Four more gymnasts qualify for 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup

By Patricia Duffy | January 28, 2021
Four more gymnasts qualify for 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup
Courtesy USA Gymnastics.

The field for the 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup is approximately one-third complete, with just over a month until the 12th edition of the annual event kicks off in Indianapolis on Feb. 26.

This past weekend, four more gymnasts (two juniors and two seniors) qualified to the meet via the Sand Dollar/Whitlow and Fiesta Bowl invitationals: seniors Lilly Hudson (Florida Elite/Fleming Island, Fla.) and Alex Theodorou (Desert Lights/Phoenix Ariz.), and juniors Nina Ballou (American Twisters/Boca Raton, Fla.) and Olivia Orengo (Twin City Twisters/Rogers, Minn.).

Hudson is committed to the University of Alabama, and Theodorou is committed to Arizona State. Both will join their respective college teams this upcoming fall.

Ballou is probably best known for her appearance on American Ninja Warrior Junior in the summer of 2018, which just so happened to be hosted by Olympic gold and silver medalist Laurie Hernandez.

Orengo is a 2019 regional floor and all-around champion. She’s also previously earned a perfect 10 on vault.

Following the cancellation of the UGA Invitational scheduled for last weekend in Tinley Park, Ill., the Jaycie Phelps Midwest Showdown, set for Feb. 19-21 in French Lick, Ind., has been added to the Cup qualifying schedule to “ensure Region 5 is appropriately represented.”

The series continues next weekend, Feb. 5-7, with the Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and WOGA Classic in Frisco, Texas.

In all, 18 junior and 18 senior USA Gymnastics Women’s Development Program Level 10 athletes will compete at the 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup, which will be televised live Friday, February 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

This year marks the 12th edition of the meet begun in 2010 by Liukin – the 2008 Olympic all-around champion and 14-time Olympic and World medalist.

(Left to Right) Ballou, Hudson, Orengo, Theodorou.

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