Chrissy Monson starts the 3,200-meter run Friday at the state track meet at Hamline University. Monson took 15th place with a time of 11:10.73. Her seed time was 11:11.92. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune
Chrissy Monson starts the 3,200-meter run Friday at the state track meet at Hamline University. Monson took 15th place with a time of 11:10.73. Her seed time was 11:11.92. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Monson takes 15th in first event at state

Published 11:04am Friday, June 7, 2013

ST. PAUL — Albert Lea’s Chrissy Monson persevered through flu symptoms Friday to take 15th place in the 3,200-meter run during Day 1 of the state track and field meet at Hamline University.

The 3,200-meter run kicked off the meet at 9 a.m., and Monson was scheduled to compete Saturday in the 1,600-meter run.

Monson ran her best time of the year: 11:10.73. She clipped her previous season-high set at the Section 1AA meet by 1.19 seconds.

“She finished with a good time, and her future is bright,” Albert Lea’s distance coach Lon Nelson said. “Since she had an upset stomach all morning, I was just happy to see her get through it.”

“Today, it just wasn’t my day,” Monson said. “That’s all right. I’ll just keep a smile on my face, because I truly am still glad to be here.”

Since Monson qualified for the state meet in two events for the fifth consecutive year, preparation might seem routine, but Monson said it wasn’t.

“There are new challenges every season, and Lon always keeps it interesting,” she said.

“We made it fun,” Nelson said. “We had music from the ’60s on the track, just trying to keep her mind off of it.”

In an effort to keep Monson fresh for the state meet and for her college career at Northern Illinois University next fall, Nelson decided to “cut a little bit of the intensity” at practice.

“We’ve just been trying to keep me healthy,” Monson said. “I’ve been training and nailing my workouts.”

Workouts are tough for Monson, with few runners to push her during practice.

“We can’t always end up here (at state) to run against these runners to really challenge her,” Nelson said. “So, I simulate that a little bit by running her with the boys, but it’s not like the real thing.”

At NIU, competition won’t be a problem.

“I’m ready for a little change to go mix it up with the big dogs in college,” Monson said. “I’ve got new goals ahead of me.”

For the 1,600-meter run on Saturday, Monson had the ninth-fastest time out of 16 runners.