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Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Greensburg Salem's Lawson Monta, Jeannette's Nicole Hall

Submitted - Greensburg Salem's Lawson Monta
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Greensburg Salem's Lawson Monta
Submitted - Jeannette's Nicole Hall
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Jeannette's Nicole Hall

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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 Andrew John
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Lawson Monta

School: Greensburg Salem

Sport: Track and field

Year: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Monta, who set the school record in the discus last week in a meet with Latrobe and Hempfield, broke his personal best in the discus with a toss of 172 feet, 2 inches and captured the title at the Mt. Lebanon Invitational on Saturday. Monta also won the shot put title (53-1).

“I was just thinking it was a good day. The rain held off. My coach, dad and mom were all there and all supported me,” Monta said. “I wanted to have some good throws and do my best. I wanted to pop a good one.”

What were you working on to improve your performance in the discus and shot put?

I have been lifting for the past year. I have been down on the track working on my spins. I'm just really showing up to practice with a go-get-it attitude.

Who is your track and field idol?

Reese Hoffa from the USA team. He has the kind of mentality you need. His mentality is to go get it and don't stop until you achieve it.

What were your goals going into the season?

My first personal goal was to break the school records in shot put and discus. My brother, Luke, has the shot put record. Also, I want to make it to states this year.

What is the rivalry like with your brother on the team?

I would say it's more of a brotherly love rivalry. He wants me to beat his record. He is OK with me beating it one day.

What do you like to do during your free time?

Fishing and hunting. I like to hunt deer and fish. I like trout fishing. I have been doing this ever since I could remember.

Nicole Hall

School: Jeannette

Sport: Softball

Year: Senior

Claim to fame: Hall, who has five hits and four RBIs this season, drove in three runs on three hits to help lead Jeannette (2-2) to a 15-5 win over Riverview on March 27. Hall, who is 2-2 with a 1.84 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 19 innings, struck out five while walking one in five innings in the win.

“I think we are playing well as team and our whole batting lineup is doing well, not just the top five,” Hall said. “It's very nice to have two other nice pitchers to come in and help when we need them, too.”

What are your college plans for next season?

I'm attending Carlow for nursing and playing softball. My mom's side has a bunch of nurses. I shadowed nurses at Latrobe Hospital. I really hope to make it there some day.

What were you working on during the offseason?

I have been working with the new pitching coach, Erica Bartholow, a former Gannon pitcher, to learn some new pitches right before college so I can get some more movement on my pitches.

What has she helped you with?

She has helped me with my curveball. I just started that pitch this year. It works really well, and she has been very helpful in the first couple of months.

When you graduate, how do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as a team player. Also, I want to be thought of as a leader who would try to pump up people. Finally, I'm a good influence and put the team before myself.

What would you want your super power to be?

I would definitely want the ability to help others around me. I like to help people on the team and help those that are down. I love helping them and picking them up. It's so much easier when you have other people with you too.

— Andrew John

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