Who's going to the Visa Championships? Performances at the Visa Championships will determine the members of the 2011 U.S. Women's Junior and Senior National Teams, as well as the 2011 U.S. champions.
2011 US Visa Competitors (on track for Olympic trials):
Women's field set for 2011 Gymnastics Nationals
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 29, 2011 -
Defending U.S. all-around champion Rebecca Bross, who is also the 2010 World all-around bronze medalist, and 2010 U.S. and World vault champion Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., headline the women's field for the 2011 Visa Championships, Aug. 17-20, in Saint Paul, Minn.
The 50-gymnast field, which features both veterans and rising stars in the junior and senior divisions, also includes 2011 AT&T American Cup champion Jordyn Wieber and 2011 CoverGirl Classic all-around champion Alexandra Raisman.
Performances at the Visa Championships will determine the members of the 2011 U.S. Women's Junior and Senior National Teams, as well as the 2011 U.S. champions.
This past weekend's CoverGirl Classic set the stage for a very competitive Visa Championships. Raisman, who was a member of the silver-medal 2010 World Championships Team, increased the difficulty in her floor routine and executed a Yurchenko two-and-a-half on vault to win the all-around title.
Sacramone, who was a 2008 Olympic team silver medalist, tied for first on both vault and balance beam, as well as gave a dramatic performance in her first floor exercise routine since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Wieber won the uneven bars and tied with Sacramone for top honors on the balance beam.
2008 Olympic team silver-medalist and 2005 World all-around champion Chellsie Memmel made an impressive return to competition on the national stage. She finished second in the all-around, just 0.300 behind Raisman.
The efforts of two former collegiate standouts at the CoverGirl Classic qualified them to the Visa Championships - Anna Li, who competed for UCLA, and Casey Jo Magee, who competed for the University of Arkansas.
Mackenzie Caquatto, who is a current member of the senior national team and just completed her first year as a member of the University of Florida's team, also participated in the CoverGirl Classic. 2008 Olympic balance beam champion Shawn Johnson successfully petitioned to the Visa Championships.
The members of the senior national team who are expected to compete are: Bross, Bridgette Caquatto, Mackenzie Caquatto, Gabrielle Douglas, Amanda Jetter, Johnson, McKayla Maroney, Raisman, Sacramone, Bridget Sloan, Sabrina Vega, Wieber, McKenzie Wofford.
Leading the junior division will be 2010 U.S. junior all-around champion Kyla Ross, who also won the junior all-around title at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic.
The field breaks down into 28 juniors and 22 seniors, representing 19 states.
The 2011 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's, women's and rhythmic gymnastics. NBC Sports and Universal Sports will broadcast and webcast the action from the men's and women's gymnastics competitions.
Men's and women's gymnastics will be held at Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 17-20, and rhythmic gymnastics will be at Roy Wilkins Auditorium Aug. 19-20.
Women's field for the 2011 Visa Championships
Listed by alphabetically by state, with competition division indicated
As of July 29; subject to change
Mykayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics, junior
McKayla Maroney, Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia AOGC, senior
Mary Maxwell, Elk Grove, Calif./Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Hallie Mossett, Los Angeles, Calif./West Coast Elite Gymnastics, senior
Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics, junior
Brandie Jay, Ft. Collins, Colo./GK Gymnastics, senior
Polina Shchennikova, Colorado Springs, Colo./The International Gymnastics Academy of the Rockies, junior
Lauren Marinez, Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics, junior
Bridgette Caquatto, Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, senior
Mackenzie Caquatto, Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, senior
Anna Li, Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, senior
Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp's Gymnastics Academy, senior
Shawn Johnson, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute, senior
Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, junior
Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, senior
Alicia Sacramone, Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, senior
Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA, senior
Jessie DeZiel, Rogers, Minn./Twin City Twisters, senior
Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters, junior
Brenna Dowell, Odessa, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, junior
Sarah Finnegan, St. Louis, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, junior
Sabrina Vega, Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics, senior
Brianna Brown, West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior
Amelia Hundley, Hamilton, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior
Amanda Jetter, Milford, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, senior
Lexie Priessman, Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, junior
Casey Magee, Eugene, Ore./Capital Gymnastics Super Center, senior
Elizabeth Price, Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, junior
Meredith Sylvia, Macungie, Pa./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, junior
Kennedy Baker, Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/Bannon's Gymnastix Inc., junior
Mackenzie Brannan, Austin, Texas/Capital Gymnastics Super Center, junior
Rebecca Bross, Plano, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, senior
Peyton Ernst, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Ericha Fassbender, Katy, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Training Center-Houston, junior
Ariana Guerra, League City, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Training Center-Houston, junior
Jessica Howe, Plano, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, senior
Veronica Hults, Allen, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Bailie Key, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Madison Kocian, Dallas, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, junior
Sophia Lee, Plano, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, senior
Grace McLaughlin, Allen, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, senior
Abigail Milliet, Denton, Texas/Denton Gymnastics Academy, junior
Katelyn Ohashi, Plano, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, junior
Samantha Partyka, Katy, Texas/Champions Gymnastics, junior
Macy Toronjo, Huntsville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
Kiana Winston, Fort Worth, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, junior
McKenzie Wofford, McKinney, Texas/Zenith Elite Gymnastics Academy, senior
Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute, senior
Chellsie Memmel, West Allis, Wis./M and M Gymnastics, senior
Sacramone plans return to competition
By Alexa Ainsworth
American gymnast Alicia Sacaramone announced today she plans to compete at the CoverGirl Classic, July 23-25, in Chicago, Illinois.
"I will be at Classics and definitely shooting for VISA Championships in August. I know a lot of people are hearing mixed things about our Olympic Team, who is coming back, who is not, but I'm for sure training," Sacramone told UniversalSports.com.
Sacramone has to qualify for the VISA National Championships at the event in Chicago since she retired from competition following the 2008 Olympics. Sacramone was part of the U.S. squad that won team silver at the Beijing Games before stepping away from elite gymnastics.
A visit to coach Mihai Brestyan inspired her to return to the gym in September 2009 and begin more serious workouts in December. Sacramone has mixed emotions about returning to competition.
"I'm a little bit nervous because it has been so long, but at the same time, competing is one of my favorite things. I'm excited, nervous, and eager to get that first competition out of the way because I feel like I'm a little bit rusty. I need to get back into the groove," Sacramone said.
She plans to remain an event specialist and is currently working on balance beam and vault.
"The beam was the easiest thing to get back. Vault was a little bit more difficult because I had shoulder surgery, so getting the strength back to support myself was a little bit hard. I'm working on floor, but I don't know if that's going to happen this year. Maybe next year, we'll see."
Sacramone arrived at the Beijing Games as the emotional leader for an American team capable of gold, but after falls on floor and beam during the team final, she did not leave the sport as planned. Sacramone told us her comeback is a personal goal with the hope of ending her career on a "better note."
The 22-year-old has a new crop of teenagers to contend with including 2009 world silver medalist Rebecca Bross and 2009 American Cup champion Jordyn Wieber. Both are strong all-around gymnasts and have increasing international experience to add to their youthful exuberance.
Disregarding the blip of the Olympic Games, Sacramone was a proven competitor with a history of stepping up in big moments. If she can regain her competitive edge and remain healthy, Sacramone will be a factor leading up to the 2012 Games. However, two years can be a long time in gymnastics.
"Right now it's one year at a time. Staying healthy, staying happy, and loving my training is most important to me right now. I already went through the hardships and now it's more fun for me because I have nothing to lose."
(Nastia is still undecided)