DASH High School and Middle School Cross Country 2013 Mayville Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

For the first time in DASH history the high school and middle school cross country teams competed in the same meet. The setting was a sunny, cool day at the beautiful Mayville Golf Club. It was a day for the high school team to brings their times down from their earlier meets where the conditions were much more difficult. I was a little nervous about bringing the team all the way up to Mayville, and it was no comfort trying to decipher the map as we scouted the course, but when the racing began everything came together. It turned out to be a great course to follow the athletes as they ran to some great times. We left feeling we would like to come back again next year.

The middle school race was first with the boys and girls running together. John LaBonte set the pace for the DASH team early, but Joshua Anumolu caught up to him later. The two DASH stars had a race to the finish with Joshua coming in a few steps ahead. It was great to have John run with the rest of the team this time to get him going. John Klaves was having another good race. As he neared the finish, he ended up in the middle of the finishing kicks of Faith Caspers and Sammie Ronge. Faith had set the pace for the girls the whole way, but Sammie moved up in the last half mile to be just a few steps back. Faith ran much better this time out as she returns to form, and was able hold off both John and Sammie. Sammie continues to impress everyone. The long course did not slow her down at all. Rebecca Dickman pushed Faith for over a mile with some great running. She fell back at the end, but posted a great time. She will be back with us for the Homeschool Championships next month. Kayla Walters ran a very steady race as usual. She can always be counted on. Joshua LeSac ran one of his inspired races. He was relentless throughout. Grace Dupar continues to improve. She had a great first mile. In a week or two and on a shorter course she is due for a breakout race. Ed Sherman showed promise early, but the long race slowed him some. A few more good practices and he is going to shine. Daniel Caspers had been sick the day before and it showed. He will back in form soon. Noah LaBonte looked much improved this time out. A shorter course will do him good and we have those coming up. Gulla Kemmann had some back issues and was not able to give us her best effort. Let’s hope her back heals up. Overall, the kids raced well. It was fun to see the boys and girls in the same race like we do at practice.

Andrea Beck got out fast early and ran with the leaders the whole way in the high school girls race. We were all excited and jumping around as we watched her break 17 minutes for the first time. It was a performance rewarded with a 17th place medal. Zipporah Caspers was able to maintain her pace to the finish this time and put up her best time of the year. She has her time down to 19:40 and will be looking to go even lower in the races ahead. Stefanie Klaves got her time down under 21 minutes. She slowed down some in the last mile, but her improvement from race to race has been impressive. Amelie Kemmann ran very well this time out. She fell off Zipporah’s pace in the last mile, but this race should give her the confidence she has been lacking as she looks to get her times down further. Makayla Gergeni gave us her usual steady race. She cut off three minutes from her previous times! She is moving up. Kristin Ulfeng looked good early, but she ran into some bees and got stung. She made it to the finish, but the bees had obviously slowed her down. All the girls had season-best times which bodes well for the rest of the year. This team continues to improve.

Ransom Nyhart led the boys through the first mile, but then Jacob Dickman got by him and never looked back. Jacob always finishes well, and this time the clock said 18:17 as he crossed the line. That is over 45 seconds better than the other good times he has posted. Ransom stayed close to Jacob and gave us a second top-20 finish. His time of 18:30 was also a personal best. John Sherman was back and running well. He is getting close to breaking 20 minutes now as is Joe Hughes. Joe has dropped about a minute off his time each race. Who will break 20 minutes first? Let’s hope they both do it soon. Matt Lange set a DASH record with his effort. His time of 21:02 is the lowest time ever recorded by our team’s 5th runner. They say you are only as good as your 5th runner, so I guess that means the boys are looking very good. Samuel Zinkgraf proved our depth as he raced to the best time ever recorded by our 6th runner. Posting records like this will put a smile on any coach’s face. Isaac Fredricks was not far behind Matt and Sam for about half of the race. He slowed some in the 2nd half but cut about 2 minutes from his last time. Brady Klaves had a tough time on the course. It was not marked well and he got in a position where he could not follow anyone. When the results were announced, our young boys team had beaten all but 11 of the 33 teams. Nice!

It was a day to post some good results and we did. We are where we ought to be as a team right now, but we have to keep pushing forward for the big meets ahead, In five weeks the races will be over. The season goes by fast.

Thanks to Mary Beck for being the team scorekeeper again. Mary was assisted by Ed Beck and Beverly Ulfeng. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the parents who made the drive to Mayville. The parents I asked all thought it was worth the drive to race in this meet. Thanks to my wife for being the camera lady. We did have a camera chip issue during the boys race, but overall the photos came out OK. Thanks to the DASH fans. With 27 athletes, plus parents and siblings on hand, the DASH fans were everywhere. I am sure that played a part in our success.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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