Cross-Country: Trost wins state title, Lake City competes as well
NORTHFIELD – Emi Trost has run the gamut of emotions in her five state cross-country meets. As an eighth-grader, there was the excitement of simply being there, followed by that feeling of getting better when she finished 10th as a freshman.
Two years ago, Trost finished second to Blake’s Clare Flanagan, a moment, for better or worse, that the Cannon Falls senior would relive again in 2012.
That feeling off a loss would not happen Saturday as Trost claimed the Class A girls championship, capping a stellar career with the best of emotions.
“(It feels) amazing,” Trost said moments after she crossed the finish line in 14 minutes, 40.3 seconds. “I prayed for it, but, yet again, I was like, ‘God, whatever is part of your plan, I’ll accept that.’ So, obviously, it was part of His plan.”
No girl in Class A had been ranked No. 1 this season other than Trost, making her the easy pick to claim the gold medal at Saturday’s state cross-country meet at St. Olaf College. But Trost was among several competitors when the group came back through the starting area. But that would be the last time Trost would have to deal with any other runner as she pulled away through the woods.
“That’s usually when people who try to stay with you tend to get a little more tired,” Trost said. “I knew that, so I don’t even know if I consciously pulled away, or if I just kept going.”
But even Trost was feeling the effects of her speed.
“I felt tired, but strong. It’s a weird combination,” Trost said.
In the end, it didn’t matter how tired Trost may have been. She had pulled clear of the field by about 10 seconds, leaving a few hundred yards between her and a state title.
“I knew I had about a 400 left and a steep hill, but right about there, I could hear people cheer for their runner … and being a senior, I’ve kind of learned how to judge how far back they are,” Trost said.
As Trost came to the top of the hill that opens into the final stretch, it was just the Bomber and a tunnel of fans cheering her on.
A few seconds later, Trost crossed under the banner that said “Finish,” raising her arms before collapsing. Some event personnel carried Trost to the medical tent where she exited after a minute, cup of water in hand, state title under her belt and a wide smile on her face as she exchanged hugs with a dozen fans.
“There’s a lot of good runners out here, and they all worked hard pushed their best,” Trost said. “My time wasn’t exactly what I wanted. But, hey, that doesn’t matter in the limelight of a state championship.”
Lake City also had an individual in Northfield in Carl Kozlowski. The freshman Tiger placed 50th in the boys’ race with a time of 17:17.5. The Lake City girls team also competed, placing ninth with a total of 232 points. Annandale won the Class A girls team title with 85 points.
Sidney Renelt (16:04.8) and Liv Kozlowski (16:07.5) led the Tigers with 29th and 30th places, respectively. Morgan Dammann (16:29.2), Hannah Alitz (16:35.1) and Lydia Taylor (16:36.3) closed the scoring for Lake City.