Partyka, Woelffer win Run for Joe

RAPID RIVER – Dave Partyka of Manistique made his move with about a half-mile to go, then hung on for a victory Monday in the Sixth Annual Run for Joe.

Partyka covered the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 57 seconds. Escanaba High School sophomore Eric Cousineau, who led most of the way, settled for runner-up honors (18:00), with Rob Cavalieri of Vulcan third (18:58).

“It was beautiful weather for a race,” said Partyka, head track and cross country coach at Big Bay de Noc High School. “I felt I had a pretty good pace all the way through. I’m not sure what made the difference in the end.”

Gladstone eighth-grader Leigha Woelffer earned the women’s title at 20:31, followed by Brittany and Jill Richard of Garden in 22:04 and 22:36, respectively.

“I did the Cellcom Half-Marathon in Green Bay last weekend, and I think that helped a lot,” said Woelffer, who’s eagerly awaiting her first season of high school cross country.

“It seemed like this race went by so quick. I really wasn’t expecting to win. I had never won a race before. Yet, I think I could have gone even faster.”

The race, run under sunny conditions with temperatures in the low 50s, drew roughly 200 runners.