March 3, 2012
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt gymnastics team recorded their highest score of the season Saturday afternoon with a 194.750 in a win on the road at George Washington (192.500).
The mark is also the team's highest since they scored a 195.175 in a win over nationally-ranked Iowa State, Rutgers and Brockport on Feb. 5, 2010.
"The kids really competed today. They went after it like they were going to hit 24 for 24," said head coach Debbie Yohman. "When we made a mistake, we put it aside and we moved on. We did that from event to event. We wanted it to be our high score so we could have a great away score and we went out there and did it."
Freshman Haley Bodenheimer improved upon her already incredible season as a Panther, scoring a career-high 39.200 in the all-around to win the meet title. Bodenheimer scored a career-high 9.850 on the vault, a career-high 9.825 on the bars, a 9.800 on the beam and a 9.725 on the floor.
Pitt started out the day on the uneven bars and for the second week in a row, put up an impressive score, a 48.925 which was their top team event score of the day. The Panthers placed five gymnasts including senior Amy Varela, who won the event with a 9.875, which ties her career high. Bodenheimer took second with a 9.825 and Maya Ketner and Alyssa Adrian both finished fourth with a 9.750. Freshman Bri Hogan rounded out the top six with a 9.725 in sixth place.
The Panthers then moved on to the vault with Bodenheimer and senior Alicia Talucci each scoring a 9.850 to tie for first. Alexa Riech and Haley Sedgewick both finished fifth with a 9.750 and Pitt finished the event with a team score of 48.825.
On the floor Pitt turned in a 48.675 team score, led by sophomore Katie O'Rourke, who scored a career-high 9.925 to tie for the win. Pitt's other placers on floor include freshman Haley Sedgewick in fifth with a 9.750 and Bodenheimer in sixth with a 9.725. O'Rourke's 9.925 is one of the top 10 scores on floor in Pitt history.
On Pitt's final event of the day, the balance beam, the Panthers recorded the top three scores of the day and finished with a team score of 48.325. Earning the event title was Talucci with a 9.825 and she was followed closely by Bodenheimer in second with a 9.800. Finishing third was senior Amy Varela with a 9.775 with a gutsy performance. Sedgewick's 9.625 was good enough for fifth.
"We're just so proud of Amy (Varela) for her performances today," Yohman said. "Her bars tied a career high and she really attacked her beam after a challenging week. Amy had a scary fall early in the week and wasn't able to practice on beam much. She came in today with no fear and conquered it.
"Haley Sedgewick had a rough start on bars, but she rebounded and did a great job today," Yohman continued. "Bri Hogan had a great bars set and Maya Ketner added a skill and still had her best bars performance of the season."
Pitt returns home next weekend on March 11 as the Panthers host in-state rival Penn State at 6 p.m. at Fitzgerald Field House.