Alpine team sees promise in 1st SEC meet

Indications from the first Suburban East Conference alpine ski race are that neither Forest Lake team will be in rebuilding mode this winter. Both squads are without several key skiers from a year ago, but both have deep lineups with lots of youth.

The girls took fourth of 10 squads at Afton Alps last Tuesday, while the boys took sixth.

Seven Forest Lake girls finished in the top 50 out of 87 total participants. Senior Krista Kirchner skied nearly identical runs and took seventh overall with a combined time of 1:01.87. Fellow captain Kellie Welch, a junior, took 12th in 1:03.97.

Sophomore Maddi Gemuenden used a top-20 second run to finish in 1:06.92 and place 22nd. Sophomore Sydney Halley (1:10.53) and seventh-grader Sydney Norcross (1:12.07) placed 34th and 36th, respectively.

Also scoring points for the Rangers were: Maggie Longsdorf (47th, 1:18.58), Samantha Kramer (50th, 1:20.72), Melissa Mackey (53rd, 1:22.64) and Katie Goulding (62nd, 1:33.90).

It was the first varsity meet for Goulding, a ninth-grader. Mackey, a junior who is back after a year away, was in 37th after her first run and fell on the second.

Stillwater edged Mounds View for first place, while East Ridge also finished well ahead of Forest Lake in terms of points. East Ridge’s Elizabeth Koprucki won the race with a time of 58.30.

All 10 Ranger boys finished the race and earned points, despite several falls on the first run. Jake Bush led the team with a 24th-place effort, finishing in 1:06.31. The sophomore showed great improvement from last winter, when he took part in just two varsity races.

Eighth-graders Joe Alberg (33rd, 1:09.11) and Nathan Patterson (40th, 1:11.60) also made the top 40, and junior Jake Schwanz was one place back with a time of 1:12.09.

Zach Ochsenbauer (50th, 1:15.14) and Mark Herman (52nd, 1:15.14) posted solid runs, while captain Cody Eggers bounced back from a costly fall on his first run to place 68th in 1:25.06.

Chris Wallner (70th, 1:29.43), David Herman (71st, 1:30.93) and Marty Longsdorf (74th, 1:33.81) all had clean second runs after falling the first time down.

Stillwater won comfortably and East Ridge took second. Mounds View’s Nik Damberg took first place in 58.22.

The Rangers returned to action this Tuesday for a conference meet at Welch Village. The SEC slate continues next Tuesday, back at Afton Alps.