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Butler County spotlight athletes: March 30, 2014

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 1:51 p.m.
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Butler bowler Megan Paul won the Western Regional girls individual championship and finished sixth in the state last season.

Tommy Pierre

School: Mars

Year: Senior

Sport: Swimming

Claim to fame: Pierre helped lead Mars to the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA swimming championships.

How special is it to win a state team title your senior year?

It was the greatest feeling ever. We have been preparing for that all year. To win as a team was much more special than any individual championship. It was our goal all along, and it was really nice to see that.

Mars secured the team title with a gold medal in the 400 relay, which is your signature event, so how great was that?

That was awesome. It was like icing on the cake. We haven't lost in that relay this year. We had a good shot of winning the team championship, so we had to be cautious and have safe starts. But, winning that event added to the excitement of the team title.

How was Mars able to win a state title with only six swimmers?

It sounds like a cliché saying, but we are bothers. With the six of us, it is so much different than having 20 to 30 boys on the team. I prefer a small team. I couldn't ask for a better team. We knew it'd be close. We would have been happy with a runner-up finish as well. To get the championship is awesome.

Do you hope to swim in college next year?

I am not really sure what is going on. I am still waiting to hear back from some of my schools and then I'll see where I am going to go.

Megan Paul

School: Butler

Year: Junior

Sport: Bowling

Claim to fame: Paul won the Western Regional girls individual championship and placed sixth at the state championship.

How happy were you to win the Western Regional championship?

It was nice. Last year, I got 15th at regionals and missed making the cut for states. I came in wanting it. I was joking with my friend (Hempfield's Jonathan Henderson) before that we were going to win. We both came out on top. It was nice to finally get a high school title.

As a team, Butler finished sixth overall after winning the state championship last year. Were you happy with that?

We did OK. We didn't do as well as we could have. There were a lot of spares missed by the team. Overall, we were the second-best team from the West at states. We can't complain about that.

What's it like bowling at the state meet?

I was lucky enough as a freshman to make it to states in the singles and team events. I got all the nerves out of the way then, and I've been getting more confident as I go.

How much do you bowl each week?

I try to get in about 40 games a week. Usually, I bowl about six days a week. I take a day off to give myself a break. It requires a lot of practice, and it's a passion of mine. I have been bowling since I was 3. I plan on bowling in college. I am setting my sights on going to one of the top programs in the country.

— Joe Sager

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