Jones set to defend title at 2013 Nastia Liukin Cup
posted on 01/21/2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 14, 2013 - Eight more gymnasts, including defending champion Charity Jones of Miami, Okla./Dynamo Gymnastics, qualified this past weekend for the 2013 Nastia Liukin Cup through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which continues this weekend. There are another seven spots up for grabs at the Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational in Kissimmee, Fla.; the Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; the Parkettes Invitational in Allentown, Pa.; and the San Diego Classic in San Diego, Calif., scheduled for Jan. 25-27.

The gymnasts who advanced to the Nastia Liukin Cup are:

  • CGA Coaches Spectacular, Cincinnati, Ohio. - Emily Gaskins of Coral Springs, Fla./Cincinnati Gymnastics.
  • Kim Zmeskal's Texas Prime Meet, Irving, Texas. - Reagan Campbell of Highland Village, Texas/Texas Dreams; and Samantha Partyka of Katy, Texas/Champions Gymnastics.
  • Lady Luck Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev. - Ashleigh Gnat of Lake Mary, Fla./ACE Gymnastics; Charity Jones of Miami, Okla./Dynamo; and Mariah Peterson of South Jordan, Utah/USA Gymnastics World.
  • Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo. - Mackenzie Brannan of Austin, Texas/Capital Gymnastics; and Drew Watson of Nacogdoches, Texas/Texas East Gymnastics.

The balance of the field will qualify from the remaining invitational meets in the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which runs through mid-February. A designated number of gymnasts from each invitational advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for Friday, March 1, in Worcester, Mass., in conjunction with the American Cup (March 2). The remaining Nastia Liukin Cup Series schedule is as follows.

  • Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational, Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 25-27
  • Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Jan. 25-27
  • Parkettes Invitational, Allentown, Pa., Jan. 25-27
  • San Diego Classic, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 25-27
  • Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 8-10
  • Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 8-10
  • IGI Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 8-10
  • Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 8-9
  • The Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 15-16
  • Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 15-17
  • Presidential Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 15-17
  • WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 15-17
  • Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 15-17

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.

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).

Background information

  • 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." She was also chosen as one of 2009's most influential women by MSN Lifestyle. Liukin is now attending college in New York City. Last fall, 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.

  • American Cup. The 2013 American Cup, an 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 www.usagym.org/americancup.


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