March 22, 2014
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt gymnastics team finished sixth with a 194.175 on Saturday afternoon at the East Atlantic Gymnastics Championships in front of a crowd of 3,252 at the Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire. The host Wildcats took the title with a 196.375.
"You start out like that and get into a hole and it's very difficult to get out," said head coach Debbie Yohman. "The kids are terribly disappointed. But this is a team sport and everyone makes mistakes, but a team is about supporting each other and being there for each other in these times and we did that. There are some things we can take from this and we will learn and get better."
Pitt had a rough start to the meet, counting a fall on bars and recording a team score of 47.975. Senior Brittney Harrisfinished off the team's rotation, however, with a strong 9.825 performance. The score marked the third-highest mark of the day, but finished tied for ninth, which gives her second team All-Tournament honors.
On beam the Panthers rebounded, hitting six-for-six and earning a 48.950 team score - their strongest event of the day. Three Pitt gymnasts scored a 9.8 or higher including Haley Bodenheimer (9.8), Laura Kummerle (9.825) and Katie O'Rourke(9.85). O'Rourke tied for fourth overall with the third-best score on beam for the day and All-EAGL Tournament first team honors. Also on beam, Bodenheimer and Kummerle were awarded Second Team All-Tournament recognition.
Pitt continued to battle in their third rotation as they put together a 48.525 and again, three individual scores of 9.8 or better. Bodenheimer recorded her second 9.8 of the day with her performance on floor. Offutt scored an impressive 9.85 and O'Rourke had perhaps her best routine of the season on floor, scoring a 9.875 to lead Pitt and record the second-best score of the day. All-EAGL Tournament team honorees on floor for Pitt include O'Rourke on the first team and Offutt on the second team.
The Panthers wrapped up competition on vault and were again led by rookie Maebelle Pacheco, who tied for third with the second-best score of the day - a 9.825. Lisa Sototied for seventh with the third-best score with a 9.8 and Harris had the fourth-best mark on the day with a 9.775. Pacheco and Soto each earned First Team All-Tournament honors and Harris was named to the second team.
Harris finished fifth in the all-around with a 38.825 with scores of 9.775 on vault, 9.825 on bars, 9.550 on beam and a 9.675 on floor. Her fifth place finish in the all-around was good enough for First Team All-Tournament for the senior.
The Panthers will now await seeding for NCAA Regional meets to see what individuals will be invited to continue their season.