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Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School's Michael Dowling has been voted Western Pennsylvania's Most Positive High School Athlete in the sport of boys lacrosse by Positive Athlete, an organization created by former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.

Michael was presented the award by Mr. Ward, along with 27 other winners representing a variety of boys and girls sports in a ceremony last week at the Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Strip District.

"This is the second year for the Positive High School Athlete Awards, and the stories of our nominees continue to amaze me," Mr. Ward said. "I was always credited with having a positive influence on my team during my days with the Steelers, but the stories I hear about kids like Michael really inspire me to be a better person."

Michael is the son of Thomas Dowling of Greensburg and Loretta Killeen of Irwin.

Details: http://pittsburgh.positiveathlete.org.

Antonio Palangio, 21, likes to throw strikes. While the Churchill resident does play baseball, he's a shortstop, not a pitcher. Instead of the baseball diamond, he scores his strikes on the bowling lanes.

The three-sport athlete (he played on the Woodland Hills High School golf, baseball and bowling teams) has been knocking down bowling pins since the age of 8. He admits to no formal coaching, saying he learned by watching the skilled bowlers play at the Bowl-A-Rama, the Swissvale bowling alley his father and his aunt own. It was enough to earn him two consecutive state bowling championships in 2008 and 2009.

Having unlimited access to practice his skills at the Bowl-A-Rama allowed him to bowl five or six days a week, 10 to 15 games a day. Eventually, practice gave him a perfect 300 score at the state single tournament in Altoona in 2008 and a four-year high school average of 216.

On April 21, Mr. Palangio's bowling skills were recognized when he and Mike DiSanto of the North Hills were inducted into the WPIBL Hall of Fame at the annual high school bowling awards banquet at Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon. Mr. Palangio, the youngest hall of fame inductee in the history of the WPIBL, was nominated for the honor by Chris Cherry, his bowling coach at Woodlands Hills High School.

Currently attending Robert Morris University, where he's studying sports management, Mr. Palangio says he's thinking of doing some Professional Bowling Association touring on a regional basis, but will pass on the national tours because they involve too big an expenditure of time and money.

"The day of the awards banquet, I played a doubleheader with the Robert Morris baseball team and hit a home run," he said. "Unfortunately, we lost both games, but I immediately headed for the induction ceremony later that day."

Among the 500 or so people attending his induction ceremony were Mr. Palangio's father, Anthony, mother, Mary, sister, Adrianna and grandmother, Vera Palangio.

The Allegheny County Health Department honored three students with awards for outstanding projects at the 74th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair held in April at the Carnegie Science Center.

The following students were recognized:

Lyta Nicoll, a sixth-grader at Montessori Centre Academy in Shaler, in the public health category, for a project titled "A Study of EMFs and Cell Phones: An Investigation of Electromagnetic Field Waves Emitted from Cell Phones as a Function of Distance."

William Hebda, a seventh-grader at Queen of Angels School in North Huntingdon, in the environmental health category, for a project titled "Our Local Rivers: Clean Enough for Swimming?"

Piyusha Sane, a 12th-grader at North Allegheny High School, in the air quality category, for a project titled "Reducing CO2 Emissions."

The winners and their projects are posted on the Health Department's website at www.achd.net.

neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland


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