INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 25, 2007 — 2006 U.S. junior uneven bars champion Bianca Flohr of Creston, Ohio, 2006 U.S. junior all-around champion Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, 2006 team world silver-medalist Natasha Kelley of Katy, Texas, and 2006 U.S. junior vault silver-medalist Samantha Peszek of McCordsville, Ind., join Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., on the U.S. Women’s Team that will compete in the 2007 Tyson American Cup at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Bieger, the world all-around silver medalist at the 2006 World Championships, was named to the team in late 2006.
“This is an incredibly talented women’s team,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Natasha did an excellent job at the 2006 World Championships, and Bianca, Shawn and Sam have both enjoyed tremendous success as juniors, winning both here and abroad. The combination of Jana, Bianca, Shawn, Natasha and Sam gives the USA a strong contingent against a quality field.”
The Tyson American Cup held on March 3 at 11:30 a.m. features eight men and eight women, including two men and two women from the USA, in the all-around finals.
Flohr is making her second consecutive appearance at the Tyson American Cup. In addition to her uneven bars title in the junior division at the 2006 Visa Championships, she placed second in the all-around and floor exercise, and tied for third on the balance beam. Flohr won several international medals in 2006, including: team and uneven bars gold medals, and all-around and balance beam silver medals at the Junior Pan American Championships; and a team gold medal, and all-around and uneven bars silver medals in the junior division of the Pacific Alliance Championships.
At the 2006 Visa Championships, Johnson dominated the junior division with her near sweep of the gold medals, winning the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise and finishing second on the uneven bars. She won team and balance beam gold medals and uneven bars and floor exercise silver medals at the 2006 Junior Pan American Championships. At the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships, Johnson won the junior all-around, vault and floor titles, along with a silver on balance beam. She also won the floor exercise title at the International Gymnix competition.
Kelley finished seventh in the floor exercise at the 2006 World Championships. At the 2006 Visa Championships, she placed second in the all-around, uneven bars and balance beam. Kelley is the 2006 U.S. Classic all-around co-champion and uneven bars titlist. In 2006, she claimed a bronze medal in the floor exercise at the World Cup in Moscow, Russia.
Peszek’s international accomplishments in 2006 include: team and floor exercise gold medals and a silver medal on the vault at the Junior Pan American Championships; and winning the junior all-around, vault and balance beam titles and a bronze medal on the uneven bars at the 2006 International Gymnix. At the 2006 Visa Championships, Peszek placed third in the all-around and second on the vault in the junior division.
On sale now, tickets are $50, $35 and $19.50 and are subject to applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster and its outlets; by phone at (904) 353-3309; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena box office; or through participating gymnastics clubs in the Jacksonville area.
The Tyson American Cup will be televised live on NBC Sports at 1 p.m. ET.
Some of the sport’s biggest names are former American Cup all-around gold medalists, including: men — Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; an d women — Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania). At last year’s event, Americans Jonathan Horton of Houston and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, each earned the title of 2006 American Cup champion.
The city of Jacksonville is no stranger to the sport of gymnastics as the old Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena hosted the 1985 U.S. Championships and the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials.
The JEDC Sports & Entertainment office enhances the region’s economy by attracting special events and sports organizations to the First Coast. The sports office helps develop and coordinate sporting and entertainment events and actively promotes the facilities owned by the City of Jacksonville, and serves as an in-house event production, marketing and advertising agency for regional sporting events, bringing millions of dollars to the region each year. For more information, please visit www.jaxdevelopment.org.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under