PITTSBURGH — Pitt gymnastics kicked off their season on Saturday at the Fitzgerald Field House. The Panthers are coming off their best season since 2013 and are hoping to carry last year’s success into this season. In front of a record season opener crowd of 1,249 they set a season opener record with a score of 194.750.
Pitt ended up placing second in the quad meet only trailing number 22 ranked West Virginia University by less than a point. The Panthers beat Utah State (194.600) and Eastern Michigan (192.700) to start the season 2-1. There is a lot for the Panthers to be proud of on the season opener such as they did not have a single fall in their 24 total routines. Coach Samantha Snider said that “Definitely had mistakes on a few routines, but they fought through and didn’t let that mistake overtake the routine.”
The Panthers took home two individual honors. The first being freshman standout Olivia “Libby” Miller who won the all around with a 39.050. Snider had this to say about her performance “She will continue to grow through out the season and do great things for out program.” The other individual honor was senior Brittany West that placed first on the balance beam. Brittany is returning after being sidelined the whole 2018 season with an injury. Afterwards Snider said, “She is such a seasoned veteran, excellent on that event (beam), and she really help boost the confidence of everybody else.”
Other top individual performances include sophomore Haley Brechwald who finished 3rdon the vault. Senior Lucy Brett finished 3rdin both the balance beam and the uneven parallel bars. Senior Charli Spivey was the top Panther on the floor exercise.
The Panthers now travel to New Hampshire where they face Temple, Bridgeport, and New Hampshire on January 18. Then they return to Fitzgerald Field House on the 26thto take on EAGL opponent George Washington at 2:00pm.