DASH High School Cross County 2013 Blackshirt Challenge Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The exciting DASH high school cross country team competed at Minooka Park Saturday in the Blackshirt Challenge hosted by Waukesha South High School. It was another warm day and another tough course, but the team rose to the occasion and really improved from their promising first meet.

Returning DASH MVP Jacob Dickman was once again the boys front runner. Jacob likes this tough course and he ran to a season-best 19:04, good for 21st place overall. Ransom Nyhart struggled some, but was able to get to the finish in just under 20 minutes, giving us another good score. The tape needed to attach the timer chips to Joe Hughes toe-shoes did not slow him down as he cut over a minute off his time. He will be a threat to break 20 minutes later this season. Samuel Zinkgraf moved up to be our 4th runner. Sam kept a steady pace the whole way, running with fellow freshman Matt Lange who finished just one step behind Sam. Sam and Matt both broke 22 minutes. If Joe, Sam, and Matt keep improving like this, we will be beating a lot of teams this year. Zebulon Caspers made his season debut and struggled in the heat. Brady Klaves was able to cut over three minutes off his time as he continues to improve. Some cooler weather ahead should really help Zeb and Brady.

DASH star Andrea Beck led the girls team as expected. She earned a hard-fought 29th place finish in just over 18 minutes. Hannah Schein was in her first cross country race, yet ran like a veteran. She stayed with Zipporah Caspers and Stefanie Klaves early until breaking away in the last mile. If we can keep Hannah running like this, it will be a huge boost to the girls team. Zipporah Caspers ran much better this time out as she cut off over a minute from her best time to finish not far behind Hannah. Stefanie Klaves gave us all she had. She ran great early and had just enough left to make it to the finish line with a good time of 21:47. I look for her to keep pushing her times lower throughout the season. Makayla Gergeni ran a very steady race and got ahead of Amelie Kemmann late to be our important fifth runner in. Amelie struggled with her new shoes and had a disappointing day. She has been running well in practice and is due for a breakout race.

The team scores ended up to be what we hoped for. The boys tied The Prairie School for 8th place, but lost out on the tiebreaker. Looking back, there were so many ways we could have picked up one more point. I even called out to Joe Hughes going up the hill near the finish to not let the two Prairie boys behind him pass as I thought we were running very close to them. Joe got boxed in at the finish and the Prairie boys sneaked ahead of him. A little bad luck this time. We will race them again later in the season. The girls posted a nice 10th place finish. This is about where I hoped they would be, but I think the girls have the potential to be significantly better later in the season. It will be fun to watch.

Thanks to Ed Beck for taking the athletes out and scouting the course with them. Ed runs on these trails regularly and I am sure he was able to pass on some valuable insights. Thanks to Mary Beck for volunteering her services to where Waukesha South needed them. She kept the athletes on course at a fork in the trail. The job had its perks as she got a bonus golf cart ride to the spot. Efforts like this keep the DASH team looking good. Thanks to all the parents who got the athletes to the meet and then became great DASH fans for the races. Thanks to Faith Caspers for being the team photographer again. I have been putting captions on the photos again like I used to for those who like to read them. Thanks to the athletes for giving us some more exciting racing despite the heat.  It will fun to see the times go down as it gets cooler.  The high school team will be back in action Friday. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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