A-K Valley high school athletes of the week: Logan Parker and Kelli Galbraith

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 6:14 PM


Logan Parker

School: Plum

Class: Sophomore

Sport: Track and field

Report card: Parker (5-foot-9, 220 pounds) will make his first appearance in the PIAA Class AAA championships this weekend after finishing third in the WPIAL in shot put with a throw of 51 feet, 4 3/4 inches. Parker finished sixth in the discus with a throw of 136-10. He has a personal best of 51-5 in the shot put set at this spring’s Rock Relays at Slippery Rock, where he finished second.

How did it feel to finish third in Class AAA?

It felt really good, and I was really happy with what Idid.

How did you start competing in the shot put?

I started in seventh grade. I just wanted to try something new. I started lifting at the the end of my seventh-grade year, and my eighth-grade year I started to get really good at it.

How do you feel about your chances at states?

Right now, I’m ranked 18th in Class AAA. This year, I’m kind of looking for experience and getting the jitters and all of that out.

What kind of advice have you been given going into your first state meet?

My coach just told me to go in there for the experience, stay calm, be friendly and talk to other people.

How much time do you spend practicing?

Per day, I spend around two to two-and-a-half hours, four to five days a week. I go up to the high school and practice at the pits there.

What makes a great throw?

Focus, think about what you’re doing. As soon as you step into that circle, you want to blank everything out and remember your control.

Do you have any superstitions during the season?

I have two actually. From the beginning of the season, I don’t shave. I put sunscreen on once, and I didn’t throw good that day and now I don’t wear sunscreen.

What Pittsburgh area restaurant is your favorite?

Oh boy, I probably would have to say the North Park Lounge or Burgatory.

What do you like on your hamburgers?

Just about whatever comes on it. Egg, mushrooms, bacon, onions, just about anything.

Is there a certain college where you would like to throw?

I’d like to go to Slippery Rock for throwing and for nursing.

What three words best describe you?

Funny. Athletic. Smart.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

I have to go with history.

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

One of my hobbies that I do is guitar. Also people don’t know this: When I was in elementary school, for six or seven years I did competitive hip-hop.

What is competitive hip-hop?

It’s dancing. It’s an all-guys competitive hip-hop team.

What’s your favorite song to play on guitar?

I like to mess around and to play the beginning of “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”

Kelli Galbraith

School: Deer Lakes

Class: Junior

Sport: Track and field

Report card: After getting bumped late from last year’s Class AA WPIAL track and field championships, Galbraith would not be denied this season. She leaped her way to a third-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 8 1/4 inches to punch her ticket to this weekend’s PIAA championships at Shippensburg. Galbraith has a personal best of 17 feet in the long jump, which is also a school record. She also competes in the 400-meter relay, triple jump and the 100.

How did it feel to finish third in the WPIAL?

It was really, really cool, especially since I didn’t make it in last year.

How did you start competing in the long jump?

It started freshman year when everyone was just trying things and figuring out what they are good at. I tried high jump, and it didn’t work for me and I tried long jump, and it did.

How do you feel about your chances at states?

I believe I’m ranked 12th. There are a lot of really great jumpers. My goal is to beat my personal record and see where that puts me.

What kind of advice have you been given about the state meet?

Just that you go and you do your best, and you do what you have to do. With jumping, you get three jumps, so it’s important to have a clear head.

Do you have superstitions before you compete?

Every jumper has their own rituals. Almost every time before I run and jump, and I’ll jump a couple of times. You just got to empty your mind before you run, so you’re not thinking too much.

What Pittsburgh area restaurant is your favorite?

I’d have to go with the Texas Roadhouse. My dad and I have the same birthday, and we go there every year.

What do you order?

I either get barbecue chicken or ribs.

What three words best describe you?

Passionate. Dedicated. Perfectionist.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

That’s tough. I’ll probably go with AP Calculus.

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

My favorite thing to do is play piano. I’ve been playing since I was seven.

What piece of music is your favorite to play?

“Arabesque No. 1” by Claude DeBussy.

How long did it take you to learn that?

Some of the longer pieces take a couple of months.

What are your plans for college?

My mom is a professor at Slippery Rock, so my eye is on Slippery Rock so far. I may do track, and I may do jazz band at college.

—William Whalen

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

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