Kate Pipilo

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Kate Pipilo charges up a hill during the WPIAL Class AA girls cross country championship. The senior finished 10th overall with a time of 19:54.

Kate Pipilo listened to the sounds of hard work. Their lullabies rocked her to sleep.

“My brother practiced basketball late into the night and I would fall asleep to the sound of a ball bouncing,” she said.

Pipilo’s older brother, Joe, was a four-year starter at Chartiers Valley. He averaged 18 points per game his senior year in 2019.

“I admired how much work he put in and I took that into consideration with my sports,” Pipilo said. “Honestly, I’ve had the best role model, best example when it comes to that.”

While Pipilo did play her share of basketball during her younger years, she left that sport to Joe. She focused instead on running.

“I love basketball to watch, particularly him playing,” she said, “but cross country is definitely more suitable to me.”

During the WPIAL Class AA girls cross country championships held Oct. 28 at White Oak Park, Pipilo demonstrated that ease. She breezed through the course in a time of 19:54 and finished 10th overall.

“The race went really well,” she said. “Some of the downhills were a little rough and a little muddy that you had to take the long way around. I did slip up a little bit. I was just trying to stay on my feet. At the end, I definitely felt I was 100%. I felt good.”

Though she did not earn a PIAA berth, Pipilo was pleased her efforts helped the Colts to a bronze-medal showing in the team standings.

North Catholic won the title with 74 points. Montour followed in second with a 77 score. CV edged Ringgold for third, 136-139.

“We were racing for that No. 1 spot,” Pipilo said, “but we were happy with third. We never would have dreamed of being this close.”

Pipilo has been a member of CV’s cross country and track teams since her freshman year. She said the Colts “have come a long, long way” since last year’s 24th place in the higher Class AAA division.

During the regular season this fall, CV competed in a section with Bethel Park, Baldwin, Mt. Lebanon, South Fayette and Upper St. Clair. They also competed in the big meets like the Mingo Classic.

“That definitely gave us an advantage,” Pipilo said. “We faced some tough competition, but I think it really prepared us. We were used to racing with those fast times and fast girls.”

Pipilo said her teammates stepped up. Abby Betts finished 16th overall in 20:45. Riley and Dani Thornton along with Eva Kulbago finished in the top 40.

Seniors Grace Strung and Tina Anderson also contributed for CV.

“The girls and I just wanted to go out there and give it our all because for some of us, it’s our last season,” Pipilo said. “There were some great runners out there but I am really proud of my girls and I’m leaving this season with no regrets.”

Pipilo hopes to continue her academic and athletic careers in college. Among the schools she is interested in are California University of Pennsylvania, Washington & Jefferson College and Slippery Rocky University.

“I’m looking at places close to home. I can’t imagine going to school and not running,” she said.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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