Troester’s medal highlights Republic cross country’s state meet last week in Columbia

Republic cross country coach Lexie Gallion with state medalist Gracie Troester.

 Brady Purcell’s 61st-place finish at the state cross country meet was the highest for any Republic boy since Phillip Canfield in 2014. (Photos by David Brazeal)

Gracie Troester broke her own school record and finished as high as any female runner from Republic has ever finished at the state cross country meet, placing seventh in the Class 5 championship at the Gans Creek course in Columbia, Saturday. Troester’s time of 18:15.7 was more than two minutes faster than she completed the same course at last year’s state meet.
“The past two times I’ve run on this course, I have not done well. So I was freaked out. I was like, ‘I really don’t want this to go as badly as it has other times. I just want to go out there and do what I know I can do.” she said.
With 1,000 meters to go, Troester started to falter, but after one runner passed her, she determined to hold her position down the stretch. She fought off one more runner at the finish line to take seventh place, matching the performance of Republic’s Sherri Dunn, who also placed seventh in 1982.
“It feels really great. I’m over-the-moon ecstatic about medaling here at state, and to do it as a junior so I might be able to come back and do it again next year, it’s a great accomplishment and I’m glad that I was able to do it,” Troester said.
Two other Republic competitors also turned in strong times. Kristin Probst finished 54th, shaving 93 seconds off her time on the state course last year. Brady Purcell finished in a tie for 61st in the boys race. That was the highest placement of a Republic boy at state since Phillip Canfield in 2014.


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