Forest Lake boys’ cross country places 36th of 44 at Griak

Rangers lose No. 2 Ebel to injury just before mega meet


Forest Lake sophomore Quinn Duffy keeps pace at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday. Duffy placed 243rd out of more than 400 runners in the 5K with a time of 18:49. (Photo by Kat Ladwig)

Kat Ladwig
Sports Editor

Forest Lake’s cross country boys placed 36 out of 44 teams competing at the 2012 Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday.

The highlight for the Rangers was the 18th-place finish by senior captain Jacob Jankowski, who finished the 5K with a time of 16:28.

The Rangers raced against more than 400 runners in the high school gold competition without the team’s No. 2, 5 and 6 runners.

“The kids could have looked at it like ‘oh my gosh, we’re going to get killed,’” head coach Deno Johnson said. “But they went out there and still ran pretty well as a team.”

Johnson was especially pleased with ninth-grader Tommy Babcock, who stepped into the No. 2 spot to finish 170th with a time of 18:08. Babcock replaced the other senior captain, Jack Ebel, after Ebel suffered an injury that will keep him sidelined about a month. Sophomore Leo Hipp came in behind Babcock with a time of 18:34 for 219th place.

“We’ve just gotta recover these guys going into next week at Blaine,” Johnson said. “Consistency has been a bit of a problem for us, so I’m a little concerned about that.”

Johnson said another highlight was beating longtime rival Andover by two spots and 38 points.

“This was the first time that we’ve beaten Andover in a couple years, so that was really cool,” Johson said. “We’ll see them again next week in Blaine and that will be another really competitive race.”

The Blaine Invite is Thursday, Oct. 4, at 3:45 p.m.