Shady Side Academy senior Melissa Riggins is one of 20 winners of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL)'s 2021 James Collins Scholar-Athlete Awards. Each year, the league selects the top 10 male and top 10 female high school scholar-athletes of the year for this award, and each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship and a commemorative plaque. Scholar-athletes were nominated by their schools.
Riggins is a two-sport athlete who competes on the SSA girls' track and field and soccer teams. In track, she won nine WPIAL and PIAA gold medals in her freshmen and sophomore years, sweeping the 800-meter and 1600-meter events at the league and state championships in 2018 and 2019 and winning gold in the WPIAL 3200-meter relay in 2018. She currently holds the PIAA Class 2A record in 800 meters (2:08:86) and is undefeated in every race she has ever run in Pennsylvania.
In soccer, the center midfielder helped SSA to its first PIAA state title as a freshman in 2017 and a WPIAL title as a junior in 2019, tallying 61 goals and 34 assists in her four years. She earned All-America and All-WPIAL honors as a senior in 2020.
Riggins has committed to attend Georgetown University and will compete in both track and soccer for the Hoyas next year.