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Valley News Dispatch Spotlight Athletes: Fox Chapel's Brandon Mitchell, Burrell's Melissa Mazzei

| Thursday, April 17, 2014,
Fox Chapel's Brandon Mitchell
Burrell's Melissa Mazzei

Brandon Mitchell

Class: Senior

School: Fox Chapel

Sport: Track and field

Report card: At the Butler Invitational last week, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Mitchell took home three first-place medals, in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.82 seconds, and the 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams. He also was a standout receiver on the football team.

You were on top of your game at the Butler Invitational. Could things have gone any better?

I feel pretty comfortable with my races. My team came together in the 400 relay and 1,600 relay. Everything definitely went as planned. I think I could've done better in 300 hurdles, although I did mess up on the last two hurdles.

What will it take to improve on your times that you've posted so far this season?

A lot of practice and a lot of breakdown workouts in practice, just drop my times in practice. At the meets, make sure I get through the race fluently without tiring out.

Have you decided on a college yet?

I'm not sure yet. I've been talking to Pittsburgh a little bit for track. I talked to Florida a little bit for track. I still have to get my times down and some more will come up.

Melissa Mazzei

Class: Senior

School: Burrell

Sport: Softball

Report card: A three-year starter at shortstop, Mazzei is one of the leaders on offense for Burrell with a .667 batting average and two home runs. She is 14 for 21 at the plate for the season.

If you could choose one thing to accomplish during your senior season, what would it be?

Probably to win the section championship. My freshman year, we were section champs, and we went on to the WPIAL championship. Sections would be a huge step toward WPIALs, and I think we can accomplish it this year.

Did you work on anything during the offseason to improve your offense?

I think the biggest thing that changed this year is I'm seeing the ball better as opposed to last year.

Burrell eliminated night games this season. What will you miss the most about those games?

I played since T-ball, and I love it so much. Also all my teammates and just the atmosphere in general.

Do you have any college plans yet?

I'm going to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for music education.

— Bill Beckner Jr.

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