DASH High School & Middle School Cross Country 2013 Midwest Homeschool Championship Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The time for Championship racing finally arrived for the DASH cross country team. The DASH caravan departed for Rochester, MN, Friday morning to participate in the Midwest Homeschool Championship. Coach Caspers, Mrs. Couppee, and Mrs. Kemmann drove 23 DASH fans in the DASH caravan, arriving promptly at Essex Park at 3:00 PM to scout the course. After getting lead scout Joe Hughes out of the trees, we were off to Perkins and then the Comfort Inn for the night. The athletes and Mr. Beck, strictly watched by the coach and other chaperones at all times, were allowed to attack each other in the pool only until 8:00 PM. Then it was time for pizza and chess matches until meeting the very strict curfew of 9:30 PM.

We were all up by 6:30, (except for Mr. Beck’s room; the coach had to intervene there), to have breakfast and play more chess. The coach hounded the team to eat healthy, even going so far as to eat the sausage right off of any athlete’s plate if it was deemed he took too much. At 8:00 AM the team was marched off to get back to the caravan where we met up with the Dickman’s. They all had on the proper attire, but their van was deemed lacking in certain areas. It was promptly corrected by Amelie Kemmann, and off the team went to the race. The Walters were there when we arrived as planned, giving us a grand total of 33 DASH fans, including 18 athletes. It was now time to find out who would earn the right to be called “The Best in the Midwest.”

The boys and girls middle schoolers lined up first. Joshua Anumolu and John LaBonte got out fast for the DASH team on the hilly course. Joshua ran with the leaders for awhile, but the very strong field wore him down some. Joshua finished in 10th place overall, and the results showed him to be the first 7th grader to the finish. He will get another shot next year. John LaBonte did not fare as well on the hills as he did at the start. John coasted in and was passed by Faith Caspers before he kicked it in and edged her by a half step. Faith Caspers led the girls from the start. She was challenged just before the big downhill that leads back to the finish, but then Faith took off and kept John in her sights the rest of the way. Faith set a course record, and finished 14 seconds ahead of second. The strict discipline was paying off. Rebecca Dickman has such a beautiful, easy stride that the pictures do not do justice to how fast she was going. Rebecca settled into 4th place early and was never threatened. It will be great having her back again next week. Lucretia Nyhart and Kayla Walters stuck together the whole way, running not far behind Rebecca. In the end, Lucretia burst ahead and moved up all the way to 6th place, just missing 5th by a step. She was disappointed that she would not be on the medal stand, but her effort sure got the coach excited. Kayla Walters can always be counted on to give us a great race, and this was no exception. She fought for an 8th place finish this time. I would love to see her back next year. Unfortunately, the girls did not have a 5th runner to put us in the running for the team awards. We would have won.

Andrea Beck knew she would be running in the front, and was very nervous at the start of the girls high school race. She stayed with a breakout pack of four girls early, running in third. Going through the maze, Andrea took the lead for awhile, but settled into running in 2nd place, well ahead of third to the finish. It was a great medal winning effort from one of our long-time stars. Hannah Schein had the break-through race we have been waiting for. She cruised up and down the hilly course and seemed to get stronger every time she passed through. She has as much talent as anyone on the team. Let’s hope we see her again this year. Zipporah Caspers kept Hannah in her sights the whole way, giving us a very solid race once again. Zipporah is putting up very consistent races right now which is what we need from her. Amelie Kemmann, clearly ready to race with the cowbell out, set out on a fast pace and never faltered. Each time Zipporah passed, the wait for Amelie was right on schedule. This is where we dreamed Amelie would be at this point in the season. Our dreams were starting to come true. Kristin Ulfeng gave us the race we were hoping for as well. She kept plenty of girls behind her by staying focused and steady. Renee Walters, coming off an injury, is not in race shape yet. Nonetheless, she never gave up and made it to the finish on a long, very tough course. It was a great day for the girls with everyone running well.

