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Holiday starts the season strong

Woodbury sophomore Tiffany Holiday runs to a victory in the girls' varsity race during the Thursday, Sept. 7, cross-country meet at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia

Tiffany Holiday had an accomplished cross-country season last fall as a freshman.

But until last week, she had never won a varsity cross-country race.

Holiday crossed the finish line of the 5-kilometer race with a time of 19 minutes, 50 seconds for the first win of her career at the Dewey Minnaert cross-country meet Thursday, Sept. 7, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

The first-place time gave her a 10-second gap between the second-place finisher, Red Wing's Grace Johnson who finished just over the 20-minute mark.

"It was pretty exciting," Holiday said about the race, which was a personal record.

Holiday is the lone returning Woodbury cross-country runner who qualified as an individual for the Class 2A state meet last fall.

Holiday said she put on a few more miles in training over the summer to prepare for the season, which has helped her going into this fall.

"It was a little more scheduled, so we had a little more of a plan going before preseason," Holiday said.

Rounding out the top five of the girls' varsity team was Maggie McCarthy in 16th, Janessa Romain in 17th, Isabelle Browne in 25th and Annika Melander in 34th. The Royals finished fourth as a team.

The Woodbury boys' team also finished fourth as a team behind fourth-place finisher Grant Wittman, who crossed the finish line in 16:36.

Wittman had a 30-second personal record after he and teammate Peter Michalowicz decided to run with the lead pack of runners. Michalowicz finished seventh in 16:52.

"Me and Pete, we said we were going to go out with the leaders because it's a smaller race," Wittman said. "It seemed like a good race to do that. That's how I like to run."

Rounding out the Woodbury top five were Aidan Browne in 11th (17:06), Christopher Romain in 25th (17:45) and Joshua Baston in 42nd (18:26).