PG Athletes of the Week: Danijela Jergan, Dom Giannangeli

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Danijela Jergan, North Allegheny

Last week: Jergan was the all-around individual champion in the Advanced Division at the WPIAL gymnastics championships Saturday. Jergan finished with a total score of 37.900 and helped North Allegheny finish second in the team competition.

Check this out: Jergan, a junior, has excelled in her first season of high school competition. She didn’t compete as a freshman or sophomore because of injuries. She had a broken left hand as a freshman and a dislocated right elbow as a sophomore.

What did it mean to win the title? It was a really big deal for me because I was injured the past few years. Getting to go out and perform was awesome. Winning was the icing on the cake.

Did you do anything to celebrate? I hung out with my family. We went out to dinner at Olive Garden.

Where’s the gold medal right now? Hanging in my room next to my bed.

With the injuries you had, did you ever think this isn’t meant to be? I thought about it a couple times, but I love it so much that I never quit. When I was injured, it just drove me more and made me work harder.

Toughest part of being a gymnast? It’s a mix of having to balance friends and school with gymnastics. And also getting over your fears of gymnastics.

We hear your dad (Zeljko) has an interesting job. What does he do? He travels around the world teaching Croatian dancing.

Have you traveled with him? Every year our dancing club goes somewhere. Last summer, we went to Croatia. That’s where he’s from. That was the first time I saw my family in eight years.

Dom Giannangeli, Franklin Regional

Last week: Giannangeli posted a 4-0 record while competing at 126 pounds at the PIAA Class AAA team tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. Franklin Regional won its first PIAA team title.

Check this out: Giannangeli also had a 3-1 record in the WPIAL team tournament the preceding week as the Panthers took their first title. He has a 21-6 record and is ranked No. 6 in the WPIAL by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His career record is 40-16.

What will you remember most about winning titles? It was a great time, especially wrestling in the championship at both tournaments. The PIAA title means more to me, because of the competition. It was very special to wrestle in the Giant Center. I’m hoping to come back to Hershey for the PIAA individual championships. If I’m fortunate enough to qualify, I’ll know what to expect.

How long have you been wrestling? Since kindergarten. My dad got me into it because I had too much energy.

Most people might be surprised to know that … I am the owner of 13 pets (four dogs, three fish, two turtles and a few hamsters). I’m a pet lover.

Favorite food and do you get to eat it very often during the season? Crab legs. I can’t eat them during wrestling season.

Describe Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser in one word. Determined. Our goal was to win WPIAL and PIAA titles, and he made sure we didn’t accept anything less.

Who is the funniest player on your team? The whole team has its own type of humor. We’re always laughing, joking around, but serious for practice.

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