Hello DASH families,

The DASH team took a road trip up to Eau Claire last Saturday to compete in the Homeschool Championship at the picturesque Hickory Hills Golf Course. The cool, not too windy, weather gave our 35 athletes on hand an ideal setting to post some fast end-of-season times, and a chance to see how we stack up against our homeschool rivals from across the state.

The national anthem was sung, and then the high school girls were rushed to the start line with little time to get ready. Abby Chu and Kayla Bruton went out fast and got in good position in the first loop, but it did not take long for the favored Homeschool Eagles to take control of the race. It was soon apparent that the home Chippewa Valley team would be the team we would need to hold off. Abby Chu settled into the 4th spot early and gave chase to the leaders through the course. She held her spot to the end, and raced in with a personal best 21:54. Well done. Kayla Bruton struggled through the middle of the course, but came on at the end to move up to 6th overall. We had our first two girls in, but then Chippewa Valley’s first two were seen passing an Eagle at the finish to move up into 9th and 10th. Stephanie Chu had a big day as our 3rd scorer coming in with a personal best 22:28 12th place finish, and two spots ahead of the next Chippewa girl. Then the 4th Chippewa Valley girl edged another Eagle to finish two spots ahead of our 4th runner. The race was staying close. Faith Caspers had her best race of the year by over a minute with her 23:31 time, and may have saved the day for us as she kept Chippewa’s 5th girl just behind her through the course. Now we just needed our 5th girl to hit the finish line without too big of a gap and that’s what we got. Eight seconds is all it took for Alivia Kempf to charge in with a 23:46 followed closely by Katie Gorectke’s personal record 23:49. The Chippewa Valley team gave us a great race, but our girls kept things in hand the whole way. The 2nd place plaque would be ours. Jessy Homa posted a season best 25:45. Jessy really finished the season strong despite running with ankle issues. Emma Taylor was the next runner in with a 26:04. Unfortunately I had to keep my attention on the racing ahead of her and couldn’t help push her along. Ella Johnson never really got going this time. Maybe she got stuck in the wrong hotel room. Junior Katrina Lipski finished up her best high school year, posting a season best 28:14. The girls met the coach’s high expectations, and they really needed to to place in the top-2.

Drake Hacker, Brian Durbin, and Caleb Schaber stayed close through the first mile of the high school boys race, but as it was in the girls race, it did not take long to see that we would be shooting for 2nd as the senior heavy NEWCHAA team was not going to let anyone beat them. Drake Hacker then tucked in two spots behind the Eagles first runner, but Caleb Schaber and Brian Durbin fell back behind the Eagles next two. That was not a good sign. Tim Kowalinski and Vincent Maurer were staying in good position ahead of the Eagles 4th and 5th runners keeping the race for 2nd very close. Drake Hacker never cracked and held down his 6th place spot to the finish. It took a season best 18:20 from Drake, but it also left us two points behind. The Eagles 2nd runner came in just seconds behind Drake. We would be playing catch up now. Caleb Schaber moved up the last mile to challenge the Eagles 3rd runner, but the Eagle refused to be passed. Caleb finished less than a second behind him with Brian coming in a few seconds later. Vincent and Tim both came in with personal records of 19:08 and 19:13 with only one runner between them and Brian. We had placed all of our 5 in the top-13, but the way the points were falling we were going to need some other teams to help us out and point the 4th and 5th Eagles. Vince and Tim finished a combined 51 seconds ahead of the last two Eagles, but it was not to be. Not one athlete came through to point the Eagles. We had beat them easily on time, yet finished two points behind. Remarkable. John Klaves placed 22nd with a 20:15, and he came in ahead of an Eagle. I liked that. Ben Hughes keeps improving. 20:35 is his new personal record. Joshua Schaber moved up at the end and placed 31st with a 21:12, and Theodore Flunker left a little too much out there, feeling great at the finish with a 23:09.

We rounded up a full middle school girls team just before the roster deadline and they were next. Julianna Caspers battled near the lead pack the whole way, and eventually moved ahead of all but one of the girls near her. She placed 6th overall with a nice 14:01 time over the 2 mile course, but the one Holy Family girl she couldn’t catch at the end would prove important. Joy Rasch had a big race and placed 16th overall with a 14:54 time. She has never looked better. Bedalia Radtke never slowed over the long course and posted an impressive 15:27 21st place finish. It was great to see Julia Kowalinski’s stride once again. This was her first face of the season because of a foot injury and she made it a good one. She faded a little at the end over the long course, but she gave us a much needed 26th place finish and broke 16 minutes. Hellena Hacker is slowly becoming one of our stars now. She was our 5th scorer and came in just ahead of a NEWCHAA girl. That would also end up being very important. Savanna Bruton started slow, but then came on and finished just 3 spots behind Hellena. The team scores were going to end up very tight, and Savanna’s strong finish would give us the tie-breaker if needed. Alexa Bruton held up well over the long course finishing in 17:43. Natalie Radtke showed flashes of great running once again. I am keeping her in my plans for next year. The race for the 2nd place plaque turned out to be a 3-team race between Holy Family, NEWCHAA, and us. NEWCHAA was declared the 4th place team with 81 points. We were called out next with 80 points. Julianna gave us a 3 point lead, and NEWCHAA beat our next 3 all by one point. The tie-breaker was Hellena finishing just one point ahead of their 5th. Then we found out that Holy Family had come in just two points ahead of us for 2nd. If Julianna could have moved into 5th we would have had it. The youth of our girls team has had me planning ahead for a big season next year. Being just two points away this year was definitely one of our highlights. Great job, girls.

