Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup Preview
Some of the best gymnasts in the world are competing in New York City’s Madison Square Garden this Saturday. A mere 24 hours before that, competing on the same equipment are young women who just may be the next big names.
Thirty-four women’s club gymnasts are to compete in the 2012 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup. These gymnasts qualified after competing in any of 18 events in the Nastia Liukin Cup Series from January to February.
Liukin, who won the gold in the all-around at the 2008 Bejing Olympic Games, is the third U.S. woman to win the gold in the all-around. She tallied five medals in 2008, tying the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in an Olympic Games. Parts of the proceeds from the cup will benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund with the National Gymnastics Foundation.
Gymnasts to watch
Grace Williams, a 15-year-old and the defending champion, is hoping to keep her title for another year. The Linden. Mich., native from Gedderts Twistars USA, is undefeated this year, proving herself as a threat in competition.
Kathryn Kluz, a 17-year-old from Wixom, Mich., is coming off an all-around title at the CGA Parents Club Coaches Spectacular in Convington, Ky. Kluz signed a full-ride scholarship to Auburn University. This is her second trip to the Supergirl Cup. Last year she finished 25th in the all-around.
17-year-old Lauren Beers from Warren Center, Pa., was diagnosed with a disease called “Osteochondritis dissecans” (OCD) in both her elbows in 2006. After four elbow surgeries she was able to continue her gymnastics career. She qualified for the Supergirl cup after winning the all-around the Parkettes Invitational in Allentown, Pa. She qualified once before in 2009, but was forced to withdraw after a torn ACL during warm ups. This meet could be the start of a comeback for Beers.
Alyssa Shermetaro, a 15-year-old from Rochester Hills, Mich., had multiple knee, ankle and hamstring problems, forcing her to sit out from gymnastics from fall 2010 until spring 2011. Now, she’s back, ready to pick up where she left off, finishing fourth in the floor and 23rd in the all-around at the 2010 Visa Championships. I am definitely pumped to see her floor routine.
One of the youngest competitors in the field, 13-year-old Kendal Moss, was not expected to qualify for the Cup. She is only in the eighth grade and has recently learned the side aerial on the beam. It will be interesting to see if youth will be able to carry her through the Cup or if the lack of experience will weigh her down.
Eleven-year-old Alexandria Ruiz is the youngest gymnast at the Cup. She qualified at the Presidential Classic in Buena Vista Lake, Fla., when she finished second on vault, third on bars and beam, fourth on floor and first in the all-around. It would be a real shocker if the youngest gymnast made a splash.
18-year-old Randii Wyrick is coming off a career high at the Lady Luck Invitational in Las Vegas, her hometown. It is her seventh year in Level 10 and she proves herself as a talented and fiery all-around competitor.
Baely Rowe, a 16-year-old from Federal Way, Wash., finished third all-around at Junior Olympic Nationals and qualified to National Team in 2009. In 2010, she was the JO National Uneven Bars Champion. Her all-around prowess makes Rowe a gymnast to watch out for.
I know I’m excited to see who stands up and proves themselves this weekend. We are watching the future Olympians here after all.
Complete list of 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup Participants
|Caitlin Atkinson||Cypress Academy of Gymnastics||Houston, TX|
|Lauren Bancroft||Gedderts Twistars USA||Fowler, MI|
|Lauren Beers||Southern Tier Gymnastics||Warren Center, PA|
|Alicia Boren||North Stars Gymnastics Academy||Franklin Lakes, NJ|
|Emily Brauckmuller||Orlando Metro Gymnastics||Auburndale, FL|
|Lisa Burt||ACE Gymnastics||Port Orange, FL|
|Alexis Cappalli||Illinois Gymnastics Institute Inc.||Kildeer, IL|
|Briley Casanova||WOGA Gymnastics||Dallas, TX|
|Wynter Childers||Spearfish Gymnastics||Spearfish, SD|
|Nia Dennis||Buckeye Gymnastics||New Albany, OH|
|Kennedi Edney||Precision Gymnastics||Chino, CA|
|Ashleigh Gnat||ACE Gymnastics||Lake Mary, FL|
|Felicia Hano||West Coast Elite Gymnastics||San Gabriel, CA|
|Charity Jones||Dynamo Gymnastics||Miami, OK|
|Kathryn Kluz||Oakland Gymnastics Training Center||Wixom, MI|
|Kari Lee||Flames Gymnastics Academy||Peoria, AZ|
|Jessica Ling||Oakland Gymnastics Training Center||Wixom, MI|
|Lauren Marinez||Orlando Metro Gymnastics||Orlando, FL|
|Sydney McGlone||Universal Gymnasts Inc.||Dublin, OH|
|Alex McMurtry||Richmond Olympiad Gymnastics||Midlothian, VA|
|Hollie Minichiello||Orlando Metro Gymnastics||Orlando, FL|
|Kendal Moss||Everest Gymnastics||Cornelius, NC|
|Alyssa Nocella||Silvia’s Gymnastics LLC||Gilbertsville, PA|
|Kristen Nogaki||Wildfire Gymnastics||Orange, CA|
|Charlie Owens||Gliders – Charter Oak Gymnastics||Alta Loma, CA|
|Lauren Ramirez||Gold Medal Gymnastics||Chandler, AZ|
|Taylor Rice||Gymcats Gymnastics||Henderson, NV|
|Baely Rowe||Auburn Gymnastics Center Inc.||Federal Way, WA|
|Alexandria Ruiz||ACE Gymnastics||Lake Mary, FL|
|Polina Shchennikova||Tigar||Colorado Springs, CO|
|Alyssa Shermetaro||Olympia Gymnastics Academy||Rochester Hills, MI|
|Meredith Sylvia||Parkettes National Gymnastics Center||Macungie, PA|
|Grace Williams||Gedderts Twistars USA||Linden, MI|
|Randii Wyrick||Brown’s Gymnastics-Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV|