Snider Announces Next Pitt Gymnastics Class


Snider Announces Next Pitt Gymnastics Class

12/11/2020 13:25:00

PITTSBURGH – Entering her fourth season leading the Pitt Gymnastics Program, Head Coach Samantha Snider announced the signing of four new Panthers on Thursday.

“From top to bottom, this is overall one of our most talented signing classes in recent years,” Snider said. “We look forward to the immediate impact this class will have on our program and the next level of success these athletes will bring to Pittsburgh.”

Snider added Marisa Aiello, Hallie Copperwheat, Nancy Kinner and sidney washingtonwho will each begin their careers at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Marisa Aiello | All around | Chesterfield, MI | Hunts Gymnastics Academy

Qualified Level 10 for 2019 JO Women’s Nationals … Tied for second on vault at 2019 Region 5 Level 10 Championships … Ranked third on bars, fourth in all-around at Level 10 Michigan State Championships 2019 …Three-time competitor at the Level 10 Michigan State Championships…First alternate National Qualifier Level 9 Jr 4 (2016)…Regional Qualifier Level 10 Jr C (2017)…Regional Qualifier Level 10 Jr E (2018)… Level 10 Sr A National Qualifier (2019)…Won beam and second all-around at 2020 Elevate the Stage…First on vault at 2020 Tulip City Invitational…Level 10 competitor since 2016 with Hunts Gymnastics Academy.

Born December 11, 2002…Daughter of Chris and Mary Aiello…Has two older brothers: Christopher and Nicholas…Enjoys cooking and caring for her pets, which include two dogs, two cats and a sugar glider…Has previously owned a hedgehog, a chinchilla and the turtles… Attended Regina High School… Honor roll member.

“I chose to go to the University of Pittsburgh because of the incredible academics and especially for the amazing opportunity to be part of the Pitt gymnastics team. After my first campus tour and meeting with the coach Samantha Snider and his team, I knew Pitt was the right fit for me.”

“Marisa is a powerful gymnast who we expect to contribute to all four events immediately. She is an exceptional young woman who we are thrilled to have as part of our future here at Pitt. She is the type of athlete which will continue to elevate the success of our program to the national level.”

Hallie Copperwheat

Hallie Copper Wheat | All around | Leighton Buzzard, England | Sapphire Gymnastics School

Six-time member of the Great Britain gymnastics team… Twice member of the England gymnastics team… Represented England at the 2019 Leverkusen Cup in Germany… Placed seventh in all-around at the 2019 Senior British Championships … Finished sixth on bars and 12th all-around at the 2019 Senior British Championships … Represented Great Britain as a junior at the 2018 Jeselo Trophy in Italy … Finished fifth at the 2018 English Junior Championships …Finished third in AA at 2017 English Junior Championships…2014 AA British Champion…Coached by Mel Bunyan and Annie Price for 10 years at Sapphire School of Gymnastics.

Born March 17, 2003… Daughter of Stuart and Nicci Copperwheat… Has an older sister, Daniella… Attended Cedars High School… District champion in the 80m sprint in college… Ran a total of 121 km during the lockdown in 2020.

“The top academics and incredible facilities Pitt has to offer are truly second to none. The gymnastics team has such a family connection and as soon as I met Sam (Snider) and Ryan (Snider) I couldn’t wait to do part of the amazing program they and Dave (Kuzara) are building at the University of Pittsburgh.”

“Hallie is an exceptional gymnast who brings with her a wealth of international gymnastics experience. She will stand out for us at all four events and will be exciting for Panther fans to watch. We are thrilled to have her in this signature class. “

Nancy Kinner

Nancy Kiner | All around | El Segundo, California | Wallers’ GymJam Academy

Competed for Wallers’ GymJam Academy in 2020…Won third on balance beam, fourth on bars and sixth on vault at 2020 Presidential Classic…Finished first on balance beam and second in all-around at Chris Wallers’ Heart of a Champion meet in February 2020… Competing with Wildfire Gymnastics, was named second on balance beam and third on bars at Pacific Classic 2019… Third on vault, bars and all-around at the 2018 Long Beach Open.

Born January 27, 2003…Daughter of Maria and Michael Kiner…Has a younger sister, Alex…Her grandfather is the late Ralph Kiner, a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer who got his start in Pittsburgh and whose jersey number 4 retired by pirates in 1987… Attended El Segundo High School… Three-time academic honor roll member… National Honors Society member… Won Reflections photography contest as a sophomore… His work was presented at the El Segundo Museum of Art in the photographic exhibition.

“I chose the University of Pittsburgh because I felt the opportunities and environment would help me grow as a student, athlete, and individual. Additionally, Pitt’s gymnastics program and the incredible coaches are all I could ask for as an athlete. I’m incredibly excited to be a Panther and can’t wait to call Oakland my home. Another reason I chose to go to the University of Pittsburgh was due to my family’s history in Pittsburgh. My grandfather, Ralph Kiner, got his start in Pittsburgh with the Pirates. After going to a Pirates game and seeing his number on the retirement (4), I realized how amazing it would be to create a career and a life for myself in the same city that was so good for my family.

“Nancy is a beautiful, sleek gymnast who we expect will compete in multiple events. Her competitive spirit and passion for the sport are qualities that will propel this program to new heights.”

sidney washington

Sydney Washington | All around | Ann Arbor, Michigan | Gym America

2019 State Vault, Bars, Floor and All-Around Champion…2019 National Qualifier…2019 Junior F National Team Champions with Gym America…Ranked first in all-around at the 2020 Tim Rand Invitational, the Tampa Bay Turners and the Wolverine Classic… First place all-around at the 2019 gymnastics competition on the Grand, along with Elevate the Stage, Excalibur Cup, Buckeye Classic and Wolverine classic.

Born February 23, 2003… Daughter of Saddi and Channon Washington… Has a younger brother, Caleb… Saline High School Gold Honor Roll member… Her father, Saddi, played basketball at Western Michigan University and is an assistant coach for the men’s team. University of Michigan basketball team… Mother, Channon, also attended WMU, majored in dance and history, and is working on her doctorate in educational leadership.

“I chose Pitt because they represent a family. The team and coaches seemed to have a strong family bond, and that’s how I want to spend the last four years of my gymnastics career. The moment I met Sam (Snider), Ryan (Snider) and Dave (Kuzara), I felt I had an instant connection with them, and the day I knew I wanted to go to Pitt, I was 100% sure it was the right choice for me.”

“Sidney is a phenomenal talent who we are thrilled to add to our program. We anticipate that she will have an immediate impact on all four events and she will be a key contributor in helping us continue to break records within our program. .”

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