Miller leads list of achieving athletes

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Miller honored

Laurel Miller of Bethel Park was named as an academic all-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The California University of Pennsylvania junior earned third-team honors for her play on the women’s volleyball team. She becomes the fourth volleyball player in school history to achieve this distinction.


In her first year as a starter, Miller tied for second in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) with a team-best 3.69 kills per set. She also led the team and tied for fourth in the league with 0.45 service aces per set. The 5-10 outside hitter ranked third on the team with 2.71 digs per set while tallying 17 kill/dig doubles-doubles, including four in the post-season. Miller recorded the most kills in a season since 2009 and tied the mark for the second-most services aces in a year.


Miller holds a 3.88 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) while majoring in computer science. She is a two-time PSAC Scholar-Athlete and earned Division II Academic Achievement (D2ADA) status last academic year.


To be eligible for academic all-American consideration, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher on a scale of 4.00 and must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution.


The daughter of Norman and Beth Miller is a BPHS graduate. She played basketball and ran track while also participating in the marching band and the Ways and Means club.


W&J duo named

Washington & Jefferson College seniors Alex Baroffio and Dion Wiegand earned spots on the D3football.com All-South Region team. Baroffio was a first-team choice at wide receiver, while Wiegand earned third-team recognition as both a running back and returner.


A Bethel Park graduate, Baroffio landed a spot on the team for the third consecutive year. As a sophomore, he earned second-team laurels, while notching third-team status last year. He is the first player honored by the website on the first team since quarterback Bobby Swallow and guard Matt Houy landed on the 2007 first team.


W&J’s career reception (269) and receiving yards (3,204) leader finished with 91 catches (second in W&J single-season history) for 1,051 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final collegiate season. Baroffio’s 8.3 receptions per game ranks ninth in NCAA Division III and he also is among the national leaders in punt return touchdowns (1, T5th), kickoff returns (29.2 ypr, 14th), all-purpose yards (168.0 ypg, 18th), receiving touchdowns (11, 21st) and receiving yards (26th).


Baroffio ended his years as a President with 33 touchdowns and 4,722 all-purpose yards (3,204 receiving, 664 punt return, 652 kickoff return, 202 rushing). Against defending champion Mount Union in his final collegiate game, Baroffio produced 12 catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns.


Over the holidays, he showcased his skills on a national level when he played in the All-American Bowl at the Mall of America Field at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. The game featured talent from every level of collegiate football.


Meanwhile, Wiegand collected his first all-region award after being named first team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference. The Keystone Oaks High School graduate enjoyed one of the top offensive seasons in W&J’s 122-year history with the fourth-most all-purpose yards (1,953) in single-season history. Wiegand also scored 25 touchdowns and tied Curt Jones for second place in the school’s single-season record book.


Wiegand rushed 258 times for 1,339 yards (5.2 ypc) and 20 touchdowns, while catching 22 passes for 263 yards and three scores. As a kick returner, Wiegand took two of his 13 attempts back for touchdowns, including a school-record tying 92-yarder versus Thomas More, which fueled the Presidents’ 45-21 victory over the Saints.


Burke named

The U.S. Harness Writers Association named Canonsburg’s Burke Trainer of the Year for the second time in three seasons. In addition, the Burke Racing Stable and its partners, most notably Mike Weaver and Mark Bruscemi, was named Owner of the Year.


Burke followed his record-setting 2012 season by smashing his own records again in 2013.


The 44-year-old Western Pennsylvania native became the first harness racing trainer in history to surpass $20 million in purses in a single year, entering Monday with $22 million. He also became the first trainer with 1,000 wins in a season, heading into today with 1,084 victories.


Since taking the lead role in the Burke Stable from his father, Mickey, in 2009, Burke has led all trainers in North America in both wins and earnings every year. Mickey Burke was Trainer of the Year in 2006.


Burke’s top horse in 2013 was Dan Patch Award-winning older male pacer Foiled Again, who at the age of 9 became the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown and also became the richest Standardbred in North American history, with $6 million in career purses.


Foiled Again won 11 of 29 races this year and earned $1.40 million, breaking his own record for oldest horse to have a million-dollar season. His wins included the Breeders Crown, TVG Free For All Series Championship and the Ben Franklin Pace.


Burke’s stable also included Governor’s Cup winner JK Endofanera, Milton winner Rocklamation, Monument Circle winner Dedi’s Dragon, Maxie Lee Memorial winner Wishing Stone, Quillen Memorial winner Clear Vision, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champions Charisma Hanover and Southwind Silence.


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Published Jan 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm (Updated Jan 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm)

Miller leads list of achieving athletes

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