Each year, the Observer-Reporter sports staff selects a Girls Athlete of the Year and, unlike the boys honor, it's not always handed to an athlete who dominates the headlines.
The following is the list of past honorees since the award was first given in 2000.
2009-10 – ?????
2008-09 – Amanda Kennedy, Bentworth
2007-08 – Jenna Phillips, Washington
2006-07 – Paige McMenamin, Peters Township
2005-06 – Brianna Liebold, Chartiers-Houston
2004-05 – Ashley Young, Canon-McMillan
2003-04 – Samantha Slagle, Beth-Center
2002-03 – Stephanie Kuhn, Ringgold
2001-02 – Jessica Perry, Peters Township
2000-01 – Shellie Cotton, Charleroi
1999-2000 – Kristen Lancas, Ringgold
This year's list of finalists is unusual in that the majority of the athletes are one-sport standouts.
Jules Femiani, Peters Township
A Central Michigan field hockey recruit, Femiani scored the game-winning goal in overtime as PT beat Fox Chapel for its first WPIAL field hockey championship. Femiani also earned honorable mention All-American honors for lacrosse and was first-team All-WPIAL.
Ashley Morran, Trinity
Trinity's all-time home run hitter in softball, Morran won 2009 O-R Player of the Year honors. As a senior, she batted .430 despite constantly being pitched around. Morran was also the second-leading scorer on Trinity's basketball team.
Taylor Schram, Canon-McMillan
Committed to Penn State for soccer as a junior. Schram scored 52 goals as a senior in leading Canon-McMillan to the PIAA playoffs for the first time. She tallied 145 for her varsity career and Coaches’ All-State and All-American selection for second consecutive year. Schram also earned selection first-team All-American by ESPN Rise.
Sarah Shashura, California
From the tennis hotbed known as the Mon Valley, Shashura won the WPIAL boys singles title in the spring and qualified for the PIAA tournament. She lost in the first round at states but held a substantial lead in the match before tiring. A four-star recruit according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, Shashura is ranked No. 149 nationally.
Tanya Timko, Chartiers-Houston
Months after receiving publicity for winning the WPIAL doubles title with her sister Karli, Tanya played singles in the fall and won a WPIAL championship to give her district titles in everything but boys singles. Timko went on to finish second at the PIAA tournament. A three-star recruit by the previously mentioned network, Timko is ranked No. 202 nationally.