Gold medal performance ‘complete surprise’ for Deer Lakes’ Elizabeth Orosz

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 10:06 AM

Elizabeth Orosz had a performance to remember at the WPIAL gymnastics championships Feb. 12.

The Deer Lakes senior won a gold medal in the uneven bars with a score of 9.425 in the Diamond Division. She also placed fifth in the vault and ninth in the all-around against the best gymnasts the WPIAL has to offer.

It was a surprising performance, especially to Orosz.

“Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting (to win) for sure,” she said. “It came as a complete surprise. I knew there was a specific skill in my routine that I had to throw which was a little rough in the gym. I knew if I wanted a chance to medal, I was going to have to do it.”

It was a technique she was able to execute in practice just a couple of weeks before the event: a shoot-over.

“She had been working all season to put the skill into her routine, and she was finally able to get it (at) the meet before the championships,” mom and coach Kris Orosz said. “That really helped her increase her score.”

There is not a gymnastics team at Deer Lakes, so Orosz practices with the team at Fox Chapel as an independent competitor. There, she also works with coach Nadine Buchanon, who has coached her multiple times in her career, including at Trinity Gymnastics in Gibsonia.

“(Elizabeth) was not sure whether or not she was going to do it or not,” Buchanon said. “I told her she could do it. She just needed to warm it up and see what it looked like. She did it, and she did it great.”

Another key to getting her to the top of the podium was simply keeping her cool.

“I just tried to keep her calm and told her to go and do the best that she can,” Buchanon said. “Her bar routine was excellent, and she did what she needed to do. I was very proud of her.”

Keeping her from winning a medal in the all-around might have been her performance on the balance beam.

“She started out the meet with nines in every event and was doing really well,” Buchanon said. “She just lost focus on a couple skills and ended up falling twice. It knocked her out for the all-around, but she definitely would have been in contention (for a medal).”

“It was not a good routine. I had two falls, unfortunately,” Orosz said of her beam performance. “Not the way I wanted to finish out the meet, but the rest of the meet was really good.”

However, a fifth-place finish in the vault thrilled Orosz.

“That was exciting. I’ve been trying to place in the vault for the past three years,” she said. “I was really excited that it happened.”

Gymnastics is a sport that takes years of training and dedication. Orosz has been in gymnastics since she was in kindergarten and has fond memories of the road thus far.

“It’s been a crazy experience. I feel like I’ve learned so many life lessons during the journey from my coaches,” she said.

“I definitely wouldn’t trade it for anything. Obviously, there have been some moments where I questioned whether or not I wanted to do this. But I decided that I cannot live my life without gymnastics. I have stuck through the hard days, and it has been a rewarding experience.”

She also takes pride in being the lone member of her school district who was able to compete at the individual WPIAL meet.

“I’ve been an independent for my school for all four years of my high school career,” Orosz said.

“It’s funny because sometimes people say they didn’t know we had a gymnastics team. Bringing a little more recognition to the sport to my school is definitely exciting.”

In the fall, Orosz will be attending Penn State and will be joining the club gymnastics team there.


More Gymnastics

Thomas Jefferson senior makes impact in diving, gymnastics
Gymnasts Olivia Kovach, Ava Hickman look forward to defending WPIAL titles
Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Franklin Regional’s Linzi Shaffer
Baldwin gymnast Abby Rexrode savors 3rd WPIAL gymnastics title, eyes unprecedented 4th
Pine-Richland celebrates winning 4th WPIAL gymnastics championship