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Rivers, Bauman Win 8th Nastia Liukin Cup
(5 votes, average 4.60 out of 5)

NEWARK, N.J.—Kai Rivers and Carly Bauman won the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively, at the 8th annual Nastia Liukin Cup, held Friday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. And their hard-earned victories proved, once again, that women's gymnastics is thriving in the U.S. Judging by the difficulty level and clean technique of this 36-gymnast field, it's easy to forget that this was a Level 10 competition.


Kai Rivers (left) and Carly Bauman (right) won the senior and junior all-around titles Friday at the 8th Nastia Liukin Cup.

The senior competition had a different leader after the first three rotations, but Rivers (Twistars Gymnastics) led after two events (high Yurchenko-double twist; strong bars with a double layout dismount), and closed her meet with solid beam set and an event-winning 9.825 on floor (clean front layout to rudi). Her 38.650 defeated defending senior champ Rachael Lukacs (North Stars), who tallied 38.525 and placed first on vault. Andrea Li, the junior winner at the 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup, grabbed third in the seniors with 38.425. Li, coached here by sister Anna Li, tied for first on bars with Abigail Brenner (Metroplex) and won beam outright.

"The competition was insane," Rivers said. "I honestly didn't think I would win because everybody was so amazing."

The junior division saw Bauman (Chow's), who resembles a young Nastia Liukin, grab the first-round lead with a clean routine on bars (bail-half to low, immediate free hip; stuck double front dismount). She never let go of it, either. She hit a steady beam routine (ff, layout; double tuck dismount) and mounted floor with a front handspring-double-twisting front. She closed her meet with a clean Yurchenko-full to post a 38.425.

"Feels pretty good," said Bauman, who also won vault and bars. "It's a fun meet."

Southeastern teammates Rose Casali and Lali Dekanoidze placed second (38.075) and third (37825), respectively. Dekanoidze, a native of Kutaisi, Georgia, was the junior runner-up last year.

There was plenty of great gymnastics outside the all-around medalists. Tiny Elizabeth Gantner (JPAC), a mini version of Ragan Smith (if there is such a thing), was superb on beam (ff, layout, layout) and performed a toe-on Tkatchev on bars. Lillian Lippeatt (Cincinnati) was another standout, winning beam and tying for first on floor with Colbi Flory (Texas Dreams).

The three-hour meet featured many more hits than misses, and it was also nice to return to the 10.0 scoring system for one night.

The event served as the opening act for tomorrow's American Cup, a World Cup event which will feature some heavy hitters in international gymnastics.

External Link: Official Website

8th Nastia Liukin Cup
March 3, 2017, Newark, New Jersey

Senior All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1. Kai Rivers Twistars 9.750 9.525 9.550 9.825 38.650
2. Rachael Lukacs North Stars 9.825 9.325 9.600 9.775 38.525
3. Andrea Li Legacy Elite 9.550 9.575 9.675 9.625 38.425
4. Natalie Wojcik Stallone 9.700 9.450 9.550 9.700 38.400
5. Abby Heiskell Southeastern 9.600 9.525 9.600 9.650 38.375
6. Abigail Brenner Metroplex 9.425 9.575 9.575 9.575 38.150
7. Rylie Mundell CGI 9.450 9.500 9.525 9.475 37.950
8. Lynnzee Brown GAGE 9.800 9.025 9.425 9.675 37.925
9. Anastasia Webb IGI 9.575 9.550 9.450 9.325 37.900
10. Rachael Flam Stars 9.825 9.500 8.800 9.750 37.875
11. Cassie Stevens Arizona Sunrays 9.600 9.175 9.425 9.625 37.825
12. Nevaeh DeSouza Dream Xtreme 9.450 9.500 9.425 9.425 37.800
13. Gabryel Wilson MAG 9.775 8.875 9.425 9.700 37.775
14. Cristal Isa Gymcats 9.375 8.950 9.350 9.550 37.225
15. Amoree Lockhart Empire 9.475 8.250 9.500 9.525 36.750
16. Mikayla Magee Pearland Elite 9.450 9.400 8.900 8.825 36.575
17. Jaedyn Rucker Desert Devils 8.350 8.950 8.850 26.150

Junior All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1. Carly Bauman Chow's 9.525 9.700 9.575 9.625 38.425
2. Rose Casali Southeastern 9.425 9.325 9.675 9.650 38.075
3. Lali Dekanoidze Southeastern 9.275 9.400 9.600 9.550 37.825
4. Gabrielle Gallentine Everest 9.425 9.375 9.425 9.375 37.600
5. Abigail Mueller Classic 9.400 9.225 9.425 9.525 37.575
6. Sophia Groth Chow's 9.425 9.050 9.425 9.650 37.550
7. Lillian Lippeatt CGA 9.100 8.900 9.750 9.675 37.425
8. Colbi Flory Texas Dreams 9.475 8.600 9.625 9.675 37.375
9. Emma Pritchard Gym X-Treme 9.400 8.800 9.525 9.525 37.250
10. Nicole Riccardi Infiniti Elite 9.075 9.075 9.475 9.500 37.125
11. Quinn Smith Arizona Sunrays 9.475 8.650 9.325 9.425 36.875
12. Jacey Vore JPAC 9.200 9.025 8.700 9.525 36.450
13. Gillian Rutz Perfection 9.400 8.900 9.425 8.625 36.350
13. Nicola St. Louis North Stars 9.300 9.025 9.425 8.600 36.350
15. Mia Falcone Brandy Johnson's 9.375 8.200 9.075 9.275 35.925
16. Elizabeth Gantner JPAC 8.900 8.450 9.225 8.750 35.325
17. Kennedy Quay SCEGA 8.650 9.375 18.025
17. Teagan Torgerud Orlando Metro 9.325 8.700 18.025
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