Junior Daniel VanAcker ran away from the field to win in a race against East Ridge and Cretin-Derham Hall on Sept. 19.

The Forest Lake boys and girls cross-country teams took advantage of running the same course for a second straight week when they faced East Ridge and Cretin-Derham Hall on Saturday, Sept. 19.

“When we heard that we were running St. Croix Bluffs, the name put the thought into our head that it would be a difficult course,” Forest Lake boys coach Andy Richardson said. “We pictured a lot of hills, but last week we found out that wasn’t the case – and that it’s actually a pretty fast course. So we knew we wouldn’t have to run as conservatively at the start.”

Girls coach John Fick agreed, adding, “The runners should have been aware where tough corners and difficult spots on the course are, and that can help an experienced runner.”

East Ridge outran the Forest Lake girls 22-34, while Cretin-Derham Hall did not field a team. Eighth grader Norah Hushagen placed second with a time of 18:07.00 to lead the Rangers, while Jordan Parent (20:19.11), Annabelle Stang (20:45.67) and Amelea Hauer (20:52.88) took places six through eight.

“Last week Norah basically ran by herself,” Fick said. “This week she was pushed, and the result was a much better time. And Annabelle didn’t race last week, so it was interesting to see how she fit into the lineup.”

The Forest Lake boys lost to East Ridge 23-33, while Cretin-Derham Hall did not field a team.

Junior Daniel VanAcker won the race with a time of 16:25.44, while junior Ethan Sievers was fourth at 17:09.01.

“Daniel had another strong run to win,” Richardson said. “And from talking to the guys, it appears their times improved from last week.”

Both the boys and the girls will run at another familiar course this week when they host Mounds View and White Bear Lake at William O’Brien State Park on Friday, Sept. 25. The boys race will begin at 4 p.m., with the girls race to start at 4:45 p.m.

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