The 2019 Kurt Thomas Invitational took place over the past weekend and was one of the four Nastia Liukin Cup Qualifiers over the weekend. Two gymnasts from the Kurt Thomas Invitational, one junior and one senior qualified to the Nastia Liukin Cup. The senior qualifier from the invitational was Kiya Johnson of Texas Dreams, and the junior qualifier was Lily Bruce of World Champions Centre.
The Nastia Liukin Cup stage will not be new for Kiya Johnson who will be making her fourth appearance at the Cup. In 2014, Johnson made her first appearance at the Nastia Liukin Cup and went on a year later to win the all around and vault titles at the Cup. Last year, Johnson finished fifth all around in the senior division, and tied for first on bars. This year, Johnson is definitely a contender for her second all around title. Following her performance at last year’s Cup, Johnson competed at the JO National Championships where she won the floor and all around titles. At the Kurt Thomas Invitational this past weekend, Johnson had a phenomenal meet, winning the vault, beam, floor, and all around titles with a massive 38.900.
World Champions Centre’s Lily Bruce on the other hand will be competing for the first time at the Nastia Liukin Cup. In fact, the Kurt Thomas Invitational was only her first level 10 meet! Last season, Bruce competed level 9 where she won the North Carolina vault and all around titles and went on to win the vault title at the Region 8 Championships. At just 12 years old, Bruce will definitely be one of the youngest competitors at the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup, but she shows tons of potential.Tags: Kiya Johnson, Kurt Thomas Invitational, Lily Bruce, Nastia Liukin Cup