Archive for October, 2010

Hello DASH homeschool families,

Each year Wisconsin Lutheran College hosts a grade school cross country meet before their college meet. There were 20 teams participating on this cold, blustery morning, including the DASH team for the first time. The DASH fans were out in full force to cheer on the athletes, and see if the days events would prove to be special.

The girls raced all together. After a little commotion getting the girls ready at the start, the DASH girls were off. Andrea Beck led the way early, with Lucretia Nyhart keeping her in sight. It would prove to be a photo finish at the end, with everyone not sure who crossed the line first. Zipporah Caspers ran hard the whole way to finish 15 seconds later. Gabrielle Heiss continued her amazing season with an inspiring run to come in next. Faith Caspers struggled early on this day, but finished strong to come in just in time. More on that later. Two athletes making their first appearance of the season for the DASH team were next. Darby Trewhella and her sister Isabelle were recruited to give us a full 7th and 8th grade team. They really looked great. We should see them again before the season is done. Siobhan Heiss showed some of her speed from track season at the finish. Renee Nurre, Gloria Heiss, and Skyler Heinz finished one after the other to complete a great day of DASH girls racing.

The boys lined up with high hopes on this day. Ransom Nyhart stayed near the front at the start. As usual, he finished with a flourish, passing many, and finishing 6th overall. Christian LeSac could not be slowed on this short course, running strong the whole way to be the next DASH runner in. Matthew LeSac came in soon after with his usual fast, steady race. Zebulon Caspers was at the finish next, followed by Nick Contino. Nick keeps getting better each race. He almost caught Zeb this time. Levi was back to running great. He was followed by Kevin Egan who, as usual, was going full steam the whole way. Ben Contino broke 12 minutes in another fine run. Daniel Caspers finally caught Tommy Egan at the end. Tommy ran his best race by far this year. Seth Heinz crossed the line ahead of 6 others on this day.

The award ceremony was next. Most of the DASH fans chose to stick around to see how we would fare. It was hard to tell because the 6th and under athletes ran with the 7th and 8th graders, but would be scored separately. The 6th and under girls were first. Lucretia Nyhart got the DASH cheering section going, with her time being good for a 6th place overall medal. The countdown began on the team scores, with the tension mounting. The wait was not over until the end, with the DASH team being announced the victor – by one point! The DASH fans erupted in applause. The cameras came out as the girls gathered around the very large trophy. Our 7th and 8th grade girls came next. With two girls running their first race of the year, they were still good for a 3rd place finish! Now the day was becoming extra special. After a small wait, the 6th and under boys results were announced. We had another long wait in store for us, with Christian LeSac’s name finally being called. The 2nd place medal was his prize, giving the warmed up DASH fans another opportunity to show how loud they can cheer. The 6th and under boys team scores became another thriller for the DASH fans. This was becoming a legendary day now. Finally the DASH name was called – 2nd place! 2nd place for a team that had a 2nd and 3rd grader in its top four! That’s legendary. The boys 7th and 8th graders were next, with Ransom winning the 6th place medal. Three medals in all for the DASH team! This division was the most competetive of the four. The DASH boys came in tied for 5th. Ben Contino, our 5th runner, put the tiebreaker in our favor, besting the other teams 5th runner. It is good to have so many fast guys on the team. This gave us a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th place finish out of 20 teams in the four races. That is having a special day. Another monumental day in DASH history was written. Two more races this week, plus The Grade School Challenge and Homeschool Nationals await us. I hope to see you there.   Photos

Thanks to all the athletes for giving us so much to cheer for at the awards ceremony. Thanks to all the DASH fans who did the cheering. Thanks to Kam Caspers for taking pictures. Thanks to Maura Heiss for sharing her birthday cookies.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH homeschool families,

We have a very busy schedule this next week with two middle school and two high school meets.  I hope the high school runners can get a good run in this weekend to stay sharp. Meet information is below and on the DASH Calendar.

We have a Monday middle school race in Burlington at the St. Francis Retreat Center. Map We ran here last year, but this year there is road construction.  It is recommended that we stay on the Burlington Bypass and get off on Plank Rd (County Rd A).  Go right on Plank Rd (County Rd A) until it ends at Browns Lake Dr.  Turn right again and the entrance is just ahead on the right.  Use the second parking lot in to get near the race start.  Here is the race schedule.

Arrive at 3:15 to scout the course and warm up
Schedule:  4:00 7th and under girls
4:20 7th and under boys
4:40 8th girls
5:00 8th boys
5:25 Awards
Course:  1.6 miles

Tuesday we are back at the St. Francis Retreat Center Map for a high school race run by Burlington Catholic Central.  We ran this meet last year, but not on this course. This is a fun race with small schools.  It will be the full 5000/4000 meters this year.

4:30 Girls Race
5:15 Boys Race
Top 7 count as varsity.
Medals for the first 15 individual place finishers.

Wednesday the middle school team is way up north at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School near Jackson. Map Take I-45 north to Highway 60.  Turn right on Hwy 60 a few miles through Jackson to Division Rd. (Highway G).  Turn right, and the high school will soon be on your right.  Bring your running shoes for the fun run after.

3:15 arrive to scout course and warm up
4:00  6th and under girls
4:20  6th and under boys
4:40  7th-8th girls
5:00  7th-8th boys
5:20  fun fun – anybody can enter!
5:40  awards

Thursday the high school team will be at Grant Park in South Milwaukee. Map Park in Area 5&6, like we did at the Grant Park middle school meet.  I do not have much information about this meet except that it is against four other teams.  What they told me is below.

Arrive 3:15
First race 4:15 JV then Varsity

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH homeschool families,

Our high school team ran in the Prairie Invitational on Thursday. The weather was beautiful, and the course was tough. While the teams were smaller and more our size, we were to run shorthanded, bringing just enough athletes in the boys race to make a team. It would be a challenge to improve on our good racing of last meet.

The girls race was a combined Varsity/JV race. Our four girls team did not look too small in this race. We were standing next to a team with two girls and a team with three. I was starting to like this day. Our girls all got out to good starts. Emily Caspers and Abigail Westendorf led the way for the DASH team again, keeping pace with each other the whole way. Abigail withstood a late Emily surge to be our first girl in. Martha Egan ran very well from the start to just miss her personal record. Britta Heiss struggled early, but came on strong in the end, finishing our girls racing for the day. Many encouraging signs were shown that the best racing for these girls lies ahead.

Our boys lined up next, all in the varsity race. We needed the boys to run their best, as all their scores would be counted in our team score.  Tim Egan and Zachary Marek set out on a fast pace from the start, with Hudson Nyhart keeping them in his sight. Andrew Rodriguez was really giving his all, and Jay Egan was his usual cool self, waiting for his chance to put on a surge later in the race. We really looked like we belonged in this race. Everyone was excited. The great racing continued throughout. Tim Egan stayed in front for the DASH team the whole way in another very impressive race. Hudson Nyhart ran especially strong at the end to break his personal record by 24 seconds on this tough course. Zachary Marek looked strong the whole race. He is racing like a veteran – very smart. Andrew Rodriguez never let up, while Jay Egan put on his usual late surge catching up to Andrew going down the last hill. The race to the finish between these two was as good as it gets, with Jay edging out our newest member by a very slight margin. The photos of their finish prove me out. You can see all the photos here.  Andrew and Jay both set personal records!  The official standings say we took 6 out of 6, but they are deceptive.  Their were 12 teams in this meet, many not choosing to test their mettle in the varsity race.  We chose varsity despite running all sophomores and freshman – and we competed impressively!

Thanks to all the great DASH fans who followed the runners around to cheer them on.  We have three meets to go, two of them similar to this one.  This is the part of the season I have really been looking forward to.  The athletes are in shape and running fast.  I hope you can come out to cheer them on.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH homeschool families,

The middle school team participated in the Tosa Invite last Wednesday – 46 teams, and 1500 athletes. We have other big meets, but nothing compares to the Tosa Invite in size, and it was bigger than ever this year. Running is on the upswing in this country, and it was on display at Greenfield Park. Who could imagine a meet this size even five years ago? We were there to put our racing to the test against all the best teams in the Milwaukee area.

The 6th and under girls were first. Lucretia Nyhart stayed among the leaders the whole way for a fantastic 11th place finish. Zipporah Caspers can always be counted on to run strong, and run strong she did, finishing in 30th place in this huge field. The star of the day was Gabrielle Heiss. She stuck with Faith Caspers the whole way, finishing a step ahead for a spectacular 40th place finish to Faith’s 41st. All these girls were in the top 14% of the field. Monumental! Renee Nurre came in next with a strong run to complete our team scoring. This fourth grader beat over 100 girls. Gloria Heiss finished soon after in a great effort as always. Skyler Heinz ran with the big girls to complete our team’s great 6th and under team.

The boys 6th and under runners lined up next. Christian LeSac was the DASH leader the whole way for an impressive 22nd place finish. Glenn Kaboskey and Kevin Egan ran fast together for much of the race, with Kevin surging at the end for an amazing 60th place finish. Glenn finished his own strong outing, good for 81st. Levi Leonard got a side ache, but Daniel Caspers came up and inspired him to keep going. They both posted good times to complete our team scoring. Tommy Egan and Seth Heinz finished out the race for the 6th and under boys.

Our 7th and 8th girls were next. Andrea Beck was our leader, finishing in 47th place out of about 400 athletes. Siobhan Heiss got to walk to the finish line. The race was so big, the athletes were lined up before the finish line to take their turn going through the chute. We have never seen that before.

The big boys toed the start line next. DASH star Ransom Nyhart lived up to his billing to finish 23rd out of about (gasp!) 500 athletes. Matthew LeSac ran fast and steady for a hard fought 89th place and a numbered ribbon. Zeb Caspers coasted to the finish after tweaking his back to be our next runner in. Nick Contino looked strong throughout for a 200th place finish. The chute backed up again just before his finish.. Ben Contino and Jeremy Marek finished in the middle of all the pandemonium. All six of these boys had very encouraging runs. Our 7th and 8th grade team is very fast.

The great weather, the size of the meet, and the way this team is running all led to a great day of racing. The excitement level seemed to stay at a peak throughout. We are starting the busy time of the season. There is hardly time to practice, the meets are coming too fast. Enjoy it while you can.  Photos

Special thanks to Maura Heiss for her scorekeeping efforts. With the crowds, and the problems with the chute, it was not an easy day. Maura handled it with her usual efficiency. Thanks to Emily Caspers for collecting the cards. Thanks to Kam Caspers for running around with me to take pictures. Thanks to all the parents for getting the athletes to the meet on time. The parking at this meet is not easy. Thanks to the athletes for all being where they were supposed to be and making the coaches job so enjoyable.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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