April 18, 2012
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt gymnastics squad has signed two to a National Letter of Intent to join the Panthers, including Jacqueline Lucci of Ambler, Pa., and Maebelle Pacheco of Virginia Beach, Va.
"We're excited to finally announce the signing of these two recruits," head coach Debbie Yohman said. "Jacqueline and Maebelle complete one of the most talented recruiting classes we have had. When they join (early signees) Lisa Soto and Lindsay Offutt in the fall we will be working with four solid, experienced all-arounders. They are all four legitimate all-arounders even though each has their unique strengths, which will bring great depth to our lineup.
"Among them we have three BIG vaults, three GOOD bar sets, all are beam workers who compete strong and we will be adding some new and difficult tumbling to our lineup," Yohman continued. "Although our graduating seniors leave big shoes to fill as far as their leadership and experience, these incoming freshmen will enter with double the number of events ready for competition and from what we've seen all are aggressive competitors. We look forward to working with these new Panthers!!"
Lucci, who trained at Parkettes under Robin Netwall, John Holman and Bill and Donna Strauss, was a 2010 and 2011 Junior Olympic National Championships qualifier. Additionally, she was a 2011 Region 7 uneven bars champ and finished third in the all-around at the 2011 Pennsylvania State Championships. In that same meet Lucci took second on beam. Lucci, who currently attends Upper Dublin High School, is the daughter of Renee Lucci and Frank Lucci and has two brothers: Maddox and Nolan.
Pacheco will come to Pitt from her club team, Gymstrada, where she is coached by Randy Church. A fourth-year level 10 gymnast, Pacheco is a two-time J. O. Championship qualifier. She finished seventh in the all-around, ninth on the vault and 11th on the floor in 2011. In addition, Pacheco, who attends Salem High School, is a 2011 Region 7 vault champ and a Virginia State Champion on the vault. Pacheco's parents are Erwin and Mercy and she has one brother: Darren.
Both Lucci and Pacheco suffered injuries, which ended their 2012 seasons, but are now healthy and expected to compete immediately when arriving at Pitt. They will join November signees Lindsay Offutt and Lisa Soto as a part of Pitt's freshman class in the fall of 2012.