ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Tabor College cross-country coach Karol Hunt and track coach Dave Kroeker couldn’t be happier that Angie Jost carried on the tradition of Jost children continuing their education at Tabor.
Jost, a three-time All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference cross-country runner and school record holder in track, is off to a strong start for the 2004 cross country season with a first-place finish at the Friends University meet Sept. 10.
“Angie has been a dream runner for me,” Hunt said. “It’s been a good four years and I’m really going to miss her.”
Jost is the daughter of Jim and Colleene Jost, who now live in Tualatin, Ore. But Jost is a native of Colorado Springs, Colo. She attended Coronado High School there and competed in the track, cross country and basketball for three years.
While in high school, Jost was a member of the state championship 4×800 relay team and numerous other teams that competed for state titles.
The youngest of three children, Jost has an older sister Jessica, and an older brother, Jeremy. Jeremy also ran cross country at Tabor.
“I’ve been watching Angie run ever since she was in middle school,” Hunt said. “So it came as no surprise to me the kind of runner she was when she got here and the success she’s had at Tabor College.”
Jost’s grandparents, Marvin and Rosella Jost, live in Hillsboro.
“I’m their ninth grandchild who has attended Tabor,” Angie said. “Coaches Hunt and Kroeker kind of recruited me, but I already knew about the school.
“I came here mainly because of the quality of education and the family atmosphere that’s offered here.”
During her first year as a Bluejay, Jost won four cross-country races.
“Running in high school in Colorado, I was conditioned in the higher altitude,” Jost said. “I found when I got here I could go a whole lot farther than I could running at 6,000 feet above sea level. That training has really helped me run at Tabor.”
Although Jost didn’t capture any individual titles during her sophomore and junior years, she really didn’t mind.
“For me, it’s not so much going out to win a race but just to run as well as I can that matters most,” she said. “I just give God the glory and know he’ll place me where he wants me to finish.”
Jost says hearing personal accolades still feels foreign.
“I still have a hard time accepting people commenting on how good a runner I am,” she said. “I just want to be humble. I really don’t go out looking to win every single race-I just want to go out and have fun and give God the glory.”
It’s no coincidence Jost has been successful at Tabor. Her natural ability, combined with a robust work ethic, has given Jost an edge.
“I ran the most I’ve ever ran this summer-over 450 miles,” she said. “The previous two summers I put in about 400 miles each.”
Hunt said Jost’s determination and dedication put her in a class of her own.
“Her strongest attribute is her work ethic,” Hunt said. “She ran 450 miles and that’s the most any female has ever ran for me in the summer. The workout program I give the runners schedules them to run 250 miles.”
Jost said she approaches her 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race without much fanfare.
“My motivation is just to finish,” she said. “I don’t really think about anything when I’m running other than getting to the finish line.”
Jost’s primary race strategy is to avoid starting too fast.
“I don’t like to lead a race,” she said. “At Friends, I led from start to finish and that really felt awkward. I like to just hang around in the top five and have a little kick at the end.
“I try not to go out too fast-I want my times to be consistent over the three miles and not have one mile faster than the others.”
During the season, Jost said she and her teammates run around 25 to 30 miles per week.
“Compared to high school, I’m having a lot more fun because this isn’t nearly as demanding,” she said.
Whether it’s superstition or sound nutrition, Jost said her race day breakfast menu doesn’t vary.
“I eat pancakes with bananas on them,” she said. “I’ve done that ever since I was in middle school and I don’t want to break that routine.”
Hydration is important to a distance runner, especially in hot weather. Jost said she drinks two glasses of water at each meal and drinks more throughout the day.
“But I like running in cold weather best,” she said. “I seem to do better, maybe because it reminds me of Colorado. I can always put more clothes on to keep warm.”
Jost said her individual goal is to finish in the top 20 at regionals, a feat she accomplished last season. Team goals include a top-three KCAC finish.
“But I just really want to enjoy my final year and be a team player and encourage the others,” she said. “It really doesn’t matter to me if I finish as a four-time All-KCAC runner or not.
“Wherever God wants me is where I’ll finish,” she added. “I’ve thought about winning conference, but not really very much.”
Being a good leader on a young team is important for Jost.
“I try to show the younger women they need to be able to use their abilities the best way possible,” she said. “I think I can show them they don’t need to put so much pressure on themselves.”
Hunt said Jost is a leader by example.
“She’s a team person even though she has the ability she does,” Hunt said. “She’s a total team player and her presence here has really jumped up the quality of our program.”
Jost said the program is headed in the right direction.
“With all the new women coming in who are really good, I’m thankful someone will be able to take over and continue the Tabor tradition,” she said.
On the track, Jost competes in the steeple chase, 1,500 and 3,000 meters, as well as the 4×800 and 4×400. Her name is in the Tabor record books for the steeple chase, 3,000 and 4×800.
An accounting major, Jost is on track to graduate in May.
“Right after college I’m looking at going on a short mission trip, possibly to New Zealand, Norway or Costa Rica,” she said. “After that, I hope to come back and get a job working in a bank or in school admissions and getting into coaching-I’m a people person.
“I don’t care where I work, though,” she added. “I’ll go wherever there’s a job.”
Now on the home stretch of her college career, Jost said the time has gone quickly.
“I’m going to miss Tabor so much,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed every year and I have no regrets.
“I’ll remember all the friendships I’ve made and my spiritual growth while I was here the most,” she added. “I didn’t expect to do this well at Tabor. I thank God for the ability I’ve been given because he’s brought me through this.”