Ranger girls take third
Another strong showing at SEC meet for FL cross country
The Forest Lake cross country girls secured third place behind No. 3 (Class AA) East Ridge and Roseville at the Suburban East Conference Meet last Tuesday afternoon.
The No. 13 (Class AA) Rangers were led by eighth-grader Allison Bartlett, who clinched fifth place in the 4K with a time of 14:36 while ninth-grader Emma Benner followed one spot later at 14:48.
“Allie ran a typical Allie race, leading the pack, and Emma just ran fantastic,” coach Eric Kaluza said.
Seventh-grader Caroline Schoessow came in at 24th for the Rangers with a time of 15:22 with eighth-grader Maria Valentin finishing one spot later in 15:27.
Eighth-grader Isabel Leininger came in 11 seconds later at 28th while while fellow eighth-grader Miranda Overland returned from a foot injury to place 31st at the SEC meet. Eighth-grader Abbie Asperheim rounded out the Ranger lineup in 53rd place at 16:38. Though still suffering from tendonitis, Overland plans on competing today, Oct. 25, at the section race in Princeton.
“It’s different than if you’re in football and you have tendonitis in your patella, you can kind of relax that,” Kaluza said. “When it’s in your foot, every step is bearing two-and-a-half times your body weight. That’s a lot of pressure and poundage. But she’s going to have to tough it out and gut it out.”
Kaluza also touched on the depth of his squad, as Forest Lake finished the meet with an average time of 15:11 and a 1:02 spread between runners at the Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Stacy. The Rangers also had all seven varsity runners finishing in the top 53 out of 210 girls, a good sign heading into sections.
“We need everyone to do their job,” Kaluza said. “Time is completely irrelevant, placing is the focus. We need to keep the pack together.”
Kaluza’s strategy of teamwork continues to prove effective for the Forest Lake girls. The Rangers are hoping to make their fourth appearance at the Class AA state meet in five years, all under the direction of Kaluza. The coach attributes the girls’ progress to consistency in training.
“The girls are well-rested and healthy so we’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” Kaluza said. “The girls don’t like a change in routine, and the body doesn’t like change in routine, so we actually progress by not making changes.”
The Rangers will showcase that progress today at 2 p.m. at the Princeton Golf Course for the sectional meet. If Forest Lake qualifies for the Section AA race, the girls will compete at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Saturday, Nov. 3.