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Cross-Country: Strong run puts Trost in 2nd

Cannon Falls' Emi Trost (411) gets off to a fast start in the opening of the Class 1A girls cross-country championship race at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Saturday.1 / 3
Trost nears the finish line at the Class 1A girls championship race Saturday in Northfield. Trost finished as runner-up for the second consecutive year with a time of 14 minutes, 16.5 seconds.2 / 3
Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanamingo seventh-grader Skyler Jacobson (415) tries to pull ahead of Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI's Leah Jessen (292) and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle's Madelyn Zastrow (456) during the Class 1A championship race Saturday in Northfield.3 / 3

NORTHFIELD - Everything felt good in Emi Trost's race.

The Cannon Falls junior got off to a good start in the Class 1A state cross-country championship, and kept the competition in the rear-view mirror. And the results were readily apparent, as Trost ran a time of 14 minutes, 16.5 seconds, more than 18 seconds better than her second-place time at last year's state championship.

In fact, her time on Saturday would have won last year's Class 1A championship by five seconds.

"I didn't know how far behind the other girls were," Trost said. "I just tried to run how I felt comfortable and tried to have a good kick there at the end. I was real proud of myself there."

The only thing that didn't make an improvement in Saturday's state meet was Trost's place in the standings, where she finished behind The Blake School's Clare Flanagan for the second straight season. Flanagan, also a junior, took top honors with a time of 14:04.1.

Although the focus this year was to defeat Flanagan for a state title, once the two-time state champion got out of the chute, Trost wasn't going to be taken out of her race.

"I kind of went into the race knowing that Claire was going to come out fast, so I just let her do her own thing," Trost said. "I ran my own race and tried to feel good about my race, and it was amazing."

For the second straight year, Trost and Flanagan separated themselves as the elite runners in Class 1A, with over 28 seconds between Trost and the fifth-place runner, Esko's Marisa Shady, who ran a time of 14:44.8.

Racing in her fourth state meet, Trost admits there was some pre-race stress. But Trost held strong in her faith, which helped her relax and put on her best showing at the state meet at St. Olaf College.

"Having my faith just keeps me calm and not get worried or psyched out," Trost said. "I know it's all God's plan. I knew He knew what was going to happen today, and that was a comforting thought."

Over the last two state championships, Trost and Flanagan have developed a healthy, if friendly, rivalry. And with both runners having one more year of their high school careers left, Trost will have one more chance to try and usurp Flanagan as the top cross-country runner in Class 1A.

"On the race course, it's not a friendship, but afterwards, it definitely is," Trost said. "We both kind of go through the same things with training and we know how tough it is. We both understand the hard parts and the fun parts, and that's really cool.

"After the race, I told her, 'Good job, good run,'" Trost added. "It looked like she was hurting a little bit, so I just stood around and accompanied her. I know people stay around and help me out when I've had a tough race. She ran great and I'm proud to run with her."

ZM/KW's Jacobson finishes 75th

Running in her first state championship meet, Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanamingo seventh-grader Skyler Jacobson stuck with the middle of the pack, finishing in 75th place out of 175 runners with a time of 15:58.1.

Beating her state qualifying time of 16:01.3, Jacobson found herself in a mad dash down the final stretch against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle's Madelyn Zastrow and Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI's Leah Jessen.

Ultimately, Jacobson fell behind Zastrow and Jessen, who finished 73rd and 74th, respectively, with all three runners finishing within half a second of each other.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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