Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Girls Athlete of the Year
PINE-RICHLAND • SENIOR • SOCCER/BASKETBALL/TRACK
Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin jokes that she didn't even know the 800 meters was an event until she joined the track team this spring.
Kalin always was busy with soccer or basketball, team sports that both earned her Division 1 college offers. But the Duquesne basketball recruit decided this spring to run track, and the results further proved Kalin's athleticism.
As a rookie 800 runner, the senior finished second in WPIAL Class AAA and fourth overall in the state. But her basketball and soccer seasons were equally impressive.
The three-sport star was a 21-goal scorer as a forward on the soccer team. And in the winter, the 5-foot-7 guard averaged 23.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Rams (21-2). She set a school record with 1,868 career points and was voted the state's top basketball player among Class 6A girls last season.
Her teams won section titles in both sports.
For her accomplishments, Kalin is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Girls Athlete of the Year.
Q: What convinced you to run track?
A: “One of my teachers asked me to join the track team every year. This was the first year I didn't have AAU basketball, so I finally had time. I figured it would keep me in shape, so I gave it a shot. I started out doing sprints. The distance coach saw me on the 400 and said, ‘You'd probably be really good at the 800.' ”
Q: How does training for track differ from your team-sport workouts?
A: “It's very different. With track there's no ball involved, so you're just running kind of for no reason. Mentally, it's really tough. It was a lot harder and more boring to train for track, but it was worth it in the end.”
Q: Do you have a favorite between basketball and soccer?
A: “I always loved basketball except when I was really young. I've played soccer since I was four and didn't start basketball until fifth grade. But once I got good at basketball, I fell in love with it. I had to work a lot harder at basketball, but it's more fun and I love the game.”
Q: Was it difficult to choose a sport for college?
A: “It wasn't until maybe sophomore year that I realized that I could actually be good at basketball. Once I figured that out, it wasn't a hard decision between the basketball and the soccer.”
Q: Will you miss being a multi-sport athlete?
A: “Yes. The other sports are good because if you have a bad day with one you have an outlet with the other. It will be tough, but it will be good because I can fully focus on one now and get really good at the one.”
Q: Are there any other sports you're also good at?
A: “I didn't do them in high school, but I used to swim when I was younger, and I did cross country and softball.”
Q: What are your summer plans?
A: “I left for school last Sunday, so I had my first week up at Duquesne. It was tough. It was a hard transition, especially in the weight room. The lifting is just so much more intense.”
Q: After one week, what's the difference between high school and college basketball?
A: “The main difference between the practices is they don't waste any second. They get stuff done. Every minute you're doing drills. You get a 10-second water break. It's just a lot faster. I feel like we get a lot accomplished.”
Q: Have you thought much about your first game at Palumbo Center?
A: “I can't even imagine that. It just seems like it all came so fast. It seems strange to say I'm in college right now. I haven't even thought about the first game. I've watched them play a lot. It will be crazy to be out there on the floor.”