Eight gymnasts qualify for 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup – qualification series will conclude February 21
INDIANAPOLIS, February 9, 2021 – Eight additional gymnasts have qualified for the 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup following last weekend’s Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and WOGA Classic in Frisco, Texas. Five of the six remaining Nastia Liukin Cup Series events are slated to take place this weekend – including the Brestyan’s Las Vegas Invitational in Scottsdale, Ariz. Charity Choice Invitational in Tacoma, Wash., Excaliber Cup in Virginia Beach, Va., Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, and Presidential Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. – and the full field will be set February 21 following the Jaycie Phelps Midwest Showdown in French Lick, Ind.
The 12th annual Nastia Liukin Cup will be held February 26 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis and will air live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET. The yearly event showcases up-and-coming Women’s Development Program Level 10 gymnasts and was launched in 2010 by 2008 Olympic all-around champion and 14-time Olympic and World medalist Nastia Liukin.
Last weekend’s qualifiers are listed below by competition.
- Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio: Miranda Smith, New Hartford, N.Y./Valley Gymnastics Training Center, senior; Tory Vetter (2018 junior champion), Columbus, Ohio/Universal Gymnasts, senior; Lauren Harkins, Fishers, Ind./Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center, junior; and Bailey Stroud, New Palestine, Ind./Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center, junior
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas: Kylie Coen, Fort Worth, Texas/Empire Gymnastics Academy, senior; Morgan Price, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams, senior; Piper Slocum, The Woodlands, Texas/Discover Gymnastics, junior; and Kamila Pawlak, Melissa, Texas/Metroplex, junior
Qualification spots from series events which have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were awarded to the participating invitational that is geographically closest except in the case of the cancelled UGA Invitational in Tinley Park, Ill., which was replaced by the Jaycie Phelps Midwest Showdown.
Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and warm-up from GK Elite and will have the opportunity to meet Liukin onsite at the event.
- 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. 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. In 2018, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, and in 2019, she was named to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. 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 and is a founder of Grander, a global community for the next generation of female athletes that provides access to the people who inspire, resources to help achieve dreams, and communities of like-minded people with similar ambitions. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.
- USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States, encompassing seven disciplines: women’s gymnastics, men’s gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, gymnastics for all (a.k.a. group gymnastics) and, most recently, parkour. USA Gymnastics sets the rules and policies that govern the sport of gymnastics, including selecting and training the U.S. Gymnastics Teams for the Olympics and World Championships; promoting and developing gymnastics on the grassroots and national levels, as well as a safe, empowered and positive training environment; and serving as a resource and educational center for the more than 200,000 members, clubs, fans and gymnasts throughout the United States. The organization is deeply committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority: the safety and well-being of athletes and our community.