DASH Middle School Cross Country 2013 Grant Park Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The middle school cross country team ran its annual race at Grant Park last Wednesday. Despite running only 18 athletes and having no top-10 finishes for the first time since 2006, I thought the team ran well. We are improving each week as we gear up to peak at the smaller meets coming up, culminating with the Homeschool Championships in Madison.

We were only able to start four athletes in the 7th and under girls race. Faith Caspers led the way for the DASH team on her favorite course. Faith is still not running her best yet, and failed in her attempt at a third straight top-10 finish, but she is rounding into form and posted her best result of the year. Kayla Walters ran outstanding, and really got the coach excited with her effort. She was never far behind Faith and finished in 37th place. Julianna Caspers continues to amaze everyone. With her grandmother on hand to watch her run for the first time, she basically sprinted the whole way and ended up ahead of all but 54 girls. Maddy Schneider is moving up. Her time was down from last week’s race, despite this race being longer by a quarter mile.  It was a great showing by the girls.

Joshua Anumolu powered his way to a 26th place finish to lead the 7th and under boys team. He is running with confidence now and knows he can run with the leaders. John Klaves is putting up some good times each race, and was our second runner in once again.  Leif Kostrzewa had a breakout race on this course last year, and followed it up with another good one this year. He is settling in as one of our stars.  Daniel Caspers had a slow start, but moved up throughout and edged Joshua LeSac at the finish.  Daniel and Joshua both broke 15 minutes and are both rounding into form. We will need them to run even faster at our upcoming meets. We had a new star running in his first race that caught the eyes of the DASH fans. Five year old Seka Kostrzewa raced through the course, smiling most of the way, and beat more than half the field.  Ed Sherman and Noah LaBonte ran well through the long course. I look for Ed and Noah to be even better the rest of the way on the shorter courses ahead. Elijah Anumolu cut over 3 minutes off his time from last year as he continues to run well.  It was nice to see us run nine boys in this race.

We had all four of our 8th grade girls on hand.  Grace Dupar paced Simran Khunger through the long course. This is Grace and Simran’s first year of cross country, yet they were able to place 52nd and 56th overall. Lucretia Nyhart struggled with the long course. A little more practicing and shorter courses and she will be back. Gulla Kemmann enjoyed her stroll through the park.  Hopefully her back will be feeling better, and we will see her running a little more.

John LaBonte went out very fast in the 8th grade race. He later slowed to a better pace and earned the 47th place ribbon.  His race was a repeat of last weeks race in Muskego.  He is very talented and will be even better in the races ahead.

The team is showing much improvement, and has not peaked yet. If the team can stay healthy, the results in the races ahead will be very good. We have a full week off now between races to reflect on our performance, and see how we can improve.  Let’s hope we make the most of it.

Thanks to Mary Beck for her flawless scorekeeping. Thanks to Ed Beck for helping get the athletes ready to race. Thanks to the numerous DASH fans lining the course. If we could get them all to wear DASH yellow we would be quite a sight. Thanks to the camera lady who took some great photos of the DASH fans and the early races. Unfortunately, the 8th grade race photos did not come out quite as well.  We have one month left to following this team. It will be fun to see how everything plays out.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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