Dec. 5, 2013
The Pitt gymnastics team will get their first opportunity at competition this season on Friday when they travel to Kent State for the Blue-Gold Exhibition Meet at 7 p.m.
“We are happy to end our long preseason and finally begin competing,” said head coach Debbie Yohman. “We have an experienced squad returning, having lost only two competitors from last season’s great finish. Plus, we will have additions from three strong freshmen and some injury redshirts expected back in action.
“With that said, we have had a difficult fall season as not too many of our athletes have had a complete semester of consistent training due to delays in returns or injuries which took people in and out,” continued Yohman. “So we are not yet where we will be hopefully by the official start of the season in January and certainly not ready yet to pick up where we left off last season. However this will be an opportunity to put some newcomers out on the floor, see how the team rises to the challenge and just get our feet wet for the new year!”
Pitt will put forth a lineup with three gymnasts who have not yet competed for the Panthers on the collegiate level including Kelly Burak, Ellie Pikula and Jacqueline Lucci. Additionally, returning to the lineup is sophomore standout Haley Bodenheimer, who earned 2012 EAGL Rookie of the Year honors prior to sitting out the 2013 season with an injury.
“It was an excellent event last year when Kent came to Pitt for the Blue-Gold meet,” said Yohman. “We look forward to the same on Friday. I am excited that Haley Bodenheimer will enter back into the line-up with a revamped beam routine; sophomore Lindsay Offutt has made an unplanned and speedy return from September surgery to provide us with three solid events; and junior Haley Sedgewick has worked extremely hard to bolster her all-around status. Although I do feel that this is a team that will consist of strong TEAM performances, counting on everyone, and not big superstars – we could be highlighting someone different each week, so stay tuned!”
The Panthers open up the regular season on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald Field House when Pitt hosts Towson for an EAGL meet.