Swim and dive, gymnastics post historic results over weekend

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Kaycee Orwig | Senior Staff Photographer

The men’s swim and dive team made history at the ACC Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, finishing with a program-best eighth place.

By Griffin Floyd, Staff Writer

Pitt swimming and diving and track and field saw their regular seasons end this weekend and posted historic results. Softball, meanwhile, is just getting started with ACC play, but dropped two of three in their first conference series at North Carolina. 

Maria Doku | Staff Graphic Artist

Swimming and diving

The men’s swim and dive team made history at the ACC Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, finishing with a program-best eighth place. Although none of Pitt’s athletes were able to make it to the final heats in their respective races, they cleaned up nicely in the consolation brackets.

Junior Blaise Vera won his 100-yard freestyle heat with a time of 42.61s, which would have been good for second place overall if not for consolation rules. Every consolation swimmer is seeded behind every swimmer in the final round regardless of time.

Fellow junior Armin Remenyi had a similar performance, taking second place (10th overall) in his heat of the 200-yard butterfly (1:44.07).

Up next is the NCAA Zone Diving meet in Morgantown, West Virginia, from March 9 to 11, and the Panthers will be awaiting the announcement of invitations to the national meet in the coming weeks.

Track and Field

The indoor track team finished its regular season with the ACC Championships hosted by Notre Dame. Three Panthers took the podium in South Bend, Indiana, and six received All-ACC Honors as the men’s and women’s teams finished 11th and 13th, respectively.

Sophomore Eddita Pessima won the silver in the 60-meter hurdles (8.23s), although a fellow runner impeded her finish by tripping into Pessima’s lane on the last hurdle. Pessima deftly managed to avoid the collision and disqualification by staying in her lane, but it certainly had an impact on the race.

Head Coach Alonzo Webb said the near collision “cost her a lot of time … I believe that it kept her out of the national championship.”

Junior high jumper Greg Lauray earned All-ACC Honors for the second year in a row, clearing 7-foot-1 for a second-place finish.

Junior Noah Walker was the final medalist for the Panthers, notching a new personal record in the weight throw (67’4.75”) that was second both in the meet and Pitt history.

Up next are the Indoor National Championships on March 13 to 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Softball

The softball team had its conference series of the season, away against UNC. In the first game on Friday, Feb. 28, sophomore left fielder Katlyn Pavlick led off the first inning with a solo home run. Senior catcher Walker Barbee extended the lead to 4-1 with a two-run blast in the fourth, and although the Tar Heels would close the lead to one run in the fifth, the Panthers scored three in the top of the seventh, including an RBI triple by Pavlick, to win 7-3. 

Redshirt Junior Brittany Knight pitched all seven innings and recorded the win. 

In Saturday’s game the Panthers fell behind 2-0 in the fifth, but junior CF Hunter Levesque tied it up with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth. North Carolina blew the game open in the bottom frame with five runs to win 7-2.

Sunday was no different. Although senior DP/1B Kaitlyn Kruger hit an RBI single in the first inning for the 1-0 lead, the Tar Heels would go on to score nine unanswered, winning in six innings by mercy rule.

The Panthers are now 6-9, 1-2 in the ACC, and will start off the spring break road trip with a series against ACC rival Clemson.

Gymnastics

Pitt’s gymnastics team traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia, for a tri-meet against rival West Virginia and Rutgers. It was a historic day for the Panthers, who scored 196.500 points, the second-highest point total in team history and their best road mark ever. Led by seniors Alecia Petrikis (9.900, vault) and Michaela Burton (9.900, beam; 9.850, bars), who won their respective events, the Panthers edged by WVU (196.425) and Rutgers (195.300) for two wins in a high-scoring meet.

The wins put Pitt back above .500 at 7-6 on the season and 2-3 in EAGL play. Up next is another non-conference matchup, as they will spend the first part of spring break in sunny Arizona, facing the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe.

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