cross country

Joe Tuscano/Observer-Reporter

Trinity’s Kaylee Foringer and Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak with their first-place medals.

MONONGAHELA – The form broke into the open from the tree-lined course and Jim Faiella smiled.

The runner on this 3.1-mile track in Mingo Park on this crisp fall Monday was Kaylee Foringer, a sophomore from Trinity High School who brought brightness to the head coach of the Hillers’ cross country team.

This lithe, talented runner would cross the finish line in 19:19, nearly 40 seconds better than Sydney Shock, as talented a runner as Foringer only from Peters Township.

“The hills were difficult, but I really pushed up them,” Foringer said.

These two were the only females to break 20:00 in the Washington County Coaches Cross Country Meet.

Foringer became the first Trinity female runner to win the event since Chelsea Sumney did it in 2008.

“Last week, I prepared myself for this race,” said Foringer, whose regular routine includes 40 to 50 miles of running each week.

Foringer got first in last week’s Mingo Classic and the Commodore Perry Classic in September. She will compete in the Tri-State Meet, which will be held at California University, also the site for the WPIAL Championships.

“Shock is pretty good. We figured she would be the top competition here,” said Faiella. “I’m kind of surprised by the margin. I figured Kaylee had a good shot. She’s been running well and it’s cool weather, which she likes.

“When she went out of my view, they were tied. When she came out of the woods, she had about a 80-meter lead.”

Trinity has had a couple second-place finishes in the past but no winner since Sumney’s third title of her high school career.

Foringer’s time of 19:19 was a PR and confidence boost.

“She’s coming on,” Faiella said. “She has run three invitationals and won them all. She’s come down in time for each one.

“Now she has Tri-States. You have the elite of the WPIAL coming up and we’ll have a better idea of where she is time-wise. The next goal is to qualify for states. Her time has to come to come down to the low 20s.”

Peters Township edged Canon-McMillan for the girls Class 3A team title and Ringgold won the Class 2A title.

On the boys side, Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak set a school record and came within five seconds of breaking the boys record time set by Ben Bumgarner of Waynesburg a few years back.

Pajak’s winning time of 15:46 was identical to his time at last week’s Mingo Classic, which he won by nine seconds.

“I’m extremely happy with it,” said Pajak, a sophomore. “Last year, I ran a 16:05 so there is a 20-second difference.”

Because this is Pajak’s home course, he knows all the little ins and outs. Still, a 15:46 doesn’t come along every day. Pajak, like Foringer, will run in the Tri-State event to prepare for the WPIAL meet.

“The hill there is very tough,” said Pajak, who is ranked second in the nation for sophomores and fifth overall. “It’s a very hard course compared to this.”

Canon-McMillan won the boys team title in Class AAA and Ringgold took the Class AA team title.

Assistant Sports Editor

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling.

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