The boys race had three teams in contention. The Jaguars, the host team from Rochester; the defending Homeschool champion Liberty Eagles from Eau Claire; and our own DASH Team. There was a lot of talking at the start, with each team liking their chances. When the racing began, Ransom Nyhart got out fast, looking to control the race from the front. After the first loop, past the mile mark, Ransom and Jacob Dickman were running 1-3, with two Liberty Eagles in the lead pack with them. I thought it may be a two team race, but that was before five Jaguars passed through in succession. We had an epic race brewing! The rest of our boys team came through next, all running together. It would be up to Joe Hughes, Matt Lange, Samuel Zinkgraf, and Zebulon Caspers to move up if we were going to win. As the race entered the final loop, the lead pack was unchanged, with Ransom and Jacob in the lead pushing the pace hard. It was not long before Joe, Matt, and Sam came in view, and they had gotten ahead of two of the Jaguars. The lead was now ours with a little more than a mile left. The clock was watched nervously as we awaited the boys to come back out of the woods. The lead bike was heard, and a few seconds later Ransom Nyhart raced by. No one would catch him now. Heads were turned back to the woods, and the next to appear was our own Jacob Dickman, with a Liberty boy a few steps back. The Liberty athlete fought hard to catch Jacob. Just as he was about to draw even, Jacob took off on him and streaked to a second place finish. It was 1-2 for the DASH team! A roar was soon heard as Sam, Joe, and Matt were seen racing out of the woods. The overall team race was settled in our favor, but Sam still had something to prove. Sam roared ahead of Joe and Matt at the finish to be our third boy in, with Joe and Matt right behind. What a race for all of these guys! We needed great races from all of them, and we got nothing less. It was championship racing, and we ran like champions, Midwest Homeschool Champions!

They served ice cream sandwiches before the awards. That was a week early for ice cream. For the first time, our discipline had lapsed. We gathered ourselves together again, and did some great DASH cheering as Rebecca Dickman, Faith Caspers, Andrea Beck, Jacob Dickman, Ransom Nyhart, and the whole high school boys team were called up to gather their awards. All 33 DASH fans were needed for all this championship cheering. I then wanted to get things moving so we could leave on time, but our discipline proved shaky again. We stayed late to enjoy the moment, and take plenty more great team photos. We eventually got things packed away and headed home, at least after a stop for gas and more celebrating at Wendy’s.

Thanks are required to many for helping with a trip of this magnitude. Thanks go out to Wayne Dickie and the Rochester homeschoolers who gave us the chance to race. Thanks to Birgit Kemmann and Kenli Couppee for keeping up with me on the highway. Thanks to Pete Dickman for providing us with such well-liked DASH sweatshirts which are displayed so prominently in the photos. Thanks to the camera lady for taking most of the photos. Thanks to our chaperones who helped keep the athletes disciplined and meeting curfew. Thanks to Beverly Ulfeng for helping watch Philip, who proved to be especially naughty. Thanks to Assistant Coach Beck for keeping everyone entertained, and the athletes running fast. Of course, the DASH fans were great as always. We have another big race next week. We will see what this team can do for an encore.

Take care,
Jim Caspers


  • Cross Country 2016

    The 2016 DASH girls cross country team: Zipporah Caspers, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa, Abby Chu, Rebecca Dickman, Katrina Lipski, Kayla Walters, Ella Johnson, Faith Caspers, Alivia Kempf.

  • The 2016 DASH boys cross country team. Front: Cliff Yang, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Brian Durbin, Caleb Schaber, Justin Chu. Back: Ben Hughes, Joshua Schaber, John Klaves, Joshua Anumolu, Zachary Werner, Zach Pape, Miles Talbert, Seth Holter, Vincent Maurer, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • The 2016 DASH MS girls cross country team. Grace Caspers, Stephanie Chu, Savanna Bruton, Hellena Hacker, Mary LeSac, Heidi Talbert, Julia Kowalinski, Joy Rasch, Julianna Caspers, Jenna Walters, Alexa Bruton.

  • The 2016 DASH MS boys cross country team. Front: