Cross country boys set new season-best time
The Forest Lake boys’ cross country team took seventh place at the Suburban East Conference meet last Tuesday.
The Rangers finished with an average time of 17:12 on the Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Stacy, just two seconds behind Woodbury and Roseville, who tied for fifth place.
Forest Lake had its best five-man time of the season between senior Jacob Jankowski, ninth-grader Tommy Babcock and sophomores Riley Schilling, Leo Hipp and Quinn Duffy. The squad’s time was a 27-second improvement from the Shakopee Invite a week earlier.
Senior captain Jankowski ran possibly the “best race race of his cross-country career,” according to head coach Deno Johnson. Jankowski placed fourth with a time of 15:40 in the 5K.
Johnson said Jankowski paced with the top finishers for more than two miles, and is looking for Jankowski to train hard going into the Section 7AA at Princeton tonight, Oct. 25.
“It was a fantastic race for him,” Johnson said. “It just shows that he can hang with the top runners in the state, so that gives him an idea of where he could be. We’re just looking to train him hard for the next two races to top off his closing speed.”
Babcock excelled again with a personal record of 17:17 at 33rd place on the day, despite it being a “different race for him” because of the faster first-mile pace, according to Johnson.
“It was a good learning experience for him, and he has a steep learning curve,” Johnson said. “He’s only a ninth grader, you know, and is the second-fastest runner in the whole school district. But he’s also a gamer and is always ready to go.”
Schilling, who has raced much of the year on junior varsity, showcased his improvement with a 17:30 finish six spots later at 39th.
“He’s one of our top runners and just has natural talent even without all the training,” Johnson said. “I think he’s slowly starting to grasp what his potential could be.”
Hipp and Duffy followed with a time of 17:42 and 17:50, respectively.
The Rangers travel to the Princeton Golf Course for today’s sectional meet expecting to advance to the Class AA state meet, held at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Saturday, Nov. 3.