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Valley News Dispatch Spotlight Athletes: Kiski Area's Patrick Miller, Highlands' Natalie Richards

| Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 1:01 a.m.
2012 Kiski Area cross country runner Patrick Miller. Submitted
2012 Highlands soccer player Natalie Richards. Submitted

Patrick Miller

Sport: Cross country

Year: Junior

School: Kiski Area

Claim to fame: Miller, one of the Cavaliers' top runners, finished sixth in the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association meet. A third-year starter, his best time this year was a 16:58. Miller will be competing in the WPIAL team championships next week.

What prompted you take up the sport?

“My sixth-grade teacher was the assistant coach, and I knew some people who were running at the time. I was never really a runner before then.”

Do you listen to music during meets?

“No, you're not allowed to listen to music or have any watches or jewelry. I don't even listen to music when I train.”

Is there a particular surface you prefer or a course you enjoy the most?

“Normally, I like the rolling hills the best, since there's a variation from running on flat ground the whole time.”

Natalie Richards

School: Highlands

Sport: Soccer

Year: Senior

Claim to fame: Richards leads the playoff-bound Golden Rams (14-3, 12-2) with 19 goals. The four-year starter was named to the all-Section 2-AA team and a Valley News Dispatch all-star. The center-midfielder is a team captain.

What's it like to have a winning season as a senior?

“It really shows how much our seniors have accomplished, from our freshman year not being so great, to working towards our goal to become a better team in general and being captain means a lot to me, I try and push the underclassmen and other varsity players to continue striving for their goals.”

How has last year's playoff appearance affected your outlook this year's postseason?

“It's given a lot of confidence. We only lost one starter last year and have gained a lot of confidence. I think we'll be a lot more relaxed than last year. We've gotten better and have gained more confidence.”

What has been your most memorable game?

“Monday night, we defeated Knoch, 3-1, on Senior Night.”

What is your favorite soccer movie?

“Bend it Like Beckham.”

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

“We pray as a team before each game.”

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