DASH Middle School Cross Country Grant Park Meet Report

Hello DASH Homeschool families,

Yesterday was the DASH middle school cross country team’s first meet since their epic 2nd and 3rd place finishes the previous week in Muskego.  Could they do it again? Are they really that good? Those were the questions that were to be answered when we took the field at Grant Park.  Even my own wife was skeptical that this team could do it again. My wife, who has been a DASH fan since the team began, as this legendary photo can attest, did not seem to be able to believe that we could have really come this far and be this fast.

We did have some obstacles to overcome that we did not have at Muskego. Andrea Beck, 2009 DASH MVP, had a viral infection. The boys race was marred by, shall we say, a `wardrobe malfunction`.  (More on this later.)  Would these obstacles bring us back down to earth, or would we be able to overcome them, and stay at the elite level we were at the week before.  The races needed to be run to find out – and run they were!

The 7th and under girls race was first.  Twenty of the biggest teams in the Milwaukee area were there, 244 girls in all.  The gun went off.  Sarah Klapak went out fast and stayed among the leaders the whole way.  This DASH star finished fourth overall for the second straight week.  The first answer to our questions was affirmative.  Sarah is this good!  But in this race, we did not have Andrea Beck running shoulder to shoulder with Sarah.  Andrea was running sick, a 5th place finish was not going to happen on this day.  We finished 2nd place last week by only two points, so we couldn’t afford to fall back too much.  Could the rest of the DASH girls come through?  Lucretia Nyhart answered the call, running even faster than last week for a 10th place finish.  The DASH girls team again had two top 10 finishers for the second week in a row!  Faith Caspers was next with an inspiring run in front of her grandparents and the other DASH fans, for a much needed 20th place finish!  Zipporah Caspers, always reliable, finished out the scoring with a 30th place finish.  Yes, we did it again! 2nd place for the DASH Team!  This one may have been more spectacular than the first.  Trust me, I run with these athletes, they are this good.  But I have hardly begun.  Andrea Beck gave it all she had and finished in 34th, giving the 3rd place team an extra point in the process.  Kudos to her for giving it a go.  Gabrielle continued her great season.  Has anyone moved up more than Gabrielle?  Again she was in the top quarter.  The future stars were next.  Renee Nurre had company in this race, running with Gloria Heiss. Gloria was determined to keep up in her best showing to date.  Skyler Heinz cut 3 minutes off her time from last week.  Encouraging.

The 7th and under boys race was next, but all was not well. The early surge was missing on this day. The cause? Christian LeSac had lost a shoe!  Another race with obstacles to overcome. Christian got it on as fast as he could, but he was running in 240th place after the first stretch – out of 240. Would Christian be able to catch up with his team? Would these dedicated athletes be able to step up after Christian’s bad luck?  Ransom Nyhart did his share with another top 10 finish, coming in 9th to keep us in the running for a good overall score. Still, could we repeat a 3rd place finish from last week. Matthew LeSac did all he could, continuing his great running with a strong 28th place showing. So far, so good. In the meantime, Christian was moving up steadily, ultimately passing every other DASH runner, and 196 runners in all, to come in 44th. Amazing!  Levi Leonard, Glenn Kaboskey, and Dawson Miller really gave it all they had to come in 45th, 49th, and 67th. Glenn’s great race last week has inspired some great competition among these boys, and they are really going fast. Ben Contino and Kevin Egan were much improved over their good races last week. DASH veteran Jeremy Marek had a tough day, but he’ll be back, you can count on that.  All these boys were in the top half of finishers in the race.  This is a really good team. Daniel Parsons beat out Daniel Caspers for the fastest Daniel award, and it was a battle, going back and forth until the end. Very fun to watch. Tommy Egan really improved over last week, while Seth Heinz cut 5 minutes(!) off his time from last week. That’s improving. How did the team finish overall?  We took 5th place, missing 4th place by one point. A heartbreaker in the end for this team, but a finish we can all be proud of. There are a lot of teams looking up at the DASH team.  You can see for yourself here.

Siobhan Heiss struggled again running in the 8th grade by herself.  She will have company in the next three races.  Don’t count out our track MVP yet.

The big guys ran in the last race again yesterday, and again they ran hard.  Zeb Caspers and Nick Contino are our big guy duo.  Unfortunately two runners do not qualify for a team score, but you will be hearing more about these two soon as they will be joined with our seventh graders in most of the upcoming races.  That’s a team that I can’t wait to see.

In my mind the questions have now been answered.  Tell everyone to come out and cheer the DASH team.  They are a team we will be talking about for a long time.

Thanks to timekeeper Mary Beck, card collector Emily Caspers, and the many photographers who will hopefully send me their pictures, and especially to all the great DASH fans cheering the athletes on. Once again the DASH fans really stood out. Thanks also to George Klapak who helped me with the athletes at the start.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

  1. Sarah Heinz

    I just wanted to comment on something that happened after the race at Grant Park. Seth and I were walking back to our van when we came up behind a boy in a gold colored team shirt who was very upset and crying while his parents tried to console him. I heard them saying how it was his first meet and most of the kids probably had lots of practice and it would get better… but he didn’t seem so sure. I believe one of them said something about finishing last. Anyway, I stopped the boy and asked if I could say something. I told him how Seth had come in 218 out of 218 at the Lake Denoon meet… and this week he beat 15 or 20 people and shaved 5 minutes off his time. I tried to encourage this boy that it WOULD get better but he has to believe that it can happen and keep a determined attitude. I just hate the thought that one bad meet might make this boy give up. So, parent and DASH team members – if you see someone struggling, no matter what team they are on – remember that Christians need to share their light and be a good witness. And in this case, that might be by encouraging another runner from another team. Great job everyone!

  • 2018 Cross Country

  • 2017 Cross Country

  • Track 2017

  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Cross Country 2012

  • Track 2012

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

  • Cross Country 2004

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