Olympics

Three Texas girls shine in Nastia Liukin Cup gymnastics

Kiya Johnson of DeSoto, who won the junior women all-around, said she knew she had a shot at the podium once she landed her dismount on the vault, her favorite event.
Kiya Johnson of DeSoto, who won the junior women all-around, said she knew she had a shot at the podium once she landed her dismount on the vault, her favorite event. Star-Telegram

The local gymnastics clubs were vocal throughout AT&T Stadium on Friday night.

Three of their best almost dominated the juniors podium at the Nastia Liukin Cup.

DeSoto’s Kiya Johnson won the junior women all-around with a 38.275. Plano’s 13-year-old Shaylah Scott (37.875) was second, and Keller’s Amoree Lockhart (37.575) was fourth.

“It was really cool,” Johnson said. “All of our gyms came to watch. I’m so happy right now.”

Johnson, Scott, and Lockhart are used to seeing each other at gymnastics meets, but they competed against each other for the first time this season.

Johnson, 12, knew she had a shot at the podium once she landed her dismount on the vault, her favorite event. Johnson represents Texas Dreams in Coppell.

Lockhart, 13, competed at a familiar spot to her idol on Friday night. The Nastia Liukin Cup is an event for the country’s top junior Olympic gymnasts, and Gabby Douglas finished fourth at the inaugural event in 2010, well ahead of her memorable 2012 Olympics.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” said Lockhart, who represents Empire Gymnastics in Bedford. “It was a little nerve-racking considering I was last [to perform], but it was fun.”

Through three events, Lockhart was in contention for the medals podium with a 28.175.

“She did well, but she had a few mistakes,” said coach April Pyle of Empire Gymnastics. “There was that one wobble on the beam and that, as it turned out, cost her third place.

“We’re still really pleased. This is the first time she’s competed in a really big venue like this, so it was a brand new experience for her.”

Lockhart scored a 9.550 on the vault.

“Her best event tonight was probably the vault,” coach Beatrice Mihaila-Crivineanu said. “It was the first time she’s tried a Yurchenko vault in a big competition.”

The weekend showcase event, AT&T American Cup, will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium. Coverage of the event starts at noon on NBC.

Maddie Karr, from Stillwater, Minn., won the senior women all-around with a 38.275. Anna Glenn of Charlotte, N.C. was second (38.250) and Chicago’s Olivia Karas was third (38.200).

AT&T American Cup

Saturday, AT&T Stadium

Opening Ceremony: 10:15 a.m.

Competition: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Tickets: $35-$250; Ticketmaster — www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

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