Seven qualify for Nastia Liukin Cup
posted on 01/16/2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16, 2017 – Seven young women punched their tickets to the 2017 Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for March 3 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., based on performances this past weekend at six invitationals. The Nastia Liukin Cup Series continues this weekend at two invitationals scheduled for Jan. 20-22: Kim Zmeskal's Texas Prime Meet in Irving, Texas, and the Sand Dollar Invitational in Orlando, Fla. This week’s qualifiers are listed below, by the invitational where they qualified.

  • Brestyan's Invitational, Medford, Mass. Nicole Riccardi of East Northport, N.Y./Infiniti Elite, clinched her spot in the junior competition when she earned the top junior all-around score of 36.675.
  • CGA Coaches’ Spectacular, Cincinnati, Ohio. Lillian Lippeatt of Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, topped the rankings with her 37.400, which secured her junior slot.
  • Lady Luck Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev. Quinn Smith of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays, posted a 37.800 to win the junior competition and Cristal Isa of Henderson, Nev./Gymcats, earned the senior slot to the Nastia Cup with a 38.050.
  • Legacy Elite Winter Classic, Chicago, Ill. Andrea Li of Aurora, Ill./ Legacy Elite Gymnastics, the 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup junior champion, earned her spot in the senior competition when she posted the top all-around score of 38.275.
  • Star Struck Invitational, Atlantic City, N.J. Natalie Wojcik of Douglasville, Pa./Stallone Gymnastics, scored a 37.725 to capture the top senior spot and a trip to the Nastia Liukin Cup.
  • Tampa Bay Turners Invitational, Bradenton, Fla. Teagan Torgerud of Atlantic Beach, Fla./Orlando Metro, notched a 37.750 for the highest junior Level 10 score in the all-around to snag the invitational’s junior Nastia Liukin Cup berth.

2017 marks the second straight year Newark’s Prudential Center is hosting both the Nastia Liukin Cup and on the following day, the 2017 American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event that features some of the world’s biggest names in gymnastics. Named for 2008 Olympic all-around gold-medalist Nastia Liukin, the Nastia Liukin Cup was first held in 2010 in Worcester, Mass.

The 36 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features 26 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. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger. The last Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers will be determined at five invitationals held just two weeks before the Nastia Liukin Cup. The invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below with the number of qualifiers in parentheses.

The remaining invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below with the number of qualifiers in parentheses.

  • Sand Dollar Invitational, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20-22(1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Kim Zmeskal's Texas Prime Meet, Irving, Texas, Jan. 20-22 (1 Jr.)
  • Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Chandler, Ariz., Jan. 27-29 (1 Sr.)
  • Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational, Indianapolis, Jan. 27-29 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 27-29 (1 Sr.)
  • Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 3 – 5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Chow's Challenge, Galveston, Texas, Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr.)
  • Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Classic Spectacular, Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 3-5 (1 Sr.)
  • Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 10-12(1 Jr.)
  • Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 10-12 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 10-12 (1 Sr.)
  • Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 17-19 (1 Sr.)
  • Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr.)
  • Excalibur Cup, Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr.)
  • Presidential Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-20 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
  • WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)

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.

Tickets for the Nastia Liukin Cup are currently available through gymnastics clubs participating in the American Cup discount ticket program, and will go on sale to the general public in the near future. For more information on the event, please go nastialiukincup.com.

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: 2016, Newark, N.J.; 2015, Arlington, Texas; 2014, Greensboro, N.C.; 2013 and 2010, Worcester, Mass.; 2012, New York City; and 2011, Jacksonville, Fla.

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 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. The 2017 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 Simone Biles, Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar.

  • 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.