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The Athletes of the Week - one boy and one girl - are chosen from teams in the WPIAL and City League by the Post-Gazette scholastic sports staff.

Tyler Reed, Thomas Jefferson - Jocelyn Lindsay, Waynesburg

Thursday, May 25, 2000

-- By Mike White

Tyler Reed

SCHOOL: Thomas Jefferson

WHO IS HE? A 6-foot-4 1/2, 302-pound junior who is considered one of the best football prospects in the state. He also is a champion shot-putter.

LAST WEEK: Reed won the WPIAL Class AAA shot put championship last Thursday with a throw of 54 feet, 10 inches. It was 8 inches better than his previous personal best.

CAREER: Last year was the first time Reed competed in the shot put. He finished fourth at the WPIAL championship.

A CHANGE OF PACE: Reed is a dominating lineman in football. Competing in the shot put is quite different. "But I really enjoy the shot put," he said. "You slow down and learn a little technique rather than just go, go, go like you're supposed to in football."

ABOUT THE PIAA MEET: Reed is seeded third for the PIAA Class AAA championship meet tomorrow and Saturday at Shippensburg University. North Penn's Chris McKelvy is first at 55-93/4 and Cumberland Valley's Michael Stellefson second at 55-81/2. McKelvy is a Penn State football recruit.

ABOUT RECRUITING: Numerous Division I colleges have offered Reed a football scholarship. He made unofficial visits to Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Pitt. He also plans to visit Tennessee and possibly a few other schools this summer. He said he doesn't have a list of favorite schools and probably won't make a verbal commitment until after his senior season. But he added, "I'm kind of leaning toward going somewhere in the Big Ten Conference."

While Ohio State, Michigan, Pitt and many others have offered scholarships, Penn State has not.

"I find it a little odd, but it doesn't really bother me that much," Reed said. "My dad has talked to Penn State. They're saying that they want to wait and maybe offer kids who they can definitely get a verbal commitment from."

Reed is academically qualified to be eligible as a freshman. He recently scored 1,120 on the SAT.

HE CAN RUN, TOO: Reed is extremely agile for his size. He beat one of Thomas Jefferson's top sprinters in a 100-meter race this spring.

COACHES COMMENT: Thomas Jefferson track coach Chuck Stout has been impressed with Reed's athletic ability as well as his attitude.

"He is obviously very strong, you can see that by just looking at him. But he is an amazing athlete with a lot of quickness and finesse you wouldn't associate with a guy of his size. When he first began throwing the shot, he tried to overpower it and rely on his muscles. However, he watched films of shotputters and has worked very hard on his technique, so that's why he has been able to improve so much in a short period of time. He wants to learn, he wants to work hard and he has the physical ability -- that's a coaches a dream."

-- By Mike White

Jocelyn Lindsay

SCHOOL: Waynesburg

WHO IS SHE? A 5-foot-5 sophomore who is a pole-vaulter for the Raiders' track team.

SEASON: Lindsay has established herself as the top girls' pole-vaulter in the state. She won the WPIAL Class AA championship with a vault of 12-5. It was not only a meet record, but also a WPIAL record for a girl. She also won first place at the Baldwin Invitational (12-0) and finished third at the Tri-State Coaches meet (10-6) in February. She vaulted 10-5 at the U.S. Track and Field Association's Nike National Invitational in March in Bloomington, Ind.

CAREER: Lindsay won the inaugural PIAA Class AA girls' championship last year with a vault of 11-0. She also won the WPIAL title last year.

LOOKING AHEAD: Lindsay's vault at the WPIAL (12-5) meet is the best in the PIAA by a girl this year, and she narrowly missed on three attempts at 13-2, which would have given her a national record. She said she will be looking for that mark at the PIAA meet this weekend and has been clearing 13-0 consistently in practices.

FORMER GYMNAST: Lindsay runs the 100 and 200 in dual meets, but she found out about the girls' pole vault before last season and, at the urging of the male pole-vaulters, decide to give it a try. Since she had a background in gymnastics, she had experience falling and tumbling, so the fear factor which plagues many new pole-vaulters was not an issue with her. At 130 pounds, Lindsay has exceptional strength, speed and agility which help propel her in the air for the event.

ACCIDENT: Last year at the Junior National Olympics in Omaha, Neb., Lindsay's pole broke in the middle of her jump, and she cut her head on the jagged edge of the pole. The cut required one staple but didn't deter her from getting back up and competing again within a few weeks. She said it helped her be more focused, which is what she termed the most important aspect of the event. She will try again at the Junior National Olympics in July.

-- By Paul Zeise

More Athletes of the Week

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