By Christian Dath ’17
Zack Forney ran the last race of his junior cross country season. Forney pushed through the season despite injuries, extreme weather, and a rigorous academic schedule, making it to the PIAA district 1 championship at Lehigh University on October 28th. Forney ran a 16:50, finishing second for Ridley and 122nd overall out of 382 runners.
At last year’s Central League Championships Forney ran a 16:31, running his fastest time ever. While Forney did not end this year beating his personal record, his results show promise for next year.
Christian Kahn, a teammate and friend of Zach’s said, “He had a great season and pushed through adversity.”
The extreme heat throughout the summer and early fall was a huge disruption in the team’s ability to practice efficiently. Workouts had to be cut shorter and water breaks had to be frequent to prevent dehydration. This ended up delaying Forney’s progress.
“It started out rough, and I had injuries. By the end of the season I improved a lot,” said Forney. While he did not run as well as expected, Forney gave his all and enjoyed the last race of the year with his teammates.
In addition to the physical difficulties Forney faced, he faced academic challenges too. Taking AP classes such as Calculus in addition to particiapting in Radio club, Ultimate Frisbee, and Mock Trial have added to a busy year.
The team enjoys Forney’s presence. He wants everybody to work their hardest but still have fun. Dylan Falkowski, captain on the cross country team, is proud of his teammate. “As a fellow captain I can really appreciate what Zack does for the team. He keeps pushing. Not only himself but the rest of the team and I just feel like that has a positive influence on the team and that was why we were able to come back and run a decent time,” said Dylan Falkowski, captain on the cross country team.
Scott Decker, cross country coach, is proud of Forney’s effort this season. “Zack had a tough beginning of the season with injuries, but he persevered through his challenges and ended up running the 7th fastest time in school history. I’m proud of the effort he put forth this year.”
If all goes well next year, Forney could be looking at qualifying for states.