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Valley News Dispatch spotlight athletes: Knoch's Preston Carlsson, Plum's Aaliyah Odom

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Knoch's Preston Carlsson keeps pace ahead of the pack during the WPIAL Class AA boys championship race Thursday October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Carlsson finished in fifth place.
Top high school sports
By Alex Novickoff and D.j. Vasil
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
 

Preston Carlsson

School: Knoch

Class: Junior

Sport: Cross country

Report card: Carlsson, who finished fifth at the WPIAL Class AA championships and 33rd at the state meet as a sophomore, won the season-opening Quad County Warm Up in a time of 16:39 at Harrison Hills Park, and took fourth at the West Middlesex Big Red Invitational. Knoch won both meets.

Do you have any specific goals you'd like to accomplish this year?

I definitely would like to win the WPIAL in the next two years, but bringing

home a medal from states is my biggest goal this year.

How did you get started in cross country?

I played football in seventh grade, and I didn't play that much, so I tried cross country in eighth grade and set the (then-)course record for the middle school.

What kind of music do you listen to while you are training?

I like a lot of Indie Pop, but right now I'm in to The Shins, I like their sound.

Your coach, Wess Brahler, says you've been known to come across some interesting finds on your runs. What have you found?

I've come back with snakes and a few stray cats.

—Alex Novickoff

Aaliyah Odom

School: Plum

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Report card: A team captain and quick forward, Odom has scored a team-high 10 goals for a Plum team that is off to a 6-0 start. Last season, she scored 16 goals and had six assists and was an All-WPIAL selection.

You tweeted about teammate Ashley Amato, who has nine goals, and yourself being a dynamic duo. Can you expand on that?

We are the leading goal-scorers and we are good at setting each other up for goals. So we call ourselves the dynamic duo.

How is the college recruiting process going?

I'm not sure what's happening. I want to either go to Pitt, Penn State or Slippery Rock. I want to major in athletic training.

Do you plan on playing another sport at Plum in the spring?

I might do track but I really don't know. We will see when the time comes.

Is it tough to balance soccer and homework?

I've always been like a straight A or B student so they are good.

Name a place to shop or eat that Plum needs?

Maybe Starbucks. It would be better if one was closer.

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