Alpine skiers close SEC season

The Forest Lake boys’ alpine skiing team closed the Suburban East Conference season with a strong second-place finish (3,284 points), jumping four places from last year (2,588). Stillwater clinched the conference title.

The young Ranger team faced three SEC meets out of the season-total five this past week, starting at Wild Mountain last Tuesday.

Forest Lake took fourth, led by sophomore Riley Schilling in fifth place and junior Jacob Bush in 13th. Ninth-grader Marty Longsdorf followed in 18th while sophomore Chris Wallner and ninth-grader Joe Alberg took 26th and 29th, respectively.

Thursday’s frigid festivities included two separate conference races at Afton Alps due to a makeup meet. The Rangers rebounded from Tuesday’s placement to tie East Ridge for second with 654 points behind state power Stillwater.

Schilling recorded another fifth-place finish while Bush took 11th. Longsdorf earned 20th for Forest Lake, followed closely by Alberg (23rd) and Wallner (28th).

The Ranger boys took second again in the makeup race, this time earning runner-up outright with 644 points.

Bush led his squad with his first top-10 finish in sixth place, followed by Longsdorf with another top-20 placement. Wallner came in 22nd while Schilling and Alberg took 26th and 29th, respectively.

Schilling earned four top-five finishes and one top-10 placement this season despite injury to earn a conference total of 462 points. Bush recorded 124 more SEC points than last season for a total of 431.

Longsdorf was the third Ranger to exceed 400 points this year with 407. Wallner accumulated 387 points, followed by Alberg (364) and senior co-captain Jacob Schwanz (303).

The Ranger alpine girls took fourth last Tuesday on Wild Mountain, edging out Hastings by one point.

Eighth-grader Elli Rodsjo led her team with a career-best 10th-place finish, followed closely by senior Kellie Welch in 14th. Junior Maddi Gemuenden and eighth-grader Sydney Norcross both contributed in 24th and 27th, along with ninth-grader Maggie Longsdorf in 36thplace.

At Afton Alps on Thursday the girls struggled in their lowest showing of the season, taking fifth with 544 points behind repeat-winner Stillwater (859) and runner-up East Ridge (824).

Welch led the girls in 12th place, followed by Norcross in 20th. Rodsjo took 32nd while Longsdorf and junior Sydney Halley earned 36th and 38th.

The Forest Lake alpine girls finished fourth overall in the SEC, adding 272 points from last season for a total 3,143. Welch contributed 444 points to the team total for her second-consecutive top-10 placement. Norcross and Rodsjo both finished in the top 20 with 400 and 393 points, respectively. Also breaking 300 were Longsdorf (342) and Halley (325).

Head coach Grant Lindemar said both the boys’ and girls’ teams did outstanding.

“This is an up-and-coming young team,” Lindemar said. “There is a lot of talent and youth and they have a very bright future as a dominant team. This is just the first step in their journey.”

Both teams traveled to Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik on Tuesday for the section race.