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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Peters Township's Trevor Recktenwald, Oakland Catholic's Leah Smith

Submitted - Oakland Catholic swimmer Leah Smith.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Oakland Catholic swimmer Leah Smith.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Peters Township's Trevor Recktenwald (center) battles North Allegheny's William Rahenkamp in front of the Tigers' goal during the first period of the PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup championship game on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Peters Township's Trevor Recktenwald (center) battles North Allegheny's William Rahenkamp in front of the Tigers' goal during the first period of the PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup championship game on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Consol Energy Center.

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Brian Graham
Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 11:09 p.m.
 

Trevor Recktenwald

School: Peters Township

Year: Senior

Sport: Hockey

Claim to fame: Recktenwald led the Indians and finished second in Class AAA with 67 points (28 goals and 39 assists) in 18 games, surpassing his point total from his junior year by 30. Recktenwald was a key cog for Peters Township in reaching its third consecutive PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup title game. The Indians lost, 2-0, to North Allegheny in the finals on March 20.

You shattered your point total from last season. What did you do differently?

I worked on my strength and speed over the summer. This year, I really utilized that to produce points throughout the year. I think I tried to do more on the ice this year than I did last year.

Why was your line arguably one of the best in the PIHL?

I think because the three of us had really good chemistry. Each of us had a different role. Adam Alavi and Alex DeBolt like to shoot and go to the corners. I like to go to the net. All three of us having different styles really allowed us to be successful.

Have you decided where you want to attend college?

I'm going to hopefully play for the Johnstown Tomahawks in the North American Hockey League. I signed a tender with them earlier this year. I hope to play D-I after that.

Is there an NHL player you try to emulate on the ice?

If I had to pick one, I'd pick a Jordan Staal-type of player. He's solid on the ice and plays good defense.

Leah Smith

School: Oakland Catholic

Year: Senior

Sport: Swimming

Claim to fame: Smith ended her high school career as one of the most decorated swimmers in WPIAL history. She won the PIAA 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4 minutes, 36.41 seconds — breaking her own state record — and won the 200 with a time of 1:45.22 at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium. Despite taking her junior year off, Smith won 11 WPIAL and PIAA gold medals in her career.

Of all your WPIAL and PIAA medals, which one means the most?

It's hard to choose between my sophomore year 500 freestyle and this year's 200 freestyle. My sophomore year, that was the first gold medal I ever won. This year, I was just so excited to come back and swim for my team and get the 200 freestyle.

When you look back on high school, what moment will stand out most?

My favorite moment in high school swimming was the 500 freestyle at WPIALs. I was swimming with my two teammates and we placed first, second and third. It was our first year in Triple-A. It was a proud moment to have three swimmers from one team on the medal stand.

What are your plans after high school?

I'm training for the world championship trials in June. I really hope to make the world championships, which will be in Barcelona in July. After that, I'll start college at the University of Virginia.

Do you have aspirations for the 2016 Olympics?

Yes, I definitely do. I took junior year off to train for the 2012 trials. I trained really hard and finished pretty well, but it wasn't where I wanted to be. It was a learning experience, and now I know what I need to do to train for 2016.

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