DASH High School Cross Country 2012 Whitewater Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team fielded our strongest team yet in Whitewater yesterday, competing in the Whippet Challenge. We were very competitive against a few of these teams at our last meet, and we hoped to move a little higher in the team standings this time. We arrived to find a cold front passing through that also brought out the rain. It was a struggle to stay warm before the girls race, but fortunately the rain died down just about the time the girls were scheduled to race donning the green Eagles jerseys.

Andrea Kempf got the DASH fans excited early as she challenged for the lead through the first mile of the long 5k race. Andrea Beck also got out fast and looked strong running near the leaders. Heidi Jacobsen and Emily Caspers were running well through the first mile, with all our other girls running very close together a couple minutes behind. After coming down the big hill for the second time and heading for the finish, Andrea Kempf was still among the leaders. She ended up in 7th place with an amazing time of 21:59! That’s fast! It was a short wait to see Andrea Beck’s charge to the finish. The long race did not slow her down as she finished an impressive 15th. Her hard work is paying off. Heidi Jacobsen was next, giving us another great race to keep our team scoring very low at this point, which really built the excitement and made the DASH fans wait for the next athlete to arrive seem long. The length of the race slowed the rest of our athletes, but Emily Caspers and Kaitlyn Hillman arrived just in time.  I will tell you more about that later. Siobhan Heiss was a few paces behind Kaitlyn as she continues to improve. Amelie Kemmann was next with her usual fast finish as she still tries to adjust her sprinter speed to cross country races. Freshman Courtney Sigmund impressed the DASH fans in her first race. Ashley Hanus gained some more valuable experience in her second race. Freshman Renee Walters, in her first race, started well but lost some confidence on this hilly course. We will keep working with Renee because I know she’s fast.

Jacob Dickman and Ransom Nyhart set the pace early for the DASH Eagles team in the boys race, staying within the top-10 throughout. Hudson Nyhart also got out fast, followed closely by Kyle Hillman, Aaron Vogel, and Zachary Marek, with Zebulon Caspers and Jeremy Marek pacing themselves a little ways back. In the end, Jacob Dickman’s hard work this season paid dividends, powering him to a 6th place finish. Ransom Nyhart was right behind in 8th place giving the DASH team two top-10 finishes! But the good results were only beginning. Kyle Hillman had a great finish, moving up all the way to 14th. Aaron Vogel and Hudson Nyhart put up some nice times to assist us in posting a very low team score. Zachary Marek was not far behind Hudson, proving our depth while adding points to other teams as our pusher. Zeb Caspers and Jeremy Marek keep improving with each race, both giving good efforts to complete some great boys racing.

After the boys race we could not find the boys sweats that were left behind the start line. It turned out that ours, along with another teams stuff was stolen. Very disappointing and the low point of the day. Fortunately our minds were turned toward the awards ceremony. Andrea Kempf received some loud DASH cheering as she received her top-10 medal. After hearing the girls announced as the 4th place team, and by one point no less, the DASH Eagles fans were heard from once again. I told you Emily and Kaitlyn were just fast enough! Ransom Nyhart was next, followed by Jacob Dickman, to be announced as top-10 finishers to loud DASH applause. Then the wait to hear how the boy’s team placed overall began. When three teams were left and we were not yet called, the tension mounted. Could we take second? The Prairie School was announced as the third place team and we finally knew our fate. Yes, the DASH Eagles were second! (Extremely loud DASH Eagles cheers in the background, along with plenty of high-fiving.) We left with a less stuff than we came with, but with some smiles on our faces.

Special thanks to all the parents who made the long trek to Whitewater. We do have some closer meets coming up. Thanks to Lisa Dickman for getting the mile splits. Thanks to Dawn Kempf for encouraging everyone up the big hill. Thanks to Maura Heiss for bringing the uniforms. Thanks to Faith Caspers for the photos. Thanks to the whole team, parents and athletes, who made it through the cold and the rain, and were there to witness all the great racing. But as good as we ran, I still don’t think we have witnessed our best yet. Stay tuned while we get faster in the coming weeks. You won’t want to miss it.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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