Press release below via USA Gymnastics.
INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16, 2018 — Six more gymnasts earned berths to the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for March 2 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., based on performances this past weekend at the California Grand Invitational in Anaheim, Calif.; Cincinnati Gymnastics Coaches’ Spectacular in Covington, Ky.; and Tampa Bay Turners Invitational in Bradenton, Fla. The Series resumes Jan. 19-21 with Kim Zmeskal’s Texas Prime Meet in Irving, Texas, and the Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational, in Kissimmee, Fla.
At the Tampa Bay Turner’s Invitational, Rachael Lukacs of Hillsborough, N.J./North Stars Gymnastics Academy, the 2016 senior Nastia Liukin Cup champion, posted a 38.950 to clinch the senior all-around title and earn her fifth trip to the Cup. Rose Casali of Weddington, N.C./Southeastern, secured her trip to the Nastia Liukin Cup with the top junior all-around score of 38.450.
SCEGA’s Amari Celestine of Wildomar, Calif., and Raegan Walker of Temecula, Calif., earned the junior and senior spots, respectively, at the California Grand Invitational. Celestine topped the junior standings with her 38.300, and Walker tallied a 38.800 to claim the senior title.
Jacey Vore of Fishers, Ind./Jaycie Phelp’s Athletec Center, junior, and Makarri Doggette of Pickerington, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, senior, punched their tickets to the Nastia Liukin Cup at the CGA Coaches’ Spectacular. Vore posted a 37.475 to take the junior title, while Doggette, who will make her fifth Nastia Liukin Cup appearance in Chicago, scored 38.675 as the top senior at the event.
The Sears Centre Arena will host both the Nastia Liukin Cup and, on the following day, the AT&T American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series. 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd of Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics, and 2017 AT&T American Cup champion and World bronze-medalist Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma, will represent the United States at the 2018 AT&T American Cup. The Elite Team Cup, a team event with many of the USA’s top junior men, wraps up the weekend’s events on Saturday evening.
The 36 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features 18 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 with one junior and one senior gymnast qualifying at each invitational. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger. The age determination date is Dec. 31, 2018. The last Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers will be determined at two invitationals held just two weeks before the Nastia Liukin Cup. The remaining invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below.
- Kim Zmeskal’s Texas Prime Meet, Irving, Texas, Jan. 19-21
- Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational, Kissimmee, Fla., Jan. 19-21
- Atlanta Centennial Classic, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 26-28
- Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 26-28
- Classic Spectacular, Minneapolis, Minn., Jan. 27-28
- Chris Waller's Heart of a Champion, Pasadena, Calif., Feb. 2-4
- Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 2-4
- Salcianu and Brestyan’s Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 8-11
- Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 9-11
- Denver Winterfest Classic, Denver, Colo., Feb. 9-11
- Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 9-11
- Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 16-17
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 16-19
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.
Single-session tickets range in price from $29 to $79, plus applicable fees, and can be purchased by clicking here. All-session ticket packages range in price from $89-$149, plus applicable fees, and include tickets to all three of the weekend’s events (AT&T American Cup, Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup). Ticket prices vary according to competition session and seat location. To purchase tickets, visit www.SearsCentre.com, call 1-888-SEARS-TIX, or visit the Wintrust Box Office at the Sears Centre Arena. For more information on tickets, please go nastialiukincup.com.
Past sites for the Nastia Liukin Cup are: 2016-17, Newark, N.J.; 2015, Arlington, Texas; 2014, Greensboro, N.C.; 2013 and 2010, Worcester, Mass.; 2012, New York City; and 2011, Jacksonville, Fla.