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Joyce takes second at State Class AA cross-country meet

Woodbury senior Marty Joyce placed second at the State Class AA Cross-Country Meet on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Staff Photo by Tom Carothers.

Another gorgeous day for at St. Olaf College in Northfield led to a glorious finish for Woodbury's Marty Joyce as the senior wrapped up his high school career with a second-place finish at the State Class AA Boys Cross-Country Meet in Northfield on Saturday afternoon.

"It's phenomenal," Joyce said after concluding his race over the 5,000-meter course. "I'm proud to finish second."

Joyce, who came into the afternoon as the third-ranked runner in Class AA, ran in the lead pack throughout the competition and was nipping at the heels of top-ranked Aaron Bartnik of Eden Prairie until the final 100 yards.

"I was just dead at the end," Joyce said. "I knew I gave it everything I had."

The Eden Prairie junior had just a little more left in the tank, taking the State title by just less than three seconds ahead of Joyce, who finished in 15 minutes, 58 seconds.

"I could kind of taste victory for a little bit there, but (Bartnik) turned it up coming up the final hill," Joyce said. "I just couldn't keep up with him."

Still, the second place honors were a welcome reward for Joyce.

"I'm pumped," he said. "This is five places better than last year."

Joyce's team and class mate, Ryan Ness, finished 26th in a time of 16:33.2.

WHS Girls

The Woodbury girls cross-country team, qualifying for their second-straight State meet and third in the last four years, placed 16th overall, led by sophomore Darby Baranick, who took 26th in the team competition and 42nd overall by completing the 4,000-meter girls course in 15:46.

Junior Lucy Evans also placed in the top 100 overall, taking 97th (58th among team runners) with a time of 16:15.9.