Our middle school boys were saved for last, and this is the one team where we were not able to bring along some of our key stars. We would have been overwhelming favorites with everyone, now we were just one of the favorites. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke pushed the pace early as usual and worked their way to a sizable lead. Only one Chippewa Valley boy ever came up to challenge them. He gave our boys a race, but Ethan moved up and took over in the second mile. He would go on for a big victory with a 12:00 time. Alexander paced a few seconds in back of Ethan and gave the Chippewa athlete no ideas of passing. It would be 1-2 finish for the DASH team. Kaden Hacker gave us another outstanding finish. He held down the 6th place spot and stayed ahead of the 2nd Chippewa Valley boy to the end. It took a 12:48 time from Kaden to give us 3 in the top 6. We had a big lead out of our top 3, but meanwhile Chippewa Valley was placing their first 5 all in the top 15. We would have to stay very strong to win. Nathanael Chu came in 17th overall with a 13:14 time. That was good, and it would have been plenty good if Nathanael was our 5th like he was last meet. Now the wait was on for Matthew Schaber or Abiah Radtke, but unlike in the high school race where no one would come through to point the Eagles and help us, Chippewa Valley had plenty of teams helping them. Matthew Schaber made it to the finish in 13:57. That was good for 25th place, When the points were counted Chippewa Valley had beaten us by three. So many close finishes with few of them going our way. Abiah Radtke had his best race to date with a 14:08 29th place finish. Josiah Chu posted a nice 14:57 time and was the top 4th grader in the race. Joshua Lipski came in with a 17:23. The boys were good. Chippewa Valley was a little better than the team we brought. They did have home field advantage on us. We should maybe invite them to Greenfield Park for round 2.

Our award winning team was able to pile on a couple more. And we were just two points away from team plaques in the other two races. That’s a good day of racing that no other team could match. I hope it was worth the time and expense of making it up to Eau Claire and back for everyone. Word has it that the Championship may be back near Madison next year.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip. We took enough to fill about 15 hotel rooms. I never thought we would get that many to the meet. It was truly a trip with some of the best times coming on Friday. The hiking was very scenic. The fellowship at the restaurant, hotel lobby, and poolside was definitely scintillating. You had a proud coach overseeing everything. Thanks to Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks for our volunteers at the meet, and thanks to the Schaber’s for bringing up all the paper products and water cooler in their van. Thanks to Grace Caspers who took a break from running and took most of the great photos. Faith Caspers and the coach took over for the middle school boys race. The end-of-the-year party is next. There will be plenty to hand out for the team this year. You will not want to miss it. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Advertisements

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was up in Jackson last Wednesday to compete in the very big Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School Grade School meet. It would be our stiffest competition of the season. We would get to see if all the hard work the athletes had put in over the last 8 weeks was enough to get them ready for a meet such as this. The new DASH tent was up. The weather wsa perfect. It was time to race.

The open 2500 meter girls race was first. Alexa Bruton, using some inside information from a certain DASH race winner from the day before, showed some star power of her own and was our first runner in. Hannah Schaefer came in soon after, putting together a very well executed race where she stayed fast and steady the whole way. Angela Walters got out fast and coasted in to finish right behind Hannah. Mary LeSac ran pretty well and placed 61st overall. Jenna Walters showed some good effort throughout the race. Talia Kostrzewa was a crowd favorite and left many bigger girls behind her. Natalie Radtke always looked good when I saw her. Next time I am going to watch her more.

Josiah Chu got out fast and never looked back as he cruised through the 2500 meter course to a 15th place finish. That was impressive! Micah Chan was back with us and ran pretty well, but was not quite all the way back to where he was before he got sick. Joshua Lipski has never looked better as he pushed himself to a 40th place finish. Noah Caspers capped off another good year on a course he likes, and Elijah Pape showed good effort once again to place 53rd.

The varsity 3200 meter races were next, and unlike last year, the races had many more athletes competing than in the earlier races. Julianna Caspers got caught in some unavoidable traffic early, but then methodically worked her way up into 12th place by the finish. Julianna brought her ‘A’ game this time. It was impressive. Joy Rasch ran great as usual, and as expected. Joy placed a much needed 46th overall as our second runner in the big field. Bedalia Radtke never let the longer 2 mile course slow her down. I could watch her run all day, and I did catch her finish where she placed 62nd. Savanna Bruton and Grace Caspers paced together for a good portion of the race with Hellena Hacker just a few steps behind. At the end, Savanna’s natural speed helped get her to the finish first in 92nd place. Hellena had a great last loop, eventually moving up into 96th place. Grace Caspers came in soon after in 99th place. I picked the right girls to run varsity. They ran well.

The varsity boys finally got to run at about 5:30. Over 200 athletes lined up. The race would be too big for the coach to keep track of team scores throughout. The boys would have to run their best and hope the points landed in our favor. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke got out in front very fast, leaving the heavy traffic behind them. Alexander was our first runner in this time, with Ethan following right behind in 6th place. Alex and Ethan had done their job, and earned top-10 medals for their efforts. Their legendary seasons continue. Kaden Hacker got out slow, but did an amazing job working his way through the pack. He has never run better, and gave the team a much needed third athlete in the top-25. With the athletes coming in fast now, it seemed like a long wait until we saw Leif and Nathanael coming down to the finish. Leif would get the 42nd place card, and Nathanael the 48th. No other team looked to have put together a clear winning race, but we I didn’t feel that we necessarily did either. We would have to wait for the award ceremony to see how things turned out. Matthew Schaber finally showed us in a race what he has been showing us in practice. We will need him to do it again next week in Eau Claire. Seka Kostrzewa seemed to struggle in the heavy traffic more than usual. He finished 86th overall, right where the traffic was thickest. Abiah Radtke got a taste of some varsity running. The coach threw him in with this group because of his work ethic and talent. He ran pretty well for his first 2 mile race.

While we waited for the results, and before it got any darker, the fun run was started. The DASH team always has the largest contingent of fun run athletes and this year was no exception. Julianna Caspers took off and led the DASH team through the course finishing the 3200 course in well under 14 minutes. That was faster than her 12th place finish time from earlier, showing how much the heavy traffic can effect times. Leif and Matthew hit the finish next despite having little rest. The coach showed off his running talents, executing a flawless race with practically perfect running form up and down the hills and through the flats. He used Julianna, Leif, and Matthew as his rabbits to finish in 14:03. He won the bald guy division this year in a rout. Mrs. Chan was our top mom, but the coach did catch her walking. Some future DASH stars such as Philip Caspers and Rhapsody Kostrzesa showed off their talents. All who participated definitely had fun proving once again that it is fun to run.

