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Freshman Marissa Lassiter competes on bars against the University of New Hampshire on March 2. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Gymnastics freshman Marissa Lassiter from Waldorf, Md. is a clear choice to be this year's Women’s Rookie of the Year. Lassiter dominated most competitions from the moment she stepped foot on campus, and played a key role on a Quaker team that earned numerous first place finishes — en route to its second consecutive Gymnastics East Conference Championship last month. 

At the Ivy Classic, she came in fourth on vault and second on floor with a pair of scores at 9.800. She earned one event title this season on vault against William & Mary at home, tied with her teammate junior Kiersten Belkoff, with another 9.800 performance. Lassiter then set her personal best in the vault event two meets later at Cornell: a spectacular 9.825 finish to lead Penn to a 195.250-191.025 victory against the Big Red.

Lassiter was named the GEC Newcomer of the Year after the GEC Championships on March 18, where she tied for third in the conference on the floor exercise. Lassiter also set two more career bests this year: 9.800 on bars set at the Rutgers Tri-Meet and 9.875 on floor twice. The rookie has also appeared on balance beam multiple times throughout the season. 

She has led the Quakers’ vault and floor lineups to season-high team totals, and a final ranking in the top 50 teams nationally in the vault. A standout in an already star-studded freshman class, Lassiter is already making a name for herself as a leader both on and off the mat. She made first team All-GEC on vault and floor, second team on bars, and was also named a GEC Scholar-Athlete. With a successful first year in the books that saw consistent improvement, Lassiter seems slated to raise the bar even higher in the years to come.

Read about the rest of DP Sports' End of the Year Awards for the 2022-23 season here.