DASH High School Cross Country 2013 Bradley Tech Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team ran 18 athletes in the Bradley Tech Trojan Invite on Saturday at Humboldt Park. The meet was moved from Mitchell Park this year, so we had to learn another new course, which is always a challenge. The Humboldt course turned out to be similar to the course at Mitchell Park, with big hills and lots of pavement. It also turned out to be a fan-friendly course, with the DASH team giving us plenty to cheer about.

We ran three athletes in the JV races. Kristin Ulfeng was steady as usual and cut off about a minute from her time at Mayville. It was a bee-sting free race this time for Kristin. Renee Walters had a good start, but had to stop at the top of the hill just past the 2-mile mark to let her breakfast out. Other than that, she ran a pretty good first race of the year. Brady Klaves reached his goal of breaking 30 minutes. He passed the mile mark in under eight, and coasted the rest of the way to post his nice result.

The varsity girls were next. Andrea Beck stayed with two Rufus King girls in the lead pack the whole way. Andrea took the lead at the mile mark, but had slipped to third in the next mile and was looking tired. The next time we saw her she was charging to the finish in 2nd place, denying the Rufus King girls a perfect score for the second year in a row. Amazingly, all eight King girls finished in the top-9 with Andrea the only girl able to stay with them. Zipporah Caspers was next for the DASH girls. She got out fast and is running with more confidence now. She held on for an 18th place finish. Hannah Schein ran the hills near the 2-mile mark as good as anyone, which helped her to a personal best 20:29 time. She can be as good as she wants to be. Stefanie Klaves and Makayla Gergeni stayed close throughout. Stefanie was ahead early, but Makayla made it to the 2-mile mark just ahead. Stefanie had a little extra at the end and was able to cross the finish line first. Makayla broke 23 minutes for the first time and is the only girl to have lowered her time each race thus far. Amelie Kemmann was running a little sick and it showed after the first mile. We need to get her healthy before the next race, and keep her away from ice-cream.

Jacob Dickman and Ransom Nyhart led the boys team once again. Jacob got a few steps ahead of Ransom in the 2nd mile and they ran that way to the end. They both set personal records and set us up for a great team score with 6th and 8th place finishes. Joe Hughes and Matt Lange were impressive again. They both moved up throughout the race, and came over the last hill together, with Joe finishing one second ahead. Matt broke 21 minutes for the first time as he continues to amaze. He races up hills very well, and that came in handy on this course. John Sherman went out very fast and kept Jacob and Ransom in his sights for a long time, but then the heat got to him. He fell back, but was able to finish right behind Matt. Hudson Nyhart was a surprise starter and made the most of it. He gave us his all like he always does and posted a nice time of 21:17. Zebulon Caspers was much better this time out. He stayed with Joe early and held on to set a personal record. Samuel Zinkgraf has been very consistent his last three races and is running very well. It’s hard to believe his 21:49 was only 8th best on the team. Our depth has never been better. In fact, our 4 through 9 runners all set DASH records at those positions, which includes Isaac Fredricks, who ran a very good first two miles. He slowed down some in the last mile, but is getting close to a breakout time.

The DASH fans gathered for the award ceremony and had plenty to cheer as Andrea Beck, Jacob Dickman, and Ransom Nyhart were called up to receive their medals. When the DASH team was called out as the third place team in both the girls and the boys races, the DASH fans proved to be the loudest once again. It was the teams best showing ever at this meet and it sure felt good. The team is running to its potential now and the season is becoming special. We have four big meets left to run, so we can’t rest yet. Let’s hope the best is yet to come.

Thanks to our scorekeeper Mary Beck. She was flawless once again. Thanks to Ed Beck who was all over the course making sure things went smooth. Thanks to Faith Caspers who captured the race in photos. Special and heartfelt thanks to Pete Dickman for providing the team such classy warmup sweatshirts. Now the athletes can look as good as they do running before and after the race. We have just three weeks to go now, and staying healthy is the utmost concern, as it always is this time of year. Let’s take care of ourselves, get our running in, and get ready for the next big meet on Thursday. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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