Gymnastics stars ready for 2012 Visa Championships
posted on 05/30/2012

© John Cheng

NOTE: Shawn Johnson, who originally qualified to the 2012 Visa Championships, announced her retirement on June 3.

INDIANAPOLIS, May 30, 2012 - The road to the 2012 Olympic Games in London continues next week in St. Louis, Mo., with the 2012 Visa Championships, June 7-10 at Saint Louis University's Chaifetz Arena. Twenty-four senior women, representing 15 states, are scheduled to compete, including 2011 U.S. and World all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA. Performances at the Visa Championships, which serve as USA Gymnastics' national championships, will determine the gymnasts who advance to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials - Gymnastics in San Jose, Calif., June 28-July 1.

Wieber is joined by fellow 2011 World team champions Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance; McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./AOGC, who is also the World vault champion; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, floor exercise World bronze medalist; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic; and Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite, alternate.

Three members of the 2008 Olympic team, including 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas/WOGA, have qualified to compete. Sacramone, the 2010 World vault champion, and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp's Gymnastics, 2009 World all-around champion, are also expected in St. Louis.

Six-time World Championships medalist Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas/WOGA, has also registered to compete.  Brandie Jay of Colorado Springs, Colo./GK Gymnastics, and Grace McLaughlin of Allen, Texas/WOGA, who along with Sloan won the team gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games, are expected to compete as well.

The 2012 Visa Championships will showcase first-year seniors Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics, junior all-around champion at the 2009-10 Visa Championships, Kennedy Baker of Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams, who finished third in the all-around at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic; Sarah Finnegan of St. Louis, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, runner-up at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic; and Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes.

In the junior division, reigning U.S. junior all-around champion Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA, is back to defend her title. Ohashi is joined by fellow 2012 Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships team gold medalists Amelia Hundley of Hamilton, Ohio, and Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio, both of whom train at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. 2012 Secret U.S. Classic junior all-around champion, Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/Bannon's Gymnastix, and junior national team members Madison Desch of Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, and Bailie Key of Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams, have also registered for the event.

Single-session tickets for the Visa Championships range in price from $20-$99.50, including facility fees. Ticket prices vary according to seat location and session. In addition, the multi-session tickets (men's package that features both days of competition; all-day women's package that features both junior and senior sessions for day one; and a women's finals package that features the final day of competition for both junior and senior women) and all-session ticket packages are still available. Multi-session ticket packages for men's and women's gymnastics range from $60 to $125, and all-session ticket packages go from $105 to $325.

All tickets may be purchased by phone at 314-534-1111 or 800-293-5949; online at www.thechaifetzarena.com; or at the Chaifetz Arena Box Office. Group discounts are available by calling 314-977-5008. In recognition of Visa's sponsorship of USA Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa at the 2012 Visa Championships, along with cash.

The competition schedule for the 2012 Visa Championships is below. All times are Central.

    Thursday, June 7
    • 1 p.m. - Junior Men Competition - Day 1
    • 6:30 p.m. - Senior Men's Competition - Day 1
    Friday, June 8
    • 1 p.m. - Junior Women's Competition - Day 1
    • 6:30 p.m. - Senior Women's Competition - Day 1
    Saturday, June 9
    • 11:30 a.m. - Senior Men's Competition - Final Day
    • 6 p.m. - Junior Men's Competition - Final Day
    Sunday, June 10
    • 10 a.m. - Junior Women's Competition - Final Day
    • 2:30 p.m. - Senior Women's Competition - Final Day

The Visa Championships determine the U.S. champions and the national team for both the junior and senior elite levels for men's and women's gymnastics. NBC Sports and Universal Sports will broadcast and webcast the action from St. Louis.

Background information

  • Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Chaifetz Arena (TheChaifetzArena.com) is a 10,600-seat multipurpose venue on the campus of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Chaifetz Arena is the home to the Saint Louis University Billikens Men's and Women's Basketball and 150 concerts, family shows and special events per year. The $81-million arena opened in April 2008 and features a 20,000 square foot event floor, 14 suites, two party decks, two multi-purpose rooms, and a 4,700 square foot club on the event floor. Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages Chaifetz Arena, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, Pa., Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world's largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.

