Franklin Regional senior runners ready to continue their careers as Dukes
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Luke Schott and Kaitlyn Figurelli have both put together decorated running careers for Franklin Regional, and starting in the fall, they will start their college careers under the same team's banner.
The two Franklin Regional seniors both officially committed to Duquesne last month, and they will start their time as distance runners for the Dukes in the fall cross-country season after one more season on the track for the Panthers this spring.
Though both arrived at the same decision for their destination, they each had their own reasons for picking the Division I program on the Bluff.
“When I went on the general tour there, it was really nice. But when I took my recruiting visit there, it was so great, and I could really feel myself becoming a part of that team,” Figurelli said.
“From September, I knew Duquense was going to be the best fit for me,” Schott said. “I knew I wanted to run at a D-I level, and I looked at some other schools around the area, but I kind of knew for a while that's where I wanted to go.”
With the Dukes, the two runners will join a program that has done a good job bringing in some of the best talent from near its own campus. More than half of this year's Duquesne roster is made up of former WPIAL or City League runners, including a handful from nearby schools to FR, such as Norwin and Hempfield.
“They have a staff (that knows) the WPIAL, and they have a lot of good people from nearby schools,” Figurelli said. “Plus, it's comforting to know that I'm close enough to get home and see my family if I need to, or anything like that.”
“Whenever you go to big meets like Baldwin (Invitational) or WPIALs, then you see the team (at Duquesne), you recognize about half of the kids from there,” Schott said.
“Most of the time you see those same kids progress and turn out really good in college. They take kids like us and make them awesome.”
Schott heads to Duquesne with the intention of studying biology or a related field on a pre-med track. Figurelli, on the other hand, intends to start out pursuing business or accounting, but she laughed and added that she's “confused” when it comes to settling on one major and likes the prospect of going to a larger school with many fields of study to choose from.
Academics aside, both runners should have no problem fitting in with the level of competition. Figurelli placed eighth and Schott was ninth in last year's WPIAL cross-country championships, and both were in the top three at the 2012 Westmoreland County meet.
Both have an excellent chance to end up on the medal stand in the distance events during the track season beginning later this month, and for Schott, this season at Franklin Regional is his first priority with his college decision behind him.
“I'm really excited about this season. I realize that it's my last chance, and I want to keep focusing on that and not anything in the fall,” he said. “In summer, I'll start focusing on what they do, but my focus now is on this season.”
Figurelli also is eager for her senior track season, she said, but like so many high school seniors in March, her excitement to begin the college experience is hard to hold back.
“During the summer, I want to get together with the girls on the team and run with them. It will be a lot of fun,” she said.
“I always want to be pushed even more. That next level of competition, I want that, and I want to be motivated.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Brookline 12-year-old crashes mother’s car
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Owner of Penn Hills tombstone business pleads guilty to swindling the bereaved
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- 1 dead after car tries to ram Fort Meade gate
- LaBar: WrestleMania 31 one of the best ever
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense
- Crash, downed utility pole block intersection in Bridgeville