Troester captures district title as three Republic runners advance to state

Brady Purcell, Gracie Troester, and Kristin Probst will compete at the Class 5 state cross country meet in Columbia after qualifying at districts in Nixa Saturday. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Republic’s Gracie Troester entered the Class 5 District 2 cross country meet as the third-fastest runner in the field. She finished the day as the fastest. Troester shaved 16 seconds off her own school record, earning the district title by defeating last year’s district champ, Ashlyn Smith of Raymore-Peculiar. Troester finished in 18:12.80.
Two Ray-Pec runners had faster times than Troester before the race began, but she felt confident she could win.
“My game plan coming in was to just go out there and run my race, and hope for the best. I knew that I could get them. I just had to just breathe and focus,” she said.
Troester finished 0.78 seconds ahead of Smith to get the championship. She’ll compete in Columbia at the state championships next weekend, and she’ll be joined by teammate Kristin Probst, who finished 12th with a personal record of her own (19:29.48).
“I ran about two seconds faster than COC, and I was able to save a little bit for the end… and I was able to catch the girl that I was tracking down the whole time the last two seconds, so that was pretty fun,” Probst said.
In the boys race, Brady Purcell qualified for the state meet with a time 16:21.28, finishing 27th. After being disappointed with his performance in the Central Ozark Conference race on the same course last week, he didn’t hold anything back, even from the start.
“I was just trying to not conserve at all and just trying to stick with the front couple of groups. I didn’t exactly do that today, but I still ran way faster than I have in the whole season, and just pushing myself through each mile and never letting up. And I was just trying to stay in it mentally the whole time,” he said.


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