  • St. Louis Sports Commission. The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that makes St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. Its efforts focus on attracting, creating and managing major sporting events for the St. Louis region - and contributing to its quality of life. Since its inception in 1989, the organization has produced a diverse lineup of high-profile events that excite area sports fans, generate revenue for the region and garner positive exposure for St. Louis. The Sports Commission hosted the Visa Championships in 2000 and has played integral roles in other recent Olympic events staged in St. Louis. A catalyst for civic benefit, economic development and charitable good, the Sports Commission has been recognized as a leader in its industry and its community.

Women's field for the 2012 Visa Championships
Listed by alphabetically by state
As of May 30; subject to change

Arizona
Mykayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz., Desert Lights Gymnastics, senior

California
Lacy Dagen, Pleasanton, Calif., San Mateo Gymnastics, junior
McKayla Maroney, Long Beach, Calif., All Olympia AOGC, senior
Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Gym-Max Gymnastics, senior
Jessica Wang, Chino Hills, Calif., Winner's Academy of Gymnastics, junior

Colorado
Brandie Jay, Ft Collins, Colo., GK Gymnastics, senior
Polina Shchennikova, Arvada, Colo., T.I.G.A.R., junior

Georgia
Amanda Huang, Roswell, Ga., Northwind Gymnastics Center, junior
Megan Skaggs, Marietta, Ga., Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta, junior

Illinois
Anna Li, Aurora, Ill., Legacy Elite, senior

Indiana
Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind., Sharp's Gymnastics Academy, senior

Kansas
Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kan., Great American Gymnastics Express, junior

Massachussettes
Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass., Brestyan's American Gymnastics, senior
Alicia Sacramone, Winchester, Mass., Brestyan's American Gymnastics, senior

Michigan
Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich., Gedderts' Twistars USA, senior

Minnesota
Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn., Twin City Twisters, junior

Missouri
Brenna Dowell, Odessa, Mo., Great American Gymnastics Express, senior
Sarah Finnegan, St. Louis, Mo., Great American Gymnastics Express, senior

New Jersey
Ashley Foss, Towaco, N.J., North Stars Gymnastics Academy, junior
Lauren Hernandez, Old Bridge, N.J., Monmouth Gymnastic Academy, junior

New York
Sabrina Vega, Carmel, N.Y., Dynamic Gymnastics, senior

Ohio
Alexis Beucler, Findlay, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior
Brianna Brown, West Chester, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, senior
Nia Dennis, New Albany, Ohio, Buckeye Gymnastics, junior
Amelia Hundley, Hamilton, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior
Amanda Jetter, Milford, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, senior
Lexie Priessman, Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior

Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Price, Coopersburg, Pa., Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, senior
Meredith Sylvia, Macungie, Pa., Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, junior

Texas
Kennedy Baker, Flower Mound, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, senior
Simone Biles, Spring, Texas, Bannon's Gymnastix, junior
Mackenzie Brannan, Austin, Texas, Capital Gymnastics, senior
Rebecca Bross, Plano, Texas, WOGA. Gymnastics, senior
Peyton Ernst, Coppell, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Ariana Guerra, League City, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Veronica Hults, Allen, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Bailie Key, Coppell, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Ashton Kim, Westlake, Texas, Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Nicole Lehrmann, Cedar Park, Texas, Capital Gymnastics / Texas, junior
Nastia Liukin, Parker, Texas, WOGA, senior
Grace McLaughlin, Allen, Texas, WOGA, senior
Shannon McNatt, Houston, Texas, Stars Gymnastics Training Center, junior
Abigail Milliet, Denton, Texas, Denton Gymnastics Academy, senior
Katelyn Ohashi, Plano, Texas, WOGA, junior
McKenzie Wofford, McKinney, Texas, Zenith Elite Gymnastics Academy, senior

Virginia
Gabrielle, Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va., Chow's Gymnastics & Dance Institute, senior


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