It was finally time for the award ceremony. Ethan Blischke was cheered as he received the 6th place medal. Kaden Hacker went up to receive Alex Taylor’s 5th place medal, and then the rundown started on the boys teams scores. The 3rd place team was revealed and it wasn’t us. The 2nd place team had earned 109 points, and then the DASH name was called out. It would be 2nd place for us this time. Then we found out the big Badger public school team had won with 105 points. Oh, so close! Our top-7 boys did get team medals for their showing making it yet another award winning day for the DASH team.

Thanks to Ed Beck for collecting the place cards at the end of the chute. Thanks to those who helped the athletes get their bib numbers pinned on. Thanks to all the parents who made the trek up to Jackson. Thanks to the camera lady who got some pretty good photos while fighting the sun, and then the lack of light. Now we have a week to prepare for some Championship racing next week. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Our award winning high school cross country team was back in action at St John’s NW Military Academy last Tuesday competing in the Lancer Invite. The athletes would have to run the full 5000 meters this year. The boys would be looking for their first team trophy at this meet, while the girls were shooting for their third straight trophy. On paper the meet looked to be more competitive this year, but because of injuries and varsity holdouts apparent before the start we found out our chances were better than we thought.

Kayla Bruton assumed leadership duties right from the start in the girls varsity race as she had the rest of the field giving chase through the first mile. It became a three girl race heading to the finish, but Kayla proved too strong in the end coming through with a big victory while giving the team a single point in the team scoring. Of the scoring teams, Kenosha St Joseph was finishing strong and had their first two girls come through next, but Abby Chu and Stephanie Chu answered them with their 6th and 7th place finishes ahead of the third St Joseph’s girl. All eyes were on the hill leading to the finishing loop.  A St Joseph girl came down first, but Alivia Kempf was not far behind. As they headed for the home stretch, Alivia’s kick was the better giving us a huge two point swing. The DASH fans nervously looked back to the hill and found Faith pacing behind St Joseph’s fifth girl, but more importantly she had also fallen behind the first three Watertown Luther Prep girls. Faith sped up in an attempt to pass, but the Watertown girls’ had all saved plenty for the end. The girls had a good day, but this time it would not be quite good enough, losing out to St Joseph’s by just two points. The 2nd place trophy was ours. We would have beaten St Joseph’s head to head, but this race was not a dual meet. Jessy Homa struggled through the course before finishing with a nice kick. Later we surprisingly learned her ankle problems were back. Hopefully she will be back healthy and ready to run next week. Katie Gorectke had problems with the heat on the relatively warm October day. She looked dazed at the end, but she had been running well in her last meet. She will get one more chance next week.

The boys race was much larger with two state ranked teams competing. The third place trophy was up for grabs, but our chances were not helped when our usual number 1 runner, Brian Durbin, was a late scratch because of some leg issues that he did not want to aggravate any more.  Caleb Schaber led the boys through the course for the first two miles, but Drake Hacker had a really strong finish to move up into the top 15 while posting a nice 18:46 time. That time was good for the 14th place medal. Caleb finished soon after but in 16th place, missing a medal by a little over 7 seconds.  Tim Kowalinski looked strong through the whole course and gave the team much needed third top-20 finish. Vincent Maurer was not at his best this time, but was able to keep Vincent close and place 22nd overall. Without Brian competing, John Klaves cracked our top 5, sprinting in with a 20:56 time with Ben Hughes finishing right behind with a season best 21:01. When the scores were added up the 3rd place trophy was ours! Very nice.

The boys and girls JV teams ran together. Seth Holter ran with the leaders early and looked like the varsity runner he really is, putting his ankle issues behind him and claiming the 4th place medal with a time of 20:44. Joshua Schaber showed that he would be running on varsity for most teams at this meet with his 6th place finish. Theodore Flunker has never looked better and lowered his personal record by over a minute with his 22:59. Let’s hope we see him again.  The girls also did very well. Ella Johnson was on a short sabbatical to JV as her 25:38 4th place finished shows.  Emma Taylor posted a 26:17 time and had her usual good finish while claiming the 6th place medal. Katrina Lipski thought she was struggling more than she really was. Katrina pushed herself to a season best 28:37 while impressing the DASH fans and the coach with her effort. Naomi Zhou still didn’t start fast enough for the coach’s liking, but she put together a very nice race and lowered her personal record by close to two minutes. Hopefully we will see her back running even faster next year.

The Homeschool Championship is all that is left now for our high school team. The girls team is peaking now and will be in the running for a top-2 trophy. The boys team is giving us mixed signals right now. We are down to 10 days to get ready. Hopefully that is enough time to have everybody energized and healthy and ready to run their best race of the season. The boys race should be a close 4-team battle that I am really looking forward to. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mr. Beck and Mr. Maurer for getting the mile splits and for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Kempf’s for ordering our much-wanted team tent that was on display for the first time. And thanks to the picture people which included the camera lady, Julianna Caspers, and Grace Caspers this time. They did very well with the photos. Now on we go to the big middle school meet this afternoon. Of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was back in action last Saturday morning running on our own Greenfield Park practice course. It was the best weather we have had in many years for the Warrior Invite hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College, and those staying for the college races afterwards would get an extra treat as four former DASH MVP’s would be competing. Our middle school team had a very good day at this meet last year running in muddy condition, and this year we would be hoping to cleanly lower our scores just a little more.

