Haleigh Bryant, Tory Vetter Win 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup

The ninth annual Nastia Liukin Cup took place last night, and Haleigh Bryant brought home the title for the senior division, totaling a 38.7 in the all-around. Bryant was joined on the podium by Andrea Li in second place with a 38.625, and Raegan Walker in third with a 38.575.

In the junior division, Tory Vetter took home the title with a 38.175, followed by Jacey Vore with a 38.0, and Faith Torrez-Foster in third with a 37.95.

The Nastia Liukin Cup brings together some of the best level 10 gymnasts in the country in both the junior and senior fields. The competition provides gymnasts with an opportunity to compete on podium and in front of TV cameras. Past competitors include Olympians like Gabby Douglas, world champions like Morgan Hurd, and NCAA all stars like Lexie Priessman.

Bryant took an early lead from the very beginning of the competition and managed to keep hold of this thanks to solid performances on all four events. 

Check out our full recap below.

Haleigh Bryant Takes An Early Lead With Huge Vault

Everest’s Bryant started off the competition strong with her front handspring, front pike 1/2 vault, which she scored a 9.875 on, putting her into an early lead for the senior competition. 

Check out her massive vault here:

Video via USA Gymnastics

Legacy Elite’s Li and Texas Dreams’ Kiya Johnson were two favorites coming into the meet, having won the competition in the past as juniors. Both competed tonight as seniors and started the first rotation off on beam. Li had an incredibly solid routine, with a strong back handspring to layout step out series and beautiful leap combination of switch leap to sheep jump. She scored a 9.725 for a strong start to the competition. 

On the junior side, another vaulter started off in first place — Gabrielle Gladieux, who scored a 9.725 on her Yurchenko full.

Kiya Johnson’s Huge Tumbling Dominates Rotation 2

One of the highlights of the second rotation was Johnson on floor. Johnson showed off beautiful and unique choreography, a standard for a Texas Dreams gymnast, but it was her tumbling that really stood out. Johnson had solid landings on all three passes, and her first two passes were some of the most difficult of the entire competition — a double layout and a full-in. 

Check out her floor routine here:

Video via USA Gymnastics

Rachal Lukacs, another favorite and previous Liukin Cup champion, competed her sky-high Yurchenko double, which helped launch her into second place in the senior competition at the end of the second rotation. Bryant, who competed on bars in this rotation, put up a solid performance and managed to keep her lead.

On the junior side, Torrez took the first place spot after strong beam and floor routines. Although not an easy event to start the competition on, Torrez put up a solid beam routine to score a 9.6 in the first rotation. 

A 9.9 Vault In Rotation 3, & Bryant Stays On Top By Half A Tenth

We saw another incredible vault in the third rotation, this time from Jaedyn Rucker, a senior from Desert Devils. She performed a beautiful Yurchenko 1.5, with great form in the air and amazing amplitude. Her first vault was nearly stuck and earned her a 9.9. 

Check it out below:

Video via USA Gymnastics

Meanwhile, Bryant managed to keep her lead with a strong performance on beam. She led by only half a tenth in front of Natalie Wojcik from Stallone Gymnastics, making it a tight competition going into the fourth rotation, and one of Bryant’s best events - floor exercise.

On the junior side, Torrez-Foster maintained her lead as well, ahead of Bella Salcedo by 0.175.

Bryant Puts Up Stellar Floor Routine To Take The Title

Bryant ended up delivering what she needed to on floor exercise. She needed better than a 9.525 to stay in the lead in the senior division, and she ended up with a 9.65 for a great performance. Her floor routine was well executed and included difficult tumbling, including a double front for her opening pass and a double front full for her last pass. 

Her main competition was Li, who also ended on her best event — uneven bars. Li put up a beautiful routine, with great execution and huge difficulty. 

Check out her routine below:

Video via USA Gymnastics

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