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Butler County spotlight athletes: June 1, 2014

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Submitted - Tennis-playing members of the Raymundo family include, from left: Raul, Josh and Jose.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Tennis-playing members of the Raymundo family include, from left: Raul, Josh and Jose.

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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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 4:48 p.m.
 

Julia Baxter

School: Butler

Year: Junior

Sport: Track and field

Claim to fame: Baxter placed fifth in the high jump at the PIAA Class AAA track and field championship meet.

What was it like going to the PIAA meet for the second year in a row?

I was a lot less nervous. I was ready to go this time and had a lot of confidence going in.

You jumped 5 foot, 6 inches at Shippensburg. Was that close to your top jump this year?

My highest was 5-7, so I was only an inch off. I couldn't be sad at all. I jumped a lot better than I expected to. The weather was great. It was so sunny and nice.

The weather wasn't very nice at the WPIAL meet was it?

The girls who finished first, second and third all got 5-3 and all of our PRs were much higher than that. The weather was really bad. We got to jump in the hailstorm.

What are you hoping to do this summer?

The basketball program is having a lifting program. I am going back to volleyball, too, in the fall, and I hope to improve my vertical jump this year for that.

Josh Raymundo

School: Mars

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Tennis

Claim to fame: Raymundo advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AA singles tournament.

In the PIAA Class AA team tournament, Mars made it to the semifinals. How great was that?

It was a really good experience. We knew we had the talent to get far. We had to put it all together. We worked hard to get there. We are happy with the outcome, getting that far.

How much do you think it helped your team heading into next season?

It definitely gave us a confidence boost knowing we are one of the top teams in Class AA. We are moving up to Class AAA next year, and we know we can still do well there.

You made it to the individual PIAA quarterfinals and lost to Wyomissing's Andrew Fick, but it was a real close match. How much did it help you playing him before in the team tournament?

I knew going into state singles it'd be a tough match. I had confidence I could do it. In my opinion, I feel like I am right up there. I had a good amount of chances.

How much tennis are you going to play this summer?

I have a busy schedule this summer. I have a lot of tournaments and camps scheduled. This summer should be a good one for tennis.

— Joe Sager

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