INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – David Durante of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron, Jonathan Horton of Houston, Texas/University of Oklahoma, Brett McClure of Mill Creek, Wash./Team Chevron, and David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Stanford University, have accepted invitations to represent the United States in the 2006 Tyson American Cup, March 4, at Global Spectrum’s Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia.
In addition to the four men, 2005 world uneven bars and balance beam champion Nastia Liukin of Plano, Texas, has accepted an invitation to represent the United States at the Tyson American Cup. The three remaining women’s team slots will be chosen from among nine women who are attending the selection camp, Feb. 22-25, at the USA Gymnastics’ National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas.
Durante, who was a member of the U.S. Men’s Team that won the team gold medal at the 2005 Pan Am Championships, just won the all-around title at the 2006 Winter Cup, where he also finished first on the parallel bars. Horton, also a member of the U.S. Men’s Team that won the team gold medal at the 2005 Pan Am Championships, was a close second in the all-around, finishing just two-tenths of a point behind Durante. At the Winter Cup, McClure and Sender tied for fourth. McClure competed on the U.S. Men’s Team that won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Sender was second in the all-around, floor exercise and vault at the 2005 Visa Championships and an alternate for the 2005 World Championships Team.
The Tyson American Cup, one of the sport’s premier international events, is an all-around invitational competition showcasing the top male and female gymnasts in the world. This year’s Tyson American Cup is also the first premier international invitational in the United States to use the sport’s new scoring system. In addition to the United States, the Tyson American Cup field is expected to feature gymnasts from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Romania and Russia. Participating athletes will be announced closer to the event. vTickets are $25, $35 and $75 and may be purchased through several different avenues: via phone at 888.OWLS.TIX; online at liacourascenter.com; or in person at the Liacouras Center Box Office. Competition on March 4 starts at 11:30 a.m.
Attending the women’s selection camp are: 2005 world floor exercise champion Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics; 2005 U.S. Women’s World Team member Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla./Boca Twisters Gymnastics Academy; Annie DiLuzio of Folsom, Calif./Byers Gymnastics Center; Bianca Flohr of Creston, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy; Natasha Kelley of Katy, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Houston; Kassi Price of Plantation, Fla./Orlando Metro; Ashley Priess of Hamilton, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy; Monica Shoji of Boston, Mass./Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy; and Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics. Liukin, who competes for WOGA, will also attend the camp to demonstrate her readiness for the event. Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., the 2005 world all-around champion, is attending the camp but had to decline the invitation to compete in the Tyson American Cup because she is recovering from a minor surgical procedure on her ankle.
For 2006, the Tyson American Cup returns to its traditional all-around format, with eight men and eight women competing in the finals on March 4, which will be televised live on NBC Sports at 1 p.m. ET.
Some of the sport’s biggest names are former Tyson 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; and 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). In 2005, the Tyson American Cup was a World Cup event and its format named individual event champions; the USA’s Alexander Artemev, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel and Nastia Liukin won gold medals.
The Tyson American Cup was first held in 1976. Past sites include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004); Ft. Worth Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); and Uniondale, N.Y. (2005).
Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly facility management field with more than 45 facilities throughout the United States and Canada, manages the Liacouras Center. The Philadelphia-based company is part of one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum; the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League; the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association; the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League; Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks; Comcast SportsNet, a regional sports programming network; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider; New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities; and Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company. Comcast-Spectacor owns three minor league baseball teams – the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Frederick Keys – all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.