Mackenzie Brannen and McKenna Kelley tied for first with a 38.425. Here is a little more about them and each of their routines.
Mackenzie is 17 years old and trains at Capital Gymnastics in Austin, TX. Her biggest accomplishments have been competing at the U.S. Championships four times, the Nastia Liukin Cup three times and winning the National Floor title in 2013. She is also proud to ce competing for the University of Alabama next year. The biggest thing gymnastics has taught her is to “Enjoy the journey.”
Vault – 9.750
Bars – 9.700
Beam – 9.500
Floor – 9.475
McKenna is a 16 year old and trains at Stars Gymnastics in Houston, TX. She won this event 30 years after her mom, Mary Lou Retton won the American Cup. McKenna placed fifth at the 2013 J.O. Nationals, and is verbally committed with LSU for 2015. Her goals are to finish strong the rest of the season and go out with a bang my senior year. She’d also like to leave a mark in the NCAA. McKenna says “Gymnastics has taught me … I can overcome anything if I put my mind to it…”
Rachael Flam and Lauren Ramirez tied for first with a 38.1. Here is a little more about them and each of their routines.
Rachael is a fourteen year old from Houston, Tx. She trains at Stars Houston. She comes from a family of athletes, with many of them making it to the Olympic trials in their various sports. Rachael’s goals are to compete elite this year and make it to championships. Then she hope’s to have a successful collegiate gymnastics career. The biggest thing gymnastics has taught her is that “Hard work pays off.”
Vault – 9.750
Bars – 9.550
Beam – 9.550
Floor – 9.250
Lauren Ramirez Lauren is fifteen years old. She is from Chandler, Az and trains at Gold Medal. Her biggest accomplishment at this point in her gymnastics career has been qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Cup three years in a row. Her goal is to compete in NCAA. She says the biggest thing gymnastics has taught her is that failure or giving up is not an option. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” (USA Gymnastics)
The Nastia Liukin Cup was a relatively clean meet this year with a lot of highlights. USA Gymnastics has posted every routine. Here is some guidance on the routines to watch. Let’s start with the top routines on each event. If you only have time to watch a few, my picks would be Rachael Lukacs’ vault and Anna Glen’s beam.
Senior – Kennedi Edney 9.875
Junior – Rachael Lukacs did the only Yurchenko double (and it was beautiful!) in the meet for a 9.875.
Senior – MacKenzie Brannen with a 9.7.
Junior – Rachael Flam with a 9.55
Senior – Anna Glen got a whopping 9.85 on BEAM!!! It was a beautiful routine.
Junior – Rachel Baumann and Makarri Doggette tied with a 9.6.
The 2014 AT&T American Cup will be hosted tomorrow, March 1, 2014, at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, N.C. Competition is from 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. ET. You can watch from 11:30a.m. -1:00 p.m. via livestream if you are in the US, and then the live NBC broadcast will be from 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Check out all the info at ATTAmericanCup.com/info.
Kyla Ross, Simone Biles and Larissa Iordache have all withdrawn due to injury. So a rematch of the 2013 all around is not in the making for this year’s AT&T Cup. Instead, there will be opportunity for new stars to be born. Here is the field. (Pictures from USA Gymnastics).
2013 U.S. ALL-AROUND AND UNEVEN BARS BRONZE MEDALIST
2012-13 STUTTGART WORLD CUP ALL-AROUND CHAMPION
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 11TH PLACE
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 6TH PLACE
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 10TH PLACE
Roxana Popa Nedelcu
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 12TH PLACE
2013 WORLDS UNEVEN BARS – 5TH PLACE
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 7TH PLACE
On the men’s side, there are some exciting gymnasts coming to America!
2013 WORLDS ALL-AROUND – 6TH PLACE
2013 WORLDS PARALLEL BARS BRONZE MEDALIST
2012 OLYMPICS ALL-AROUND – 9TH PLACE
2013 WORLD ALL-AROUND BRONZE MEDALIST AND HORIZONTAL BAR SILVER MEDALIST
The fifth annual Nastia Liukin Cup is in the books. The Nastia Liukin Cup is a great opportunity for up and coming gymnasts who are looking to go elite to compete on a podium in a televised setting. It is also a time for seniors looking to end their Junior Olympic career and head toward NCAA to shine.
The gymnasts qualify for the event through a series of qualifier meets held around the country. They get the chance to meet and hear from Nastia herself. And of course, the prestige of competing in the event.
At the last National Team Training Camp, Simone Biles showed upgrades on all four events. When Simone won the 2013 World Championships, she already had a super high level of difficulty (25.00 compared to Kyla Ross who won the silver with a 23.9). Not one to rest on her laurels, Simone is taking it to another level this year.
The most exciting note is that it looks like she upgraded her second vault to a Cheng, which will give her a mega boost in vault finals (adding .9 to her start value) and adding .2 to her overall start value if she chooses to use it in the all around. She added a Shaposhnikova half on bars, adding .1 to her bars difficulty. On beam she showed a back handspring to two layout step out series, and connected her aerial cartwheel to a straddle jump giving her an additional .2 in difficulty.
On floor, Simone showed an additional full twist in her front layout in her 5/2 to front layout series and connected it to a straddle jump, giving her an additional .2. She also upgraded her double pike dismount to a piked full-in adding another .1. This will bring her floor difficulty up to a whopping 6.8 start value! Unreal! And gives her a potential all around .6-8. increase in start value depending of if she competes the Cheng in the all around. If Simone is able to pull that off, she will be hard to catch indeed. (Note, this is what I could get from looking at the code, but if you are better at it then I, please let me know!).
Vault: Cheng, .2 in all around, .9 for vault finals
Bars: Shaposh 1/2, .1
Beam: BHS-LOSO-LOSO, .1 CV Acrobatic C+C; Arial-straddle jump .1 CV D (salto) + A (dance)
Floor: 5/2 to 1/1 front, .1 CV Direct Acrobatic D+C, .1 C skill in place of B skill; Pike full-in, .1 E skill in place of D skill
Check out her upgrades for yourself. What an impressive gymnast!