Why Tri?

Alyssa Gallagher, Sports Editor

If you think playing one sport takes a lot of time and effort, imagine playing three.  Believe it or not, several athletes at Knoch have taken on this challenge.  Let’s take a look at some of Knoch High School’s triathletes!


Ava Santora, Junior

This is Santora’s first year as a triathlete.  She plays tennis, runs cross country, and does track.  She formerly played basketball and volleyball in middle school.  She’s certainly played her fair share of sports!

Santora said that although she is the best at cross country, she has more awards for tennis.  The tennis team has brought home a lot of hardware in the last couple of years, and Santora has contributed to the winnings.  Despite that, she loves running.

“Running is my favorite thing to do other than sleep.  It keeps me from losing my mind,” she said.

What makes someone want to play three sports?  For Santora, her passion for every sport is too great to give up.

“I love all the sports I do and refuse to quit after putting in a lot of time and effort over the years,” she said.


Karlee Buterbaugh, Sophomore

Buterbaugh has been a triathlete for two years, although this year she’s been sidelined with ACL surgery recovery.  Still, she has found ways to be active in the sports she played last year.  She helps at volleyball, basketball, and track practice.  

“It’s frustrating because I am used to playing all the time.  I went from 100% to absolutely nothing,” Buterbaugh said.  

Although she does a lot of watching nowadays, Buterbaugh loves seeing her teammates play.  “It’s very enjoyable watching everyone improve and to support them as they get better,” Buterbaugh said.

Last year, Buterbaugh joined track and had an impressive season.  This is the sport she has been told she is the best at.  As a freshman, she was five feet off the school record and placed 3rd in WPIALs.  Unfortunately, she tore her ACL right before she could compete.  

The friendships she has formed from playing sports and the desire to stay busy have contributed to Buterbuagh’s motivation to play three sports.  

“I use a bad day as my motivation for practice and push to work hard,” Buterbaugh said.

In the past, she has played softball, baseball, cheer, and skied.  She has quite the resume of sports!


Allison Smith, Sophomore

Like Santora, this is Smith’s first year as a triathlete.  She swims and runs track and cross country.  She began running cross country this year, but had been swimming and running track before.  

Smith has been told that of all her sports, she is the best at swimming.  It also happens to be her favorite sport.

“I’ve done it (swimming) my whole life,” Smith said.

Smith decided to play three sports to learn how to use time management skills.  She believes that the sports she plays benefit each other, which helps her during every season.  If nothing else, she’s getting her fair share of cardio with swimming and running.  

Besides these three sports, Smith has also danced.  It’s no wonder she takes on so much, as she loves to participate in different activities.

“Be involved!  Do what you can to be a part of something!,” Smith said.


Jay Allen, Senior

Unlike our other triathletes who have only played their sports together for a year or two, Allen has been a triathlete all four years of high school.  He plays soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.  He was also a team captain on all these sports this season.

Allen claims he’s the best at soccer.  Despite that, lacrosse has won him over.

“I get to play with some of my best friends and it’s my favorite to play,” Allen said.

He decided to play three sports to fill his time.  Allen likes to stay busy, and playing several sports is an easy way to do it.  He’s occupied for most of the year practicing and playing.

“When I get bored with one sport, I just play a different one,” Allen said. 

Other than his three current sports, Allen hasn’t played anything else.  Once, his friend and tennis star Ally Bauer tried to teach him tennis.  Apparently, it did not go very well.

“He doesn’t listen ever,” Bauer said.

Maybe he should leave the tennis to Bauer.