State Track: Trost secures state title
ST. PAUL - Donned in her Cannon Falls red and black on the podium, junior Emily Trost finally got to add some blue around her neck.
In four years at the Class 1A state track and field championship meet, Trost had come away with four second-place medals, including a runner-up finish in the 1,600-meter run during Saturday's championship finals. And in the state cross-country meet, Trost has finished in second in the Class 1A championship for two straight years.
But in Saturday's 800 championship, Trost finally reached the top of the podium, using a strong push late in the race to win her first state championship with a time of 2 minutes, 15.05 seconds.
Sitting in third going around the final turn, Trost saved one final kick for the finish. And as she crossed the finish line, the Bombers' junior held back joyful tears, being overcome with emotion after finally clinching a state title.
"That last 100, I don't know," Trost said, "it felt like God picked me up and carried me. It's just an awesome feeling."
Having her pre-race routine down pat, Trost and the rest of the 800 field was shaken up when meet officials at Hamline University opted to start the race early due to inclement weather concerns.
"You go through a plan; you warm up, you cool down ... you walk through it in your mind and you do that before every race," Trost said. "When they kind of throw you off like that, you realize that you just have to switch gears and calm down."
The top seed in the 800 coming into Saturday's final, Trost spent the first lap of the race trading the lead with Spectrum's Kayla Zimmerman. Then going through the final 200 meters, Trost and Zimmerman fell to second and third as La Crescent's Taylor Gibson snuck by to take the late advantage.
With her Section 1A foe Gibson holding a slim lead around the final turn, Trost made her push to regain the lead.
"The 800, it's so short, it really comes down to the last 100," Trost said. "Anything can happen, even in the back stretch. The places where you kick are different and I've had to learn where they are."
Trost's late push put her past Gibson, who finished in second with a time of 2:16.57.
Earlier on Saturday, Trost competed in the 1,600, hoping to overcome her state cross-country adversary, Claire Flanagan of Blake, for another state title.
Trost finished with a time of 4:50.82, which was an improvement over her state-qualifying time at the Section 1A championship. But Flanagan would not be denied her second consecutive 1,600 title as she broke a 27-year-old Class A record, winning the race with a time of 4:48.41. The previous record was held by Blooming Prairie's Jeanne Kruckeberg, who ran a time of 4:48.79 back in 1986.
"I just tried to run my race like I did at sections," Trost said.
After years of bringing home red second-place state medals, Trost comes back sporting some first-place blue.
"I got family here; all three of my brothers are here, and for everyone to come up and watch me means so much," a teary-eyed Trost said. "I could not do anything without all of them."