2008 Maia Cup bronze medalists Jake Kanavel & Eirian Smith

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 27, 2009 – Three groups will represent the United States in the age group competition at the 2009 Maia International Acro Cup, March 6-8, in Maia, Portugal. The U.S. athletes selected are: Eirian Smith and Jake Kanavel from San Jose, Calif./Aerial Tumbling & AcroGymnastics, 12-19 world age group mixed pair category; Kendall Meyer of Silver Spring, Md., Erica Prestipino of Rockville, Md., and MacKenzie Meyer, Olney, Md./Xtreme Acro & Cheer, 11-16 women’s group; and Tiana Terry, Alayna Davis and Elika Sudo, all of San Jose/Aerial Tumbling & AcroGymnastics, 12-19 women’s group.

The Maia Cup is expected to feature more than 200 acrobatic gymnasts from Belgium, Great Britain, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. The event features three days of competition. Qualification competition is scheduled for March 6-7 and includes one balance and one dynamic exercise for each group. The finals are on March 8. In the finals, age group participants may choose between a balance or dynamic exercise, while junior and senior athletes perform a combined routine. All scores start from zero in finals.

In 2008, Smith and Kanavel earned the bronze medal in the 11-16 year-old mixed pair category, as well as winning the U.S. Level 9 mixed pair title. They are members of the Junior Olympic Team and this will be their first international competition in the 12-19 mixed pair category. MacKenzie Meyer recently joined the women’s group of Kendall Meyer and Prestipino, making the Maia Cup their first international competition as a women’s group. The women’s group of Terry, Davis and Sudo are members of the U.S. National Team. The athletes were chosen by a selection committee following a training camp.