Petrillo ’22 wins multiple all-around titles

Freshman earns career high 38.425 in all-around, helps Bruno to first-place finish at home meet

Sports Editor
Friday, February 15, 2019

Last weekend, the gymnastics team posted a season high 193.900 to claim first place in a tri-meet against Southern Connecticut State University and Rhode Island College at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

The Bears took home the floor, bars and vault titles to power past their New England opponents, and, for the second consecutive week, looked to one of their first-year gymnasts to champion the all-around.

Bruno found a spark in Sophia Petrillo ’22, who notched a career high 38.425 across the four events to win the all-around for the second meet in a row. The mark bested her previous career high of 38.375, which earned her first place at Penn Feb. 3. For her outstanding performances over the last two weeks, Petrillo has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on winning the all-around two weeks in a row! What were these last two meets like for you?

Petrillo: The last two meets have been a lot of fun. It’s always really nice to go out there and hit my routines and hit for the team, hit for myself. … Because we’ve been making our routines, we had great energy, and so that just contributes to everyone making their routines and that’s made it a really fun experience for me.

What were your expectations going into this season?

I knew that our team had a lot of potential and we’re a really hardworking group, so I expected that we were going to have a lot of success, and we definitely have. … We continue to improve every week and work hard every week, and that is definitely showing. For myself, I was just hoping to come in and contribute to the team in the best way that I could … and do the gymnastics that I’ve been training for my whole life.

You regularly compete in the all-around. Do you have a favorite event?

I do — my favorite event is definitely floor. I think it is just so much fun to compete — you hear the crowd cheering for you, you just get to show off all your tumbling and your routine, and it’s just it’s a lot of fun. It’s really an event where I can definitely own my performance, so I really like that.

When did you first get into gymnastics?

I started out doing gymnastics when I was about two. My sister was in recreational classes, and I just always had a lot of energy, so my parents decided to put me in classes to be just like her and as a way (to) get out my energy. … I joined a competitive team when I was eight, I believe, and since then it’s just been a great experience.

Who is your favorite professional athlete? Do you have a favorite gymnast that you like to watch?

A gymnast that I have always really enjoyed watching and really looked up to is Alicia Sacramone. We trained at the same gym — I went to the gym that she trained at when she was training for the Olympics, so she was definitely always a role model for me. I just thought she always looked so confident when she competed and it looked like she was really enjoying herself and was very, very talented.

Do you have a favorite leotard that you’ve worn for Brown so far?

I really like all of our leos. … We got a new leotard this year, so that was really cool to be able to wear that for the first time. It’s really beautiful, it has so many sparkles (and) a really nice ombre design, so that one is probably my favorite — it was just a cool experience to be able to be the first ones to wear that leo.

Do you have any meet day rituals or things you do either individually or as a team to get ready?

I think for the most part we just kind of try to keep a good energy going. We like to just be relaxed, we’ll take pictures, we’ll talk to each other, we listen to a lot of music and just kind of (try) to keep the same environment that we normally have when we’re in practice — that’s kind of our biggest aim for pre-meet environment, I guess. Personally, I just try to stay relaxed and just have fun with my teammates, and that’s definitely when I have my best performances.

How did you choose Brown?

I chose Brown because I just loved the combination that I could get here — I could get great academics and a world-class gymnastics team, so that’s definitely why I loved it. It’s pretty close to my house (in Massachusetts), so that was definitely a bonus … that I can be pretty close to my family and my family can come and watch all of my competitions. So that was really nice, but just the great combination that Brown offers is definitely what made me want to come here the most.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

For the rest of the season, I definitely just want to keep improving every meet, keep making all of my routines and perfecting them and definitely just keep helping the team and contributing to the team’s success as much as I can.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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