The Forest Lake alpine team kicked off its 2012-2013 season on Friday, Dec. 21 with the Wild Mountain Invitational.
The Ranger boys took fifth out of 22 teams with 384 points, led by junior Jacob Bush, who placed 18th out of 126 racers. Stillwater finished on top with 443.5 points.
Also contributing to the fifth-place finish were ninth-graders Joe Alberg (31st) and Marty Longsdorf (37th) and sophomore Chris Wallner (38th).
Head coach Grant Lindemer said the boys nearly placed higher, as sophomore Riley Schilling took sixth in the first run but was later disqualified. Senior Jacob Schwanz took 60th overall after overcoming a near fall on his first run.
On the girls side, the Rangers repeated last year’s performance of eighth place with 367 points.
Lindemer said the girls were in medal contention after their first runs, but struggled to stay consistent their second time down. While 2011-12 state runner-up Minnetonka took first with 474 points, the Ranger girls defeated Suburban East powerhouse Stillwater, who finished in 10th.
Senior Kellie Welch led Forest Lake with a 21st-place finish, followed by junior Maddi Gemuenden in 33rd. Eighth-grader Sydney Norcross and ninth-grader Maggie Longsdorf completed the varsity scoring in 40th-and-55th place, respectively, while senior Melissa Mackey fell on her second run to drop to 64th after establishing a 35-place spot after her first run.
The Rangers resume action at 5 p.m. tonight, Jan. 3 with their first SEC race at Welch Village.