Cup will take place this Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m. ET at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Featuring 18 junior and 18 senior Level 10 Junior Olympic gymnasts, the Nastia Liukin Cup will showcase gymnasts from 17 states. Ten gymnasts are making return trips to the Nastia Liukin Cup, which is held the night before the AT&T American Cup (March 5 at 11:30 a.m. ET).
Three senior athletes are making their third appearance at the Nastia Liukin Cup: Wynter Childers of Spearfish, S.D. /Spearfish Gymnastics; Makarri Doggette of Pickerington, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics; and Rachael Lukacs of Hillsborough, N.J. /North Stars Gymnastics Academy.
Cassie Stevens of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays, and Abbie Thompson of Sanford, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics, are making their second trip to the Nastia Liukin Cup and will compete in the junior age division. Five gymnasts in the senior age division are also competing in their second Cup: Rachel Baumann of Plano, Texas/WOGA; Rachael Flam of Houston, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Houston; Abby Heiskell of Waxhaw, N.C./Southeastern; Alexandria Ruiz of Lake Mary, Fla./ACE Gymnastics; and Jenna Swartzentruber of Centerburg, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics.
Abbey Nkansah of Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics, is replacing teammate Shea Mahoney of Algonquin, Ill., who has withdrawn from the competition with an injury.
Tickets for the 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup are $40 for reserved seats and $30 for general admission, plus applicable fees. All ticket prices are plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased through ticketmaster.com (Nastia Liukin Cup) by phone at 800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster outlets and at Prudential Center’s box office.
Fans who cannot make it to Prudential Center can watch the action live on NBC Live Extra online at nbcsports.com/live-extra or on mobile devices; follow the event on Facebook (facebook.com/usagymnastics) and Twitter (#NastiaCup); or via live scoring at myusagym.com. Universal HD will provide tape-delayed coverage starting at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Prudential Center is playing host to the 2016 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event that features some of the world’s biggest names in gymnastics.
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.
Named for 2008 Olympic all-around gold-medalist Nastia Liukin, the Nastia Liukin Cup was first held in 2010 in Worcester, Mass., and 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: 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, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin’s Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor 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. She also has founded the Shine Agency and is traveling the country as part of the Shine Tour, where she shares her experiences – the highs and disappointments – with young women to encourage girls to shine in their own lives by setting goals, dreaming big and having confidence in themselves. Liukin was a contestant in the 2015 spring edition of “Dancing with the Stars” and was the grand marshal for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. 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 2016 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.
Prudential Center. Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 200 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 10 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venue’s Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes more than two million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and Facebook, and follow @PruCenter on Twitter.
2016 Nastia Liukin Cup field
Listed alphabetically by state
Cassie Stevens, Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays, Junior
Nevaeh DeSouza, Fairfield, Calif./Dream Xtreme Gymnastics, Junior
Gabrielle McLaughlin, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Texas Dreams, Junior
Rylie Mundell, Parker, Colo./Colorado Gymnastics Institute, Junior
Alexandria Ruiz, Lake Mary, Fla./ACE Gymnastics, Senior
Abbie Thompson, Sanford, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics, Junior
Jah’Liyah Bedminster, Loganville, Ga./Georgia Gymnastics Academy, Junior
Kyla Bryant, Watkinsville, Ga./Georgia Elite Gymnastics, Senior
Helen Hu, Chicago, Ill./IK Gymnastics, Junior
Andrea Li, Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics, Junior
Abbey Nkansah, Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics, Senior
Matilyn Waligora, Rochester, Mich./Olympia Gymnastics Academy, Junior
Gabryel Wilson, Ypsilanti, Mich./Michigan Academy of Gymnastics, Junior
Abigail Brenner, Maple Grove, Minn./Twin City Twisters, Senior
Akoray Subject, Plymouth, Minn./Twin City Twisters, Junior
Amanda Cashman, Princeton, N.J. /Arena Gymnastics, Junior
Rachael Lukacs, Hillsborough, N.J. /North Stars Gymnastics Academy, Senior
Melissa Reinstadtler, Brick, N.J. /North Stars Gymnastics Academy, Senior
Haleigh Bryant, Cornelius, N.C./Everest Gymnastics, Junior
Lali Dekanoidze, Stallings, N.C./Southeastern, Junior
Hunter Dula, Weddington, N.C./Southeastern, Junior
Abby Heiskell, Waxhaw, N.C./Southeastern, Senior
Lauren Little, Mooresville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics, Junior
Makarri Doggette, Pickerington, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, Senior
Gracen Standley, West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Senior
Jenna Swartzentruber, Centerburg, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, Senior
Olivia Raymond, Wayne, Pa./North Stars Gymnastics Academy, Senior
Natalie Wojcik, Douglasville, Pa./Berks Gymnastic Academy, Senior
Wynter Childers, Spearfish, S.D. /Spearfish Gymnastics, Senior
Rachel Baumann, Plano, Texas/WOGA, Senior
Brooklynn Bloxom, Frisco, Texas/WOGA, Junior
Rachael Flam, Houston, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Houston, Senior
Chloe Widner, Frisco, Texas/Texas Dreams, Senior
Kimberly Tessen, Orem, Utah/All American Gymnastics Utah, Senior
Elexis Edwards, Midlothian, Va./Virginia International Gymnastics, Junior
Evanni Roberson, Yelm, Wash./Emerald City Gymnastics, Senior