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New Stars Emerge at Cover Girl Classic

Gymnast Sabrina Vega UPDATED. While Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin is not ready to be done with competition, the stars of the next Olympic team were definitely trying to start making their mark tonight at the Cover Girl Classic. Many of the experienced national team members were using the meet as a warm up to the Visa National Championships in August. For example, Nastia only competed on beam and only did a layout for the dismount. Her teammate, Olympic alternate Ivana Hong, was clearly nervous on her first event, beam, and made a mistake on bars, but her vault (double twisting Yurchenko) was better than expected and I enjoyed her floor routine.

But the biggest surprise of the evening for me was watching a new star emerge.  Fourteen year old Sabrina Vega of New York really impressed me on all four events and she is seriously packed with personality and a million dollar smile. Mark my words, Sabrina Vega is one to watch for in 2012!! She is coached by the famous Teodora Ungureanu – teammate of Nadia Comeneci – and Teodora’s husband Sorin.

Visit Universal Sports to watch this evening’s competition again and visit USA Gymnastics for complete results. You can watch her floor routine from last night’s competition on YouTube – Sabrina Vega Wins Floor – unfortunately it won’t let me embed it here.

Or watch Sabrina in a meet from last year:

More observations:

  • Rheagan Courville had a nice solid beam routine with just a few wobbles, but didn’t hold together well the rest of the evening.
  • Jana Bieger struggled through her bar set (hitting feet on floor) and was solid on beam with the exception of landing her double front dismount short and in a deep squat.
  • Samantha Peszek looked like she was in better shape than she was in 2008! Her vault (double twisting Yurchenko) was ver nicely done. She and Nastia looked very relaxed and were talking to each other quite a bit through the meet.
  • Kytra Hunter had AMAZING tumbling at the beginning of her floor routine – I have never seen anyone tumble that high – then she either ran out of gas or self confidence as her final tumbling passes were significantly weaker.
  • Olivia Courtney and Kayla Williams were two more gymnasts with incredibly powerful tumbling! Both could use some work on choreography and dance though (not as much for Olivia).
  • Mackenzie Caquatto and Rebecca Bross were nursing injuries and competed bars – both very nice sets – but watered down their dismounts to protect their injuries.
  • Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas were at the meet signing autographs.
  • Nastia competed on beam then did a quick change and spent the rest of the meet doing interviews and a bit of commentary.

The next stop for most of these girls is the Visa National Championships in August (tickets are still available – Visa National Gymnastics Championships Tickets – All Sessions (Includes August 12-15) . Hopefully this meet served its purpose – getting them back in competition mode and allowing them to get out the jitters!

Categories : Gymnastics



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