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A-K Valley athletes of the week: Riverview’s Ben Barnes, Apollo-Ridge’s Emily Bonelli |

A-K Valley athletes of the week: Riverview’s Ben Barnes, Apollo-Ridge’s Emily Bonelli

| Wednesday, September 13, 2017 10:21 p.m
Riverview's Ben Barnes
Apollo-Ridge's Emily Bonelli

Ben Barnes

School: Riverview

Class: Senior

Sport: Cross country

Report card: Barnes crossed the finish line first earlier this month at the Gateway Invitational with a time of 17 minutes, 33 seconds. He followed up with another strong performance at the 15th annual Red, White and Blue Classic by placing seventh out of 270 runners with a new personal-best time of 16:17.3 at the Schenley Park course. He placed seventh in the WPIAL last season. Barnes also runs track and field, where he finished fifth in the WPIAL in the 3,200-meter run.

Why did you get involved in cross country?

In ninth grade, I ran the 400 meters in track, and that’s when my coaches recruited me.

What is your favorite thing about running cross county?

My teammates and my coaches because they’re all so supportive, and I love running with them.

What are your personal goals this season?

Top five at WPIALs and top-10 finish at PIAAs.

What kind of shoes do you run in?

Asics and Brooks. They just have the support that I want, but it’s not too much support like the Hokas.

What’s the most difficult course that you’ve run?

Gateway and Indiana. They both start with a decent hill, and Indiana finishes on the same hill and it’s on a ski slope. I think I thrive on hilly courses.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

My coaches (Palma and Bobby Ostrowski) and Ben Johnson (teammate).

What three words best describe you?

Determined. Passionate. Scholar.

What actor should play you in a Hollywood movie?

I would say Will Ferrell just because I try to be really funny, but I’m not funny. He’s really positive.

What’s your most memorable moment from this past summer?

My team took a trip to Colorado and we did a 200-mile relay there. It was a really team bonding experience.

Where did you go in Colorado?

We finished in Steamboat Springs, and we went through Wyoming. We started in Denver.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

Art class. I like oil paints and water colors.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to attend a four-year university. I hope to stay within one to two hours of Pittsburgh to stay close.

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I really like to volunteer at my local church and the old folks home. I’ll serve people at community dinners.

Emily Bonelli

School: Apollo-Ridge

Class: Freshman

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Bonelli is coming off a four-goal performance in the Vikings’ 7-2 win over Section 1-A rival St. Joseph on Monday. A forward, Bonelli leads the Vikings with six goals through two games. She also is a member of the volleyball team, where she plays right-side hitter. When she’s not on the pitch or the court, Bonelli plays trumpet in the marching band. She also plans to play basketball and run track, with an eye on the 200-meter dash.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4.

What are your goals this season?

To make it to the playoffs and to go further in the playoffs than we’ve ever went before.

The Vikings have scored 16 goals in their first two games. How do you explain the scoring output?

The midfielders have been doing a lot. We just pass the ball up into the corners and take the shots that we can get off.

You’re involved in three fall activities. How do you keep it all together?

Just talking to my coaches and trying to plan everything out and the different times that I can leave. They understand a lot.

Your sister, Megan, is a sophomore goalkeeper at Marshall. What have you learned by watching her play?

To never give up on the goals that you set for yourself before the game, always keep fighting and to love your soccer family.

Megan was a first-team all-conference placekicker for the Apollo-Ridge football team. Do you think you’ll give that a shot?

I want to but another girl on my team, Mayce Anthony, is the kicker now.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Chris Hemsworth, Taylor Lautner and Zach Efron.

What three words best describe you?

Busy. Creative. Crazy.

What actress should play you in a Hollywood movie?

Jennifer Lawrence.

What’s your most memorable moment from this past summer?

Fireworks at Walt Disney World this summer.

What’s your favorite subject at school?


What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I have two horses, and I like to ride horses around my house.

What kind of horses and what are their names?

An Appaloosa and his name is Cash, and one is a Quarter Horse and her name is June.

Are they named after Johnny Cash and June Carter?

Yes, they are.

— William Whalen

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