The girls race was first at 9:30 with all the girls running together, but with the 6th and under girls being scored separately from the 7th and 8th graders. Julianna Caspers was our leader through the course, but she was not feeling all that well and didn’t have that extra push to put her in the medals this year, ending up in 17th place. Joy Rasch gave us her usual strong race, keeping Julianna in her sights the whole way and breaking 12 minutes over the 1.6 mile course. Bedalia Radtke showed off her nice stride once again, gliding around the course in 12:21 to place 26th overall. In just her third race, 4th grade Bedalia has already become one of our stars. Myra Johnson looked great donning DASH yellow for the first time in a cross country race. She worked her way to a top-30 finish and left the DASH fans wanting to see more. Savanna Bruton gave the team a solid effort once again placing 34th overall as our 3rd scorer. I like the way she is competing out there. Hellena Hacker put together her best DASH race, moving up to be our 4th scorer. Her effort has been superb the last few weeks. Mary LeSac looked much better this time out, pacing just ahead of a struggling Grace Caspers through the course. Alexa Bruton was racing through the course this time and showing the DASH fans how talented she is. Hannah Schaefer and Jenna Walters stayed close the whole way and posted some respectable times as our 3rd and 4th scores in the 7th and 8th grade race. Hannah and Jenna have both been practicing well and improving each meet. Talia Kostrzewa didn’t have her best this time out. Expect our 5-year-old speedster to run much better next meet. Natalie Radtke got off to a good start again, but then found she couldn’t maintain it. The coach will be working with her some more. She is going to be good.

Our boys took 2nd place in both divisions last year.  It was time to see if we could improve on that just a bit. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke did what they have done all season – get out fast and stay fast. Only one non-scoring athlete was ahead of them as they crossed the line together with identical 9:11 times. Ethan and Alexander had done as good as the DASH fans dared to hope, making it almost impossible for any team to stay with us. Only six other athletes were to go by before the DASH fans eyed Kaden Hacker and Leif Kostrzewa charging to the finish. Leif and Kaden clocked in with identical 9:59 times and had turned the race into a route. There would be no settling for 2nd place this year. The team plaque was ours! The legendary day for the boys did not end there. Nathanael Chu was in the medals once again as he beat all but two of the 6th and under boys. We will be scoring five next week at KML. Anyone scouting our boys should be a little nervous. Seka Kostrzewa was next to hit the finish line, finishing 11th out of the 108 6th and under athletes. Seka placed that high without even having one of his super stellar days. Abiah Radtke had his best day yet finishing with a solid 11:30 time. Charlie Johnson took off the second half of the race putting his talents on full display for the DASH fans, and giving the 6th and under team a good 3rd runner. Silas Johnson and Josiah Chu came in together, getting matching 12:03 times. The little boys were also very good, placing 3rd overall in the 25 team race. Joshua Lipski had his best race of the season. Joshua stayed just ahead of Elijah Pape who was racing for the first time. Elijah really pushed himself and impressed the coach. Noah Caspers had a very good finish to come in alongside Elijah. Our boys team really had a big day. Well done!

The DASH fans stayed to cheer on our three individual medal winners, and the DASH cheering only increased when the boys were called out as the winning team with a very low 22 point score.  Then the college racing started, giving those who did not want the special day to end so early a chance to continue on.  Andrea Beck ran in her first college race and finished the 6k race in 27:53. Not too bad, but she is capable of much more. Junior Siobhan Heiss was the 5th scorer on the 4th place Wisconsin Lutheran team. Justin Chu just missed breaking 30 minutes in just his second 8k race. Justin did not run much over the summer, but he is starting to look pretty good right now, but his Trinity International team needs to keep a fifth runner healthy. Jacob Dickman’s St. Norbert’s team won the overall trophy. Jacob was a key to their victory, finishing as their top men’s runner with a time of 27:32. Jacob has never looked better, or run faster.  It was a day we got to see plenty of DASH legends, some from the past and some new ones from the present. It was another great day in DASH history.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for his usual coaching assistance.  It was great to see great DASH fan Pete Dickman on hand. He showed in time to help out with the middle schoolers, and then stayed to cheer on his son’s team in the college race. Thanks to Mrs. Chu who prepared a fantastic meal for the Trinity team and for the DASH fans who stayed for the college race.  Thanks to all who helped the athletes get their bib numbers pinned on. Thanks to Steve Travis and his staff at Wisconsin Lutheran College for hosting and giving us the chance to race. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting the photos. Unfortunately Ethan and Alex proved too fast for them and for the camera. We will be better prepared for their speed next time. The middle schoolers will be back racing this Wednesday in an equally big meet. You know you want to be there. And, of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Thursday was the day for the annual Prairie Invitational, the meet the coach always looks forward to the most. There were 11 teams on hand, and the scouting report would have us as one of three teams in contention for the team trophies. The weather was a sunny 70 degrees with low humidity, making it a perfect setting for the athletes and for the fans to watch some exciting racing on the beautiful and hilly Armstrong Park course.

The girls lined up at 4:15, and after a couple of glitches, the gun finally went off. Surprising, Union Grove had not brought their varsity team, and it was soon apparent that our main rival would be the host Prairie School team. Kayla Bruton was the early leader with Abby Chu and the rest of the team all staying close together near the front, challenging the other teams to keep up.  As the girls passed the park, the Prairie girls had tightened up the race considerably with one of their girls getting ahead of Kayla and one running just in front of Abby, but as of yet they had no answer for the strong running from Stephanie Chu, Faith Caspers, and Alivia Kempf.  Past the two mile mark, Abby Chu had moved past the Prairie girl ahead of her and was looking strong, while Kayla was keeping them in her sights. Stephanie Chu was running well and taking care of things with no Prairie girls close to her, but the 3 and 4 Prairie girls were now moving up and getting closer to Alivia and Faith.  A Prairie girl won the race. Abby Chu’s 21:58 put her 3rd overall behind a Brookfield Academy girl who ran on an incomplete team, Fourth place went to the number 2 Prairie girl, with Kayla Bruton finishing just four seconds later with a personal record 22:09. Stephanie Chu moved up into 6th place in the last mile. Prairie had no one who could stay close to Stephanie, but Prairie’s next two girls were on the move, getting ahead of Faith and closing in on Alivia. If both girls could get by Alivia the race would tip in their favor, but all their efforts would be for naught as Alivia would not be passed. Faith finished comfortably ahead of the 5th Prairie girl. Victory was ours!  The girls had won the Prairie Invite for the first time. Of course we had plenty of hard running from our other girls. Our talent runs much deeper than just 5. Jessy Homa was chosen to run JV by the slightest of margins this time, but will be back with the varsity team next week. Jessy’s victory in the JV race by 23 seconds was impressive! Ella Johnson came in next with a 26:21. She has been practicing much better than that. Emma Taylor had the strongest finish among the girls and finished with a 26:30. She knows she’s capable of a little more. Katrina Lipski looked very good again, better than her 29:44 time reflects. She earned the 9th place JV medal. Naomi Zhou earned the 14th place JV medal with her personal best 34:05. With better starts Naomi could bring that time down considerably.

