Woodbury cross country: Youthful royals finish strong at conference meet
In its tune-up for the Section 4AA meet, the Woodbury boys and girls cross country teams each finished in the middle of the pack at the Suburban East Conference championship meet on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Stacy.
The Woodbury boys finished in fifth place and the Royals girls team placed sixth in the 10-team SEC championships.
Woodbury totaled 131 place points in the boys race and scored 152 points in the girls race. With four runners in the top 10, powerhouse Stillwater won the boys race with 35 points. In the girls race, led by Bailey Ness' first-place finish, East Ridge totaled 66 place points to successfully defend its SEC championship crown.
Individually, Woodbury sophomore Taylor Voit led the way for the Royals, finishing in 15th place overall with a time of 16:13 in the boys 5K run. Woodbury seniors Sam Evans and Luke Wittman, weren't too far behind Voit, taking 20th and 28th, respectively, with times of 16:18 and 16:36, to be the Royals' second and third best finishers. Also, sophomore Nathan Orf finished in 31st with a time of 16:44 and freshman Nicholas Wareham took 37th to round out the Royals' top five.
Stillwater junior Eric Colvin won the race with a time of 15:15.
In the girls race, Woodbury eighth grader Lauren Smith was the first Royals runner to cross the finish line, taking 12th place overall with a time of 14:54 in the 4K race. Woodbury senior Darby Baranick was right behind Smith, taking 20th place overall in a time of 14:58. A trio of freshmen rounded out the Royals' top five as Divya Melachuri took 29th place in 15:23, Catherine Henning placed 43rd in 15:42 and Alexus Baumgartner finished 48th with a time of 15:54.
Ness won the race with a time of 14:29.
Next, the Woodbury boys and girls will compete for team and individual state berths at the Section 4AA race on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the University of Minnesota's Les Bolstad Golf Course. At sections, the top two teams and the top 10 individual runners in the boys and girls races earn trips to state.