Track: Trost shatters record at 1A championship
WINONA, Minn. - Already one of the most accomplished distance runners in the state of Minnesota, Cannon Falls junior Emi Trost decided to change things up this spring.
Along with competing in the 1,600-meter run, Trost decided to switch from the 3,200 to the 800. The reasoning: it's more fun.
"I ran (the 800) for fun and I enjoyed it so much, I thought, 'Why not?'" Trost said. "My mom and dad really encouraged me and said, 'We think you'd be really good at this race.' ... It makes it so much nicer when you like what you run. I love the mile, I love the 800, and I have a lot of fun running it."
She also has a lot of success running both, qualifying for the state tournament in the 1,600 and 800 after taking first in both events at the Section 1A championship meet Thursday at Paul Giel Field in Winona.
Trost won the 800 in 2 minutes, 13.47 seconds, and she broke a 27-year-old section record in the 1,600 with a time of 4:51.00. The previous record of 4:54.64 was held by Blooming Prairie's Jeanne Kruckeberg.
By comparison, Trost's section-winning time on Thursday would have taken first place in last year's state championship meet by over nine seconds.
"This is how you want to do it; you want to peak at the end of the season," said Trost, who will go to her fourth state championship meet. "It's what you shoot for, to get your times down, especially towards the end of the season."
Lake City's girls track team had redemption on its mind Thursday in hopes of bringing some relay teams to state. By the time the meet wrapped up, three Tiger relay teams punched tickets to the state meet.
"Last year, we had four third-place finishes at this meet; only one relay advanced by time," said Lake City head girls' track coach Maribeth Kozlowski. "Our competition is great at the section meet, but we thought, 'If it's there, lets really go and see what we can do.'"
The first relay team to go - the 4x800 - was in third place in the final lap. But a strong late push by Morgan Dammann vaulted Lake City past Schaeffer Academy as the Tigers took first with a time of 9:58.80, winning by .06 seconds.
"All season long, her strength has been that kick," Kozlowski said of Dammann. "She knows how to click into it really well. She ran her best time of the season on the half."
Lake City's 4x200 and 4x100 relay teams also qualified for state. The 4x200 finished in second place with a time of 1:47.16, while the 1x100 ran a third-place time of 50.89, which finished .11 seconds ahead of the state qualifying time.
"We're excited; that was kind of our goal," Kozlowski said of getting three relays to state. "It's their meet today."
Zumbrota-Mazeppa sophomore Maddie Lindhart will go to her first state tournament after winning the shot put. On her last throw, Lindhart launched the shot 37 feet, 3 ¼ inches, setting a high-school record at Paul Giel Field.
"It's pretty crazy; I guess I didn't really expect it," Lindhart said. "It's a cool feeling."
With a wet circle and Caledonia/Spring Grove's Aly Folz unleashing a throw of 35-0 3/4, Lindhart hunkered down and clinched the section title.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, but you just have to let yourself relax and let your body do what it knows to do," she said.
Lindhart won't be the only Cougar going to state as senior Lucas Ziemba will go to state in two events: the 100 and the long jump.
Ziemba secured his first spot at state with a second-place finish in the 100 with a time of 11.59.
Then in the long jump, Ziemba was in trouble, sitting in third place with just one leap to go. But Ziemba saved his best jump for last, going 22-11 3/4 to hit the state qualifying mark and take second place.
"I honestly never felt anything like it before," Ziemba said of qualifying in the long jump. "Last year, my friend in the triple jump, Sean Adams, he ended up getting in on his final jump to go to state. He told us about how happy he was to get it on his last jump, and now, I'm having that feeling. It's unreal thinking about it."
Now, Ziemba aims to improve on his 10th-place finish in the long jump at last year's state meet.
"Last year, I was injured," Ziemba said, pointing to his ankle. "Sections last year was really bad and I barely made it. This year, it's not as bad. I can feel it when I run, but it doesn't really affect me."
The state track and field championship takes place at Hamline University in St. Paul, and starts with prelims on June 7 and finals on June 8.