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Making a Career Change: Redbank Valley’s Madison Foringer Opts for Track and Field, Not Basketball, in College at Clarion University

Thursday, June 23, 2022 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Mike Kilroy

IMG_4203NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Madison Foringer always thought basketball was going to be her ticket to the next level.

(Photo by Madison McFarland.)

At a shade over 6-foot, Foringer was a force inside as a center for the Redbank Valley girls basketball team, averaging a near double-double and helping the Bulldogs win the District 9 Class 3A championship as a senior this winter.

But another sport captured the recent Redbank grad’s interest this season.

Track and Field.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Foringer made huge strides in the throwing events — the discus in particular — and parlayed that into a spot at Clarion University.

A surprising last-minute course correction toward her future.

“I was really, really set on playing basketball in college,” Foringer said. “I had a couple of different colleges in mind and interested. Then, track season—I had so much fun and I thought it was time to switch to that. I really enjoyed it more than basketball. I thought I had more room to improve in track.”

Foringer already made huge leaps.

In the discus, she finished second at the District 9 meet with a throw of 106 feet, 7 inches. It was only five feet off the winning mark of Punxsutawney’s Mary Grusky.

It was quite an improvement for Foringer in just one year. As a junior, she was fifth at the D9 meet at 99-10.

“I never thought I would go to college for track,” Foringer said. “I figured I would do basketball, but then I started to get better.”

Basketball coaches were still clamoring for Foringer’s services. With her size and ability in the paint, she was a highly sought-after commodity.

It was the Clarion University women’s basketball coach, though, who actually put the notion of participating in track in college in Foringer’s mind.

“I was looking at a lot of schools like Penn State DuBois — that coach was going to recruit me. And then I went on a visit to Clarion,” Foringer said. “The basketball coach there was talking to me about the track team.”

That was when Foringer realized she could possibly throw at Clarion.

“After track season was over,” Foringer said, “I was like, ‘Yeah, I want to keep doing this.’”

Foringer believes once she gets in the weight room and irons out some kinks in her mechanics, she can make an even bigger leap in the throws at Clarion.

That prospect excites her.

She knows success may not come swiftly. Foringer realizes she is still extremely raw when it comes to throwing and hopes to someday do some big things at the college level.

“Eventually,” Foringer said. “I have a lot of work to do. I have to build some muscle and work a lot on my technique. I think I can eventually get there.”

Foringer, though, will miss basketball.

The sport has been a huge part of her life, after all.

“I miss it a lot already,” she said. “Any time I have some free time, I at least try to go play basketball.”

In fact, Foringer hasn’t ruled out trying to play basketball at Clarion University, too, one day.

The door isn’t completely closed — it’s still open a crack.

“Maybe just a little,” she said, chuckling.

Foringer said she is also excited to work on other throwing events while at Clarion.

Her competitive fire has been stoked in part by her siblings. She has a younger sister, Mackenzie, who was a freshman at Redbank this year and had a big impact on the softball team as a pitcher.

The two are complete opposites, Madison said.

“It’s sometimes aggravating,” Madison said, chuckling. “She doesn’t do any of the sports I do. She does volleyball and softball. I don’t know if she’s going to go back to basketball or not. She had a really good year in softball. It was fun to watch her do so well.”

Madison also has a younger brother who is 9 and another younger sister who is only 4.

“It can be challenging,” Foringer said.

But Foringer rarely shies away from a challenge.

Her pursuit of a track and field career in college instead of taking the safer road and opting for basketball speaks to that.

“I’m just very excited,” Foringer said. “I can’t wait to see how good I can be at track.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

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