Just like the girls, the boys main competitor would be The Prairie School, the defending champion. Brian Durbin, Drake Hacker, and Caleb Schaber all got out to strong starts, but it did not take long to see that the Prairie boys would be unstoppable this time out. Coming around by the park past the mile mark, Prairie was holding down the top 4 spots, with their 5th also running strong. Near the end Prairie was gunning for a perfect score, but Brian Durbin moved up late to break that up.  Brian clocked in at 18:37 for 5th overall. Caleb Schaber was running ahead of Brian up until about the 2 1/2 mile mark. Caleb went on to take 8th overall with a 18:47 time and was top sophomore or freshman in the race. Drake Hacker made the medal stand with his 13th place finish. Vincent Maurer moved up through the last mile to come in right after Drake with a personal record 19:26. Vince keeps improving each race. We need that. Tim Kowalinski cracked to the top-20 with his 19:50. John Klaves moved up near the last hill to be our 6th runner in. His 20:54 time was a little off from his last few meets. Ben Hughes needed a strong finish to stay just ahead of Joshua Schaber with a season best 21:02. Joshua Schaber followed with his own season best 21:07 good for the 7th place JV medal. Seth Holter’s ankle held up to the end this time and got the 8th place JV medal. Theodore Flunker got out fast and looked great, but then he hit the wall and made it in with a 25:14. Look for his time to come way down next meet.  The boys took second overall, 37 points behind the impressive Prairie boys, and 40 points ahead of the third place team which must have made us look pretty impressive to them.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the DASH fans. We had a very nice contingent making it down to Racine. Thanks to The Prairie School for hosting and for the invitation to race. Thanks to the camera lady along with Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers for getting the photos.  We are now down to our last two meets. Everything is important this late in the year. It is sure to be exciting. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was time for the annual Trojan Invitational at Mitchell Park for the high school team, and for the first time the meet would be held on a Friday afternoon. The team would arrive to record-setting mid-90 degree temperatures. Because of the extreme heat it was decided to cut the JV course down to 2500 meters, and to have plenty of water available for the athletes on the course. The varsity athletes would have to work their way through the full 5k course in their attempt to capture the 1st place trophies once again.

The JV race started at 4:15 with the heat still out in full force. The field would be a little larger than usual with a few teams choosing to run most of their athletes in the shorter 2500 meter race. Theodore Flunker did not let the heat slow him down as he raced through the course in just 9:56. That would be good for the 8th place ribbon. We will get to see Theodore racing with all our other boys next week. I am looking forward to that. Katie Gorectke was back running already after her ankle issues last race and proved to be the class of the JV girls field. Katie’s 10:39 time was way ahead of any of the other girls. The 1st place ribbon was hers. If Katie’s ankle is ready she will be holding down a varsity spot next week. Katrina Lipski posted a nice 13:03 to nab the 4th place ribbon. She may be ready to lower her personal record in the cooler races ahead. Naomi Zhou took a wrong turn at the end and was disqualified. She would have hit the finish in about 16 minutes.

The goal for our girls in the 4:45 varsity race was to not worry about times, to get in good position and hold down their spots, to bring home our fair share of the individual medals, and to make it two year in a row winning the team trophy. Our girls all got out well with only Jessy Homa holding back some at the start. Abby Chu led the girls through the first mile with Kayla Bruton and Stephanie Chu staying close behind. Alivia Kempf, Faith Caspers, Emma Taylor, Ella Johnson, and Jessy Homa were all staying in medal contention at this point. No other team was staying with us. It was now time to hold our spots as best we could in the extreme heat. Through the second mile, Abby, Stephanie, Kayla, and Alivia were all running in the top-6 with Faith, Ella, and Jessy giving us 7 of the top 13. We were overwhelming the field. In the last mile Stephanie Chu moved up into 2nd place overall to be our first runner in. Coming in a few steps behind was Abby Chu. Kayla Bruton struggled the last mile, but when she saw the finish line she kicked it in to give us 3 in the top 4. What a tough, quality effort from our top girls. Alivia Kempf stayed fast and steady the whole way and came in all by herself to claim the 6th place medal. I think she is ready for a break out race. We will try to help push her along next week. Faith Caspers held down the 8th spot over the last mile. She was challenged along the home stretch, but would let no one pass. Ella Johnson put in a quality race and earned the 11th place medal for her effort. She is peaking now. Jessy Homa never faltered in the heat, even overcoming a pre-race bee sting to claim our 7th individual medal with her 12th place finish. Emma Taylor coasted in to an 18th place finish and hopefully saved plenty for next week.

The varsity boys race got going about 5:20 with the sun not beating down quite as hard. Brian Durbin was our early leader, but it was Caleb Schaber who was the first to come down the hill after the mile mark. Brian and Drake Hacker followed right behind Caleb giving us three of the top runners. Vince Maurer, John Klaves, and Tim Kowalinski all came through still in top-15 medal contention. Ben Hughes and Joshua Schaber went down the hill soon after. We had all of our boys running very well. We were now the team to beat. Brian Durbin moved up into 3rd place through the second mile and he was putting some space between him and the 4th runner. Caleb Schaber stayed steady and was running 5th overall. Drake Hacker was staying in the top-10, and Vince Maurer had moved into 11th place with Tim Kowalinski keeping him in his sights. John Klaves had dropped back to 17th and was running in a much bigger crowd than the others, and really battling his way through. Ben Hughes had now moved up into about 20th position. He looked very good. Joshua Schaber was holding down his spot pretty well. Brian Durbin never faltered in the last mile and posted an impressive 18:40 time good for 3rd. Caleb Schaber showed his mettle at the finish as he sprinted in to claim the 5th place medal. Drake Hacker put together one of his best races and gave us 3 in the top 8. Vince Maurer was fired up at the finish and hit the line in 11th place. Tim Kowalinski came in two seconds behind Vince. Our top 5 scorers were all in the top-13 and on the medal stand. John Klaves stayed strong and held down his 17th spot. He is running very well now and giving us insurance as our 6th runner. Ben Hughes displayed the best finishing kick of the day to move up to the 19th spot. He is definitely peaking now. Joshua Schaber cruised in to a 27th place finish. He liked running varsity.

