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Valley spotlight

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 12:41 a.m.
T.J. Swigart, Burrell
Megan Paullet, Kiski Area

T.J. Swigart

Class: Junior

Sport: Swimming

School: Burrell

Report card: Swigart is one of the top swimmers for the undefeated Burrell boys team (7-0). He has qualified for the WPIAL postseason in eight different events.

What events have you qualified for?

The 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.

What were your goals heading into the season?

(Qualifying for several WPIAL events) sort of became a goal halfway through the season when I realized I could qualify in every event. I'm concentrating on the 100 freestyle relay. We want to break the school record. Another is the 100 butterfly. I'd like to try to qualify for states this year.

Is there a family rivalry between you and your cousin, St. Joseph swimmer Holly Stein?

I guess you could say. She's a year ahead of me. We both like to see each other have success. I wouldn't say there's so much of a rivalry.

Your mom, Diane, is a well-known swimming coach. What's it like having a parent for a coach?

I was not crazy about having a parent as a coach. She did coach last year. When she said she was going for the job, I said I didn't want her to. When I saw her last year, she did really well. I question if our home life and swimming life got mixed up. I still call her coach at home.

— Dave Yohe

Megan Paullet

Class: Senior

Sport: Swimming

School: Kiski Area

Report card: The four-year WPIAL qualifier and team captain is the leader of the 7-0 girls swimming team. She takes part in many activities, including a member of the St. James Youth Group, playing the organ at church, jazz band and high school chorus.

Do you have any free time and how do you manage all these activities?

No, not really. I spend the days at school then swimming after school until about 6:45 p.m. If I don't have to be at the school after that for something band-related I'll go home.

Your plans for after high school?

I've had a few schools get in contact with me over the past couple of months asking me about my plans after high school and swimming. It's an interesting experience. I didn't realize how important I was in the world of swimming, then I started getting calls. I've narrowed it down to three schools — Lock Haven, York and St. Vincent College.

How are your grades in high school?

I'm a member of the National Honor Society. I'm currently taking three college courses. It's a college in high school program run through Seton Hill and Pitt.

What are your goals this year?

Last year was the best I had done. I took ninth place at WPIALs and the top-eight make podium, which is my goal before I graduate. I hope to do that this year.

— D.J. Vasil

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