March 24, 2014
PITTSBURGH - Three Pitt gymnasts have earned a berth to the NCAA Regional meet to be held Saturday, April 5 in State College, Pa. Senior Brittney Harris has qualified for the all-around, senior Katie O'Rourke will compete on the balance beam and floor exercise and sophomore Maebelle Pachecowill compete on vault.
"Big congratulations go out to Brit (AA), Maebelle (V), and Katie (BB & FX) for qualifying to NCAA Regionals as individuals," said head coach Debbie Yohman. "Our team worked hard this year to make a regional bid happen again, and were unable to overcome some of the losses to our lineup -- but these three gymnasts will represent Pittsburgh very well!
"Brit was with the team when we went to the Florida regional last year and this year she will rotate with No. 1-ranked Florida and their No. 1-ranked All-Arounder Bridget Sloan. That should certainly be an awesome experience for her! On the other hand both Katie and Maebelle will rotate with EAGL familiar Maryland. We competed against them four times this year, all the kids know each other, and I'm sure they will feel comfortable."
Harris qualified to compete in the all-around behind her solid performance all year. At last weekend's EAGL Championship meet, she earned First Team All-Tournament all-around honors, as well as second team on vault and bars. Harris will compete alongside Florida in their rotation, which begins with a bye and follows the following format: bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault.
O'Rourke has been consistent all season on beam and floor and was rewarded with her third consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional meet. The senior was named to the All-EAGL first team and First Team All-Tournament on both events this season. She will compete alongside Maryland and will begin on beam, have a bye and then round out her day on floor.
Pacheco, in her first competitive season collegiately, advances to the NCAA Regional meet for the first time after a consistent season on vault. Pacheco was named to the All-Tournament first team with a 9.825 and a third place finish at the EAGL Championships last weekend. She will also compete beside Maryland in the rotation and will have to wait until the fourth rotation to vault.
Teams competing in the State College regional are Florida, Oregon State, Penn State, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Maryland.