Our top seven girls all went up and received their medals, and we were announced the victors with a total of 23 points. Looking over the score sheets, the three girls ahead of our 5th scorer Faith were all on teams that had less than five finishers. That means the girls officially finished with a perfect score of 15! I predict that will never be beaten. In fact, our 7th girl Jessy would have been the number 2 girl on the teams behind us. Monumental!! Once the girls were done taking pictures with their trophy, our top-5 boys received their individual medals and we were then declared the team champion with 40 points. The boys winning streak at the Trojan Invitational now stands at four in a row! Well done, boys! We finished up by getting some great photos with both boys and girls displaying their hard won hardware. And lastly we started thinking and training for the big meets ahead. I hope to see you there.

I volunteered our team to pass out the water to help keep the athletes going. So thank you to Daniel Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, Noah Caspers, Jenna Walters, Silas Johnson, Julia Kowalinski, Mary LeSac, Hellena Hacker, Myra Johnson, Charlie Johnson, and later even Stephanie Chu and Abby Chu for doing all the hard, hot work that was so important. Thanks to Theodore Flunker, Katie Gorectke and Emma Taylor for their help in passing out water at the finish. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching and for being our official scorer. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting a great set of photos. It was truly a team effort. Well done, team!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was at Elkhorn Middle School last Wednesday. The conditions would be very warm once again for the dedicated athletes as they put their paces to the test against six big public school teams. The 1.5 mile course is relatively flat and fast, but it would be a little tougher for the athletes to make it through this year, especially for the athletes in the earlier 7th grade and under races. But we left with more than our fair share of awards. The hard work we have put in is paying off.

The first to run were our 7th and under girls, which is all of our girls this year. The 4 PM heat was beating down in full force as the gun went off. Long time DASH star Julianna Caspers would be looking for her fourth straight medal in this division. She proved early she would be a contender again as she went out fast staying close to the leaders. Julianna kept up her quick pace, and moved up into 6th place by the end. That was her best finish ever, but about 25 seconds slower than her p.r. on this course. The heat was having a big effect on the times today. Joy Rasch was in 15th place early and she was able to keep everyone behind her the rest of the way to get onto the medal stand for the second meet in a row. Very nice! Behind Joy a real battle of attrition was on display as the girls tried their best to make their way through the course. Savanna Bruton showed off her finishing kick again and finished just ahead of Grace Caspers. Savanna and Grace stayed steady and strong and edged into the top-30. Bedalia Radtke was running a little sick and struggled near the end, but still managed a respectable 32nd place finish. Angela Walters started strong, and then really had to push herself to keep running near the finish. Hellena Hacker had a good second half as she moved up and helped push Angela along at the end. Angela and Hellena ended up in 47th and 48th place. Jenna Walters had an impressive day as she moved up to be our 8th girl in. Jenna finished just ahead of Alexa Bruton who stayed pretty steady through the course on this tough day. Hannah Schaefer came in right after Alexa and looked good for most of the way, but had some troubles down the home stretch. Mary LeSac got out a little slower than the coach would like, but was able to hit the finish just after Hannah. Natalie Radtke looked really good at the start, but it turned out to be too good as the heat got to her and she barely made it in. Overall the girls had a good day with our top girls really running well, and the others staying very competitive through the very tough conditions.

Our promising 7th and under boys were next. Leif Kostrzewa was the early leader, and then stayed strong to the finish to place 4th overall. Nathanael Chu did not let the heat get to him as he stayed close to Leif the whole way and kept all but 5 behind him. Leif and Nathanael gave us a fantastic top-2. Seka Kostrzewa has never looked better. In his first race of the year, he relentlessly battled his way to his own top-9 finish. Better make that a fantastic top-3. Wow! Micah Chan methodically moved up in the second half of the race, passing a few key people down the stretch to place 23rd as our 4th scorer. That would prove big in the team scores. We needed someone to come up big for us as the 4th runner and Micah answered the call. Well done. Abiah Radtke put together a much better race this time to finish 32nd. He is one to watch in the weeks ahead. Josiah Chu stayed fast the whole way and hit the home stretch running with Abiah. That’s fast for a 4th grader. Noah Caspers, a 2nd grader, ended up 41st overall with an impressive 12:49. Our young guys know how to race. Joshua Lipski finished 50th overall and looked much healthier. The boys took 2nd place as a team. They worked hard and were impressive!

Our big guys were next, and fortunately it was starting to cool off some. All but one of our girls had to leave early, but the DASH fans who stayed were in for a treat. Ethan Blischke and Alexander Taylor were running 2-3 coming around the first turn, just behind an Elkhorn boy. Behind them was another big group from the home team ready to move up if Ethan and Alexander ever slowed. Heading into the last loop the top 5 had all stayed strong and held their spots. Then coming out of the tall grass trail near the finish, Alexander picked up the pace and pulled away from the Elkhorn boys behind him, and started closing in on Ethan. Ethan was just able to stay a couple steps ahead at the finish. The 2nd and 3rd place medals were ours with Ethan and Alex both crossing the line in under 9 minutes, smashing the old DASH course record in the process. Epic! Kaden Hacker was running 14th at the mile mark, and then he made his move. By the time he hit the last loop he was running in 10th and he hit the finish line in 9th. Three boys in the top-9 again. Oh, yeah! That is just what we needed from Kaden. Matthew Schaber stayed steady through the course and broke 11 minutes to place 30th. The boys are hitting their stride now. The coach is thinking ahead and liking our chances in next week’s race.

Thanks to Mary Beck for doing a flawless job as our official scorer. Thanks for Ed Beck for his assistance with the coaching and for assisting the official scorer. Thanks to the Chu’s for giving us a choice of tents to pick from on a windy, very sunny day. Thanks to Hellena Hacker for sticking around and accepting the girls medals. Thanks to the boys for sticking around and getting their own medals. Thanks to the camera lady for taking over from me and getting some much better photos. Now the team gets to prepare for some much cooler race conditions at Greenfield Park on the 30th. I can’t wait. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The full DASH cross country team was at Minooka Park yesterday competing in the Waukesha Cross Country Festival. We would be facing some of our toughest competition of the season in some very warm and steamy conditions. About 1000 athletes would toe the starting line in the six races. Not all would finish. It was also our first chance to get a look at our promising middle school team. It was a long day full of gritty efforts with a few casualties mixed in along the way. The sweaty details are below.

The JV girls got the racing started at 8:30. Katie Gorectke was getting her run in early so she could get back to dancing later in the day. Katie was in the top-10 early, but then sprained her ankle going up the big hill to the mile mark. She was carted back to the finish. Her day of racing and dancing was done. Katrina Lipski made it through the course and really handled the humid conditions well. She is primed to post some very nice times. Naomi Zhou made it to the start for the group photo this time, and finished well after a slow start.

We ran three boys in the JV race, but only two made it for the group photo.  Ben Hughes looked much better this time out. Ben moved up in the last mile to post a 21:52 time. Joshua Schaber ran well early on, but the heat did get to him by the last mile. Ben and Joshua will be moving up to the varsity team next race. Theodore Flunker made it to the start just before the gun went off and ran well for about half the race, but then he had to drop out. Fortunately, no long term issues to report on Theodore.

It was now 10 am and the heat index continued to increase. The varsity girls were led by Kayla Bruton early, but the Chu sisters caught up to her through the second mile.  Then a determined Kayla refused to let the heat slow her down. She charged up the last hill like she has done so often in practice and was our first runner in with a 23:11. Abby Chu ran a very steady 23:20. She is primed for a great second half of the season. Stephanie Chu struggled a little the last mile, but still posted a 23:45. Our star freshman is going to like the next couple races where she will be racing near the front.  Alivia Kempf  was our 4th runner once again. Her current pacing is looking routine. She may be due for a breakout race. Faith Caspers was running close behind Alivia, but the heat got to her running around the pond and she needed to be carted to the finish. The heat had claimed another victim. Emma Taylor moved up to be our 5th varsity scorer for the first time. The coach is liking her effort and results. Jessy Homa ran inspired and was one of the few athletes who finished strong despite the hot, sunny conditions going up the big hill. Ella Johnson used this race more as a practice. This is not her favorite course. The next meet’s course is.

The varsity boys warmed up in the shade. It was hard to be anywhere else at 10:45. This was not going to be a race for personal records. Brian Durbin and Caleb Schaber stayed together the first half of the race. Brian made it to the finish first, but both ran very well in keeping their times in the 19’s. Vincent Maurer did not let the heat slow him down much and was our 3rd runner in. Very nice! We need Vince to come up big for us the next four meets. Tim Kowalinski looked good for awhile, but the sunny last mile slowed him down into the 21’s. Drake Hacker really struggled late with his breathing, but he did make it to the finish. I am not too worried about Tim and Drake bouncing back and having good races for us down the stretch. John Klaves also survived and came in soon after Drake. Seth Holter was seen limping at the half way point and he did not finish. Seth may need to take some time off and get back to 100%.

The middle school girls were next. The heat on the shorter 1.4 mile course would not play as big a role as it did in the high school races. Julianna Caspers started out conservatively, but moved up some around the pond. Then Julianna gave us an inspiring finish going up the hill to move up to 8th overall with a 10:37. Joy Rasch got her season off to a great start with a steady, medal-winning 24th place finish with her 11:37.  Bedalia Radtke showed off her nice stride to the DASH fans for the first time. She was our third runner in. Yes, she really is already that good. Grace Caspers worked hard the second half of the race to be our 4th runner in. Hopefully we can count on her to post some great times this year. Savanna Bruton looked inspired going up the hill and hit the finish line right behind Grace. Angela Walters felt the heat at the end, but persevered. Hopefully Angela has a couple big races in her this year. Talia Kostrzewa, just 5 years old, is no longer a future star. She made an instant impact as our 7th runner in her debut race. It is going to be hard not to compare her to a certain young DASH star with initials JC who was also very good at that age. Mary LeSac had a respectable race. She has been practicing well and looks ready to have a nice season. Natalie Radtke did very well in her first attempt at racing. She has a lot of talent and should only get better in the weeks ahead. Hannah Schaefer stayed steady and never faltered. She has been improving each week. Alexa Bruton showed good effort. With a little more practicing she will be very good. Hellena Hacker ran a steady race. With a little more inspiration she could have a big season ahead. Jenna Walters posted a decent 15:13 time. The coach was very impressed with this young and talented group of girls.

The middle school boys needed little inspiration from the coach. They just wanted to race. Ethan Blischke got out fast and never let up. He was the 2nd boy to the finish line and was clocked at 8:19. That’s racing! Alexander Taylor stayed near the leaders the whole way and placed 4th overall. Alex is exuding running confidence and is primed for a big year. Nathanael Chu always goes all out. This time that put him in 19th place with a 9:34. Leif Kostrzewa finished a step behind Nathanael. That gave us four boys in the top-20 and four medal winners. Nice! Kaden Hacker posted a respectable 10:17 time for 39th place. We will need him to keep improving in the weeks ahead. We could be trophy contenders. Matthew Schaber fell back some at the end, but made it in as our 6th runner. He is much improved since track season. Silas Johnson showed off his strength with a great charge up the hill. Micah Chan has never run better, and he is making it look easy. He will be one to watch. Josiah Chu, Charlie Johnson, and Noah Caspers gave us a great trio of 4th and under runners. They pushed each other to some great times. The coach and the DASH fans were very impressed with their efforts. Veteran Joshua Lipski had a descent first race. He is bouncing back from some sort of sickness. Abiah Radtke got out fast, but had some problems going around the pond. He will be posting some much better results later in the year. You can trust me on that. The boys were announced as the 2nd place team, finishing just 3 points our of 1st. Well done, guys!

The high school team now needs to keep its attention on the big races ahead. They are running better than today’s times show. We will be one of the favorites in our next two races. It is time to start peaking. The middle schoolers have gotten everyone excited with their showing. They have a much flatter, faster course coming up.  It should lead to some exciting racing. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to all who helped pass out and collect the timing chips. I know my wife, Julianna and Grace Caspers, Mrs. Chu and Mrs. Walters all helped out. I am sure there were more. No more chips this year. Thanks to Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Ed Beck, Dawn Kempf, and former DASH star Matthew Hughes for helping get splits for the high school races. I was the photographer again which means something went wrong. My camera was somehow on the wrong setting so the photos are a bit sparse. Fortunately Mike Childers, Emma and Alexander Taylor’s grandfather, sent me some of his photos. They were very good. Thank you, Mr. Childers. And thanks to Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Kempf for helping take care of some of our running casualties. Hopefully we will see everyone back running again soon at full speed. Can you believe we our down to our last four weeks now. Enjoy it while you can.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Next Page »


  • Cross Country 2016

    The 2016 DASH girls cross country team: Zipporah Caspers, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa, Abby Chu, Rebecca Dickman, Katrina Lipski, Kayla Walters, Ella Johnson, Faith Caspers, Alivia Kempf.

  • The 2016 DASH boys cross country team. Front: Cliff Yang, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Brian Durbin, Caleb Schaber, Justin Chu. Back: Ben Hughes, Joshua Schaber, John Klaves, Joshua Anumolu, Zachary Werner, Zach Pape, Miles Talbert, Seth Holter, Vincent Maurer, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • The 2016 DASH MS girls cross country team. Grace Caspers, Stephanie Chu, Savanna Bruton, Hellena Hacker, Mary LeSac, Heidi Talbert, Julia Kowalinski, Joy Rasch, Julianna Caspers, Jenna Walters, Alexa Bruton.

  • The 2016 DASH MS boys cross country team. Front: Josiah Chu, Seka Kostrzewa, Nathanael Chu, Micah Chan, Silas Johnson, Noah Caspers, Charlie Johnson. Back: Alexander Taylor, Joshua Lipski, Joshua LeSac, Kaden Hacker, Bryant Farrell, Leif Kostrzewa, Daniel Caspers.

  • Track 2016

    DASH HS 4x1600 Relay Winners. Boys: Drake Hacker, Justin Chu, Briton Kostrzewa, Jacob Dickman. Girls: Zipporah Caspers, Faith Caspers, Kayla Walters, Andrea Beck.

  • Rebecca Dickman, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Stephanie Chu.

  • Cross Country 2015

    2015 Bradley Tech Cross Country Champions: The 1st place DASH boys: Lucas Ebel, John Klaves, John LaBonte, Joshua Schaber, John Sherman, Joshua Anumolu, Ben Hughes, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Drake Hacker, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes, Jacob Dickman, John Kowalinski, Will Farrell. the 2nd place DASH girls: Margaret Serchen, Kayla Walters, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck, Faith Caspers, Renee Walters, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa.

  • The DASH girls middle school team. Front: Mary LeSac, Grace Caspers, Hellena Hacker, Julianna Caspers, Zaela Schlissel. Middle: Julia Kowalinski, Anabel Fisher, Savanna Bruton, Stephanie Chu, Angela Walters. Back: Naomi Zhou, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Makenna Fisher, Jenna Walters.

  • The DASH middle school boys team. Front: Vince Maurer, Jeffrey Breiling, Leif Kostrzewa, Caleb Schaber, Seka Kostrzewa, Alexander Taylor, Noah LaBonte. Middle: Ethan Lindberg, Micah Chan, Jose Rosario, Joshua LeSac, Adam Loustaunau, Salim Lubbad, Kaden Hacker, Nathanael Chu, Jacob LaBonte, Ben Breitbach. Back: Daniel Caspers, Joshua Lipski, Tikvah Schlissel, Bryant Farrell, Christian Loustaunau, Ed Sherman, Peter Chan, Matthew Kowalinski.

  • Track 2015

    2015 High School Track. Front: Andrea Coulter, Stefanie Klaves, Renee Walters, Jessy Homa, Bekka Homa, Nina Smrecek, Johannah Lee, Kayla Bruton, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck. Back: Jacob Dickman, Jeremy Marek, Justin Chu, Nicholas Funk, Noah Evans, Samuel Lee, Danny Wickman. Missing: Tommy Ebert, Joe Hughes, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 2013

    Front : Abigail Larkin, Sophia Zyzo, Grace Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Zinkgraf, Elijah Anumolu, Daniel Caspers, Leif Kostrzewa, Wesley Evans, Mary LeSac, Andre Coulter, Abby Chu, Grace Dupar, Gulla Kemmann. Back: Danny Wickman, Lucretia Nyhart, Mia Wickman, Faith Caspers, Toria Schein, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Guidone, Olivia Zyzo, Toria Schein, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joshua LeSac, Joshua Anumolu, Kayla Walters, John Klaves, Christopher Fossell, Joe Hughes, Glenn Kaboskey. Missing: Stephanie Chu. Simran Khunger, Foster Todd, Briton Kostrzewa, Alex Navin.

  • Cross Country 2012

    Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invite 7th-8th grade champions: Briton Kostrzewa, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes.

  • Track 2012

    Amelie Kemmann, Andrea Kempf, Andrea Beck, Sarah Klapak

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

    Andrea Beck, Lucreitia Nyhart, Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers. Coach Jim Caspers and Ed Beck in back.

  • Cross Country 2004

    Legendary race - Maitland Park This is where it all began.