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One-On-One with Senior Track and Field Thrower, Taylor Slaney

Taylor Slaney Transformation Tuesday.jpgPhotographs Courtesy of Pitt Athletics and Taylor Slaney.

Q: What has been the most surprising transformation over the past four years?
Slaney:
"Being on this team for four years with the same people you learn to develop your skill set, but more importantly you become a family."

Q: How has your mentality changed towards throwing from freshman year until now?
Slaney: "I have and will always want to win. I came in a bit naive as a freshman so I quickly learned that you don't always win and that was the hardest part for me."

Q: As a senior, what is the main goal heading into your final season?
Slaney: "Now that it's getting towards the end of the road, I need to get to nationals. The pressure heading into my senior year compared to previous years is much different.  Now as a senior, every meet counts more and more. It's stressful, but I work well under pressure. Last year, I broke a school record. This year, my only goal is to make it to nationals and to become an All-American."

Q: What has been the biggest surprise in your Pitt athletic career? 
Slaney: "If someone would have told me freshman year, I would break a school record and throw for 50-meters, I would have told them they were crazy. When I came in I expected to improve and throw far, but I would have never expected 50-meters. Breaking the school record was an awesome feeling. It had nothing to do with getting my name on some piece of paper. Personally, it was a huge deal for me."

Q: Personally, how did you acclimate to life as a student-athlete?
Slaney: "It was really, really hard for me coming in as a freshman and it still is hard for me. I have learned better ways to manage my time toward school work and being an athlete. I can never use being an athlete as an excuse, because we have the assistance at Pitt to be successful. During the season, we travel almost every weekend, but the time is available to get our work done. We bring our work with us almost any where - even our track meets, because sometimes that's what you have to do." 

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Pitt Women's Basketball vs. Loyola
1st Half 2nd Half Final
Pitt 5430 84
Loyola 22 24 46

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VIDEO: Pitt Football defeats Miami, 35-23

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Postgame Coverage: Pitt Football vs. Miami

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Pitt Football vs. Miami
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Pitt 14 7 7 7 35
Miami 3 10 10 10 23

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VIDEO: Pitt Women's Basketball vs. Radford Highlights

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Pitt Women's Basketball vs. Radford
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Pitt 30 42 72
Radford 17 30 47


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VIDEO: Coach McConnell-Serio Recaps Win vs. Radford

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Pitt Women's Basketball vs. Radford
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Pitt 30 42 72
Radford 17 30 47


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Swimming and Diving: Senior Captain - Jon Lierley 

Jon Lierley Transformation Tuesday.jpg
Glamour photographs courtesy of Pitt Athletics.

Freshman year until now How has your mentality changed toward swimming?

Lierley: "Honestly, I would focus more on the person in the next lane rather than focusing on myself. I would constantly think, has this swimmer next to me been training more than I have? You don't need to think about the other swimmers. All you need to worry about is the clock. The time is what potentially can get you to NCAA's, Olympic Trials and ultimately the Olympics." 

ekovq.gif
GIF of Lierley competing in the 200 butterfly. 

As a boy from the south (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina), why Pittsburgh? What was it about Pitt that made you choose to spend your four years here?

Lierley: "When I first stepped on campus, I immediately liked the urban setting that Pittsburgh has to offer. I'm originally from a smaller town in South Carolina so I was surprised by all the big buildings and the many cross walks. The coaching staff was awesome, and they were just like the coaches I had back home. The Pitt coaches are like my second parents and our team is one big family."  


ekogq.gif
GIF of Oakland. 

How have you grown as a student during your time here at Pitt?

Lierley: "The first semester of my freshman year, I was more focused on swimming. The academic center really helped me out and made sure I was scheduling time with tutors. I learned more about time management and how many hours I needed to dedicate to each of my classes."  

As a Pitt swimmer, are there any specific moments where you look back on and laugh at yourself?

Lierley: "Freshman year, I was the new kid in town. It was fun to look up to the older guys and try to challenge them a little bit. Now that I'm a senior, I've realized some of the younger guys are doing the same thing I used to do. It's funny to see them try and come after me."


Name the first one that comes to mind - best memory as a Pitt swimmer?

Lierley: "It would have to be my freshman year of the Big East Championships. It was hosted here at Pitt so it was a huge deal for our whole team. It was the last day of competition and it was my best event - the 200 butterfly and I had been training all year for it. I ended up swimming at night and earned fourth place overall. It was that moment - me standing on the podium in fourth place, breaking the school record and being first on the team." 

Jon Lierley fourth place.jpg

VIDEO: Pitt Football vs. Syracuse Highlights

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Postgame Coverage: Pitt Football vs. Syracuse

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Pitt Football vs. Syracuse
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Final
Pitt 7 10 3 10 30
Syracuse 0 0 7 0 7

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