Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: South Park's Tyler Rigby, Bethel Park's A.J. Baroffio
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School: South Park
Sport: Cross country
Claim to fame: Tyler Rigby won the championship at the Mingo Invitational in Mingo Creek Park in Washington County last Thursday with a personal record time of 16 minutes, 21 seconds. Earlier this season, Rigby placed 37th overall and 10th in the Class AA division at the Red, White & Blue Classic at Schenley Park with a time of 16:44.
Have you decided where you want to attend college?
I have not decided, but I want to go to a four-year school for mechanical engineering, and I want to run cross country and track and field. I've talked to Penn State-Behrend, Valparaiso and Carnegie Mellon.
How did you decide you want to go for mechanical engineering?
Back in middle school, I was introduced to an engineering and technology course. When I got into high school, I took engineering as an elective and have stuck with it.
How many miles would you estimate that you run in a week?
On weeks when I have multiple meets, I run about 30. On weeks where I don't have multiple meets, I run close to 40.
What do you hope to accomplish in the Tri-State Invitational at Cooper's Lake on Thursday?
My goal is to try to get my time down in the 16s. I haven't gotten under 17 yet. I want to get a good feel for the course to get ready for the WPIAL championships the next week.
School: Bethel Park
Claim to fame: Baroffio scored three goals for Bethel Park in its 7-0 win over Baldwin on Oct. 10 and had an assist in a 4-2 win over Mt. Lebanon on Oct. 8. Baroffio, who had 31 goals heading into the week, has recorded five hat tricks this season, including three or more goals in four consecutive games. Baroffio, a Duquesne recruit, is having a break-out offensive season after scoring 15 goals last season and 21 as a sophomore.
“She's really learned to be unselfish,” coach John Gentile said. “I know that sounds counterproductive for a goal scorer, but instead of taking defenders on one-on-one, she's really learned to distribute, and she's getting more balls coming back to her in the middle.”
What's your secret to scoring all these goals this season?
When we're on offense, I'm usually the one playing up top. My teammates have done a good job at chipping the ball up to me in the zone.
Do you have a college major in mind?
I want to do special education. It all started when I was in seventh grade in study hall. A girl needed help, and I just went up and helped her out. I've been helping kids with special needs for about five years now.
What does Duquesne's coaching staff expect from you as a freshman?
They've had some trouble scoring, so they said they are looking for attackers. They just want me to come in and score next year.
What are you going to work on during the offseason to prepare for the college game?
I do speed and agility at a place on Route 19. I'll just lift and get bigger and faster there. I do indoor and outdoor track so that should help me stay in shape too.
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