Pitt swimming, track, gymnastics set records during busy weekend


Kaycee Orwig | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt graduate Blaise Vera competes in January 2020.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

Pitt athletes kept themselves busy over the weekend, as every active sport participated in competition. The Panthers competed at home and all over the East Coast. Here’s how they fared in their various matches.

Men’s basketball

The Panthers (8-13, 3-7 ACC) traveled to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to take on the Boston College Eagles (9-11, 4-6 ACC), where they lost 69-56. The game was initially supposed to take place on Saturday, but the ACC rescheduled it for Sunday for the same time because of inclement weather.

When the game finally tipped off, the Panthers and Eagles played a close game for the first 10 minutes, until Boston College took a nine-point lead to finish the half 31-22. BC didn’t relinquish its lead for the rest of the contest, and the Eagles won by 13 points.

Boston College junior forward Quinten Post finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and graduate student guard Makai Ashton-Langford finished with 21 points. Pitt redshirt junior guard Ithiel Horton scored 11 points in just his second game this season, and sophomore guard Femi Odukale scored a team-high 16 points.

For its next game, Pitt will travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to face Wake Forest on Wednesday night. ESPN2 will broadcast the game, which will tip off at 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball

Pitt (11-10, 2-8 ACC) concluded its short road trip with a visit to the Carrier Dome and the Syracuse Orange (9-10, 2-7 ACC). After defeating Clemson in overtime on Thursday, the Panthers lost to the Orange 80-72.


The Panthers (2-3, 1-2 EAGL) participated in a Friday tri-meet in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which put them up against host No. 25 UNC (6-4, 4-1 EAGL) and the Towson Tigers (5-2, 2-2 EAGL). Pitt came in last place among the three teams with a total score of 194.300, its second-highest score this season. UNC won the event with a 196.000 and Towson came in second with a 195.975.

First year Hallie Copperwheat placed third out of four all-arounders (39.200) behind two UNC gymnasts, first years Lali Dekanoidze (39.450) and Julia Knower (39.325). Pitt first year Sidney Washington was the only other all-arounder and she finished with a 38.625, capped off with a career-high 9.875 on the vault.

Pitt didn’t win at any of the stations, as UNC won the floor routine, and Towson won the other three stations. Pitt came in second on the vault and the floor, and came in last in the uneven bars and the beam.

The Panthers’ next event will take place at the Fitzgerald Field House next Sunday. They will host a quad-meet with NC State, Alaska Anchorage and West Virginia at 2 p.m. 

Swimming and diving

Pitt hosted the Western Pennsylvania Invite over the weekend, where the Panthers honored their four senior divers and nine senior swimmers. The other schools that participated were Duquesne, California University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Lock Haven and St. Francis.

The Pitt divers performed exceptionally well — winning every single event. Senior Amy Read set a new school record and a Trees pool record with a 322.50 score on the platform. Junior Dylan Reed and seniors Wesley Ahart and Josh Parquet helped the Panthers sweep the top five spots on the three-meter board. The Panthers also won every swimming relay event on the first day, which included a 1:20.56 time in the men’s 200-meter freestyle. But senior Cooper Van der Laan headlined the first day with a pool record 52.21 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The second day did not go as well for the Panthers, but they still set numerous personal records. Read came very close to setting another school record, with a personal best 325.60 on the 1-meter board, but she missed it by less than two points. Junior Kate Fuhrmann set a personal record of her own with a 23.13 time in the women’s 50-yard freestyle.

The Panthers will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, for their final meet of the regular season, when they will compete in the Cavalier Invitational next weekend.

Track and field

The Panthers took a trip down to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and participated in the Razorback Invitational over the weekend. The meet also included Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, USC and host Arkansas.

On the women’s side, Pitt first year Caleia Johnson earned a personal best in the 400 meter dash with a time of 56.45 seconds. She finished 24th out of 38 runners, the highest among six Pitt runners in that race. First year Caroline Rusinski also achieved her personal best with a 10:07.33 in the 3000-meter run, good enough for fifth out of nine runners. Graduate student Abena Atuobi shotputted a school-best 15.1 meters, and sophomore Foluke Olujide-Ajibade collected a 18.67 meter throw on the weight throw, her personal best.

For the men, the Panthers’ best race was the 3000-meter run. Sophomores Jack Miller, Luke Henseler and Sam Otis finished in the top-13 of the 26-person race. Miller came in fifth with an 8:09.01, while Henseler and Otis finished with personal bests. Graduate student Lonzell Feagin had Pitt’s best run of the season with a 48.08 time in the 400-meter dash, which finished 20th out of 41 runners. 

Graduate student Felix Wolter won the heptathlon long jump with a jump of 7.43 meters, while fellow grad student Noah Walker came in second in the weight throw, with a personal best 21.90-meter throw.

Up next, Pitt will travel to Blacksburg, Virginia, for the Virginia Tech Elite Meet from Friday to Saturday. 


No. 19 Pitt (6-4, 1-1 ACC) hosted No. 8 Virginia Tech (6-3, 1-1 ACC) for its second-ranked match in its last three. But unlike its last ranked match against Arizona State, the Panthers couldn’t overcome the Hokies, falling 24-12

Redshirt seniors Elijah Cleary, Jake Wentzel, Nino Bonaccorsi and redshirt junior Cole Matthews all won their bouts in the loss, but VT redshirt junior Mekhi Lewis won the 174-pound bout via technical fall. Redshirt senior Hunter Bolen followed that up with a pin victory against Pitt redshirt senior Gregg Harvey in the 184-pound bout. Those 11 points put Pitt in a hole that it couldn’t recover from.

The Panthers will tussle with UNC on Friday at Chapel Hill, before they come home the following Sunday to host Columbia at the Petersen Events Center.