DASH Middle School Cross Country 2012 WLC Warrior Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team took the field in the Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invite today at Greenfield Park. We have had some success at this meet in the past, but the meet has changed in the last couple years and is now drawing some of the best teams around. If you add in the cold weather, and the fact that it is the middle school team’s only morning meet, it was bound to be a struggle to be at our best.

Faith Caspers led the girls from the start. She ran a very respectable race, but also a little disappointing as she finished in 9th place and out of the medals. Zipporah Caspers came in a little behind with a good effort. She is starting to get back to the way she ran early in the season. Abigail Larkin looked very good as she finished her first race of the year. It is great to have her back as she will be needed at the Homeschool Championships later this month. Kayla Walters ran fast as usual as she continues to add great results to her season tally. Alivia Kempf had a breakthrough race as she was our fourth 6th and under girl in. She has gotten faster all year, and really moved up in this race. Grace Zinkgraf was very steady as she beat the also very steady Julianna Caspers to the finish line. Rebekah Marek was a little off early, but finished strong to be our next runner in, and Gulla Kemmann showed flashes of speed in her race. If we can get her to run the whole way she could be a star.

Christian LeSac took the lead early in the boys race. Down the hill on the backside of the first loop he was passed by a 6th grader. Those two made it a two man race the rest of the way. Christian settled for second overall, but the 8th grade first place medal was his. Briton Kostrzewa gave us his best effort as always as he continues to amaze the coach. He gave us a much needed fourth place finish in the 7th and 8th grade race. You would never know it is his first year of running cross country. Samuel Zinkgraf picked a good time to have his best race of the year. He looked especially strong from start to finish. Joe Hughes was just a few seconds behind Sam, giving us four great races from the 7th and 8th grade boys. Now we would have to wait to see if it would be enough to win after placing second twice in the last few races. For the 6th and under boys, Leif Kostrzewa led the way again. He is running so good, it is hard to believe he is only a second grader. Joshua LeSac posted another great result as he stayed with Leif most of the way. Joshua Anumolu had the breakout race that we have been waiting for as he moved up to finish right behind Joshua LeSac. He has a lot of talent and has been learning with each race. This was the race that he put it all together and ran great the whole way. Daniel Caspers was not at his best as he fought through a bad stomach. He made to the end not too far behind Joshua A. to complete our team scoring. Westley Marek came on fast at the end to finish not far behind Daniel, and Elijah Anumolu picked it up in the woods to finish with a good time.

It took a while for the award ceremony to start. And then we did not have any medal winners in the first three races, so we waited some more. The DASH fans were finally heard as Briton Kostrzewa was called up for his fourth place medal, followed soon after by Christian LeSac who was declared the winner. About this time the boys results were posted, but I resisted the temptation to peak. The teams were called off one by one until only two teams were left. This is where we have been before this season always to be the next team called. However, this was to be our day, the team that beat us Wednesday, the Spartan Running Club was called out next, leaving the DASH team to be called last. Victory was ours! To be honest, for me it was more a feeling of relief than excitement. It was so good to see the boys win! The boys have had so many chances over the last few years, but for a variety of reasons have always come up just short. When we got to see the official results we found we had one by 10 points. Yes, it was an epic win, and another great day of DASH racing!

Thanks to Jodi LeSac for being our official scorer, and thanks to my wife for getting some great photos. Thanks also to all the great DASH fans who stuck around to the end to see the boys win. We have a small meet on Tuesday, but we also have to keep our sights on defending our title at the Wisconsin Homeschool Championships on October 20th. We have had a great season, but we need to stay healthy, keep practicing, and end the season on a high note. It is going to be fun. It will be even more fun if we are ready to run our best.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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