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Chrissy Monson

Posted at: 11/07/2012 10:52 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- What a difference six years makes.

That's how long Albert Lea senior Chrissy Monson has been running cross country for the Tigers.

"When I started out, I wouldn't say I loved running, but I loved to race," Monson said. "I've grown to love the workouts, and it's something I've found a passion in."

Last weekend, Monson wrapped up her cross country career at the state meet, and while -- in her words -- she didn't run well, she's matured, and now knows, it's more about the experience than the result.

"I went in with the mindset of it's my last shot at it, and I don't want to get so caught up in the race that I don't get the full experience. So I had a fun time," Monson said.

"She's been a tremendous leader for the last six years," Albert Lea cross country coach Jim Haney said. "(She's a) five-time state participant; four-time Big 9 champion; one-time section champion; so I can't ask of much more from Chrissy because she's phenomenal."

The three-time Big 9 champion isn't done running, of course.  She'll do track this spring, and she's got a number of offers to continue her career at the college level.

"Just finding that fit for me is what it's going to be all about, so I'm excited," Monson said.