The Ranger alpine skiing boys finished strong during last Tuesday’s Suburban East Conference Meet at Afton Alps with a second-place finish behind Stillwater, already beating last season’s top finish of fifth.
Sophomore Riley Schilling showed up to compete and earned fourth place, completing both runs in a combined 1:01.66, just 1.06 seconds off the winning time.
Ninth-grader Joe Alberg placed 20th in 1:06.50, followed one spot and .48 seconds later by junior Jacob Bush. Ninth-grader Marty Longsdorf and sophomore Chris Wallner also placed in the top-30 with 24th and 28th-place finishes, respectively.
Contributor Michael Welch also noted strong runs by ninth-grader Max Stangler (31st), senior Jacob Schwanz (40th), sophomore Nick Goulding (47th) and ninth-grader Nathan Patterson (48th) to contribute to the second place honors.
On the girls side, the Rangers climbed one place from their last meet to place fourth with 626 points, behind Stillwater, Mounds View and East Ridge.
Kellie Welch led the girls in 15th place in a closely-bunched field. The senior finished in 1:09.33 and missed a top-10 placing by less than a second.
Eighth-graders Sydney Norcross (1:10.96) and Elli Rodsjo (1:13.27) took 18th and 25th, respectively. Senior Melissa Mackey recorded a personal-best finish in 21st, while junior Maddi Gemuenden (31st), ninth-grader Maggie Longsdorf (32nd), junior Sydney Halley (42nd) and ninth-grader Madeline Broom (49th) all contributed to the team effort with top-50 placements.
Like many Forest Lake teams this winter, the alpine skiiers have battled illness. Head coach Grant Lindemer said his team has done a good job of getting back on the slopes, and that the sport relies on all racers to compete at their highest level.
“This isn’t like the 100-meter dash,” Lindemer said. “Every time the course is set up a little differently. We need all our racers to compete on the hills, because we don’t really plan on inserting or replacing skiiers, and it’s important they do well on all the hills.”
That said, Lindemer also mentioned his satisfaction with his competitors.
“We are right where we want to be at this point,” Lindemer said. “I am very pleased with their performance both athletically and mentally.”
The Rangers hosted an SEC meet on Tuesday night at Wild Mountain, and next travel back to the Afton Alps on Tuesday, Jan. 22 for a 5 p.m. meet.