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Valley News Dispatch Female Athlete of the Week

| Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lauren Butler

School: Kiski Area

Grade: Senior

Sport: Track and field

Notable: Butler took first place in the javelin at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet April 26 and the Baldwin Invitational Friday. She hit a distance of 134 feet, 7 inches at the WCCA and a distance of 130-8 at the Baldwin invitational.

"She has been very consistent all year," coach Tom Berzonsky said. "She's held a pretty high standard and has been around the state qualifying distance all season."

Butler took second place in the javelin at the WPIAL meet last season with her personal best distance of 138-3. First place went to teammate Leah Ulizio, who holds the Kiski Area record of 143-8. Butler said that hitting the mark set by her teammate is one of her goals.

"I would definitely love to to hit that mark by the end of the season," she said. "It would be an honor."

Butler took up track and field on a whim. Hanging out with some friends after a track meet in her freshman year, she took a friend's challenge to see what she could do with the javelin. She hit 90 feet on the first throw.

"I saw her throw it, first time, and it went really far," Berzonsky said. "I told her to come out for the team the next season, she did, and the rest is history."

Butler will attend Allegheny College as an applied computing major next fall. She met with the track coach and also hopes to play basketball.

"I just want to keep improving, working on my technique, and hopefully, I can do well in the college system and reach a conference championship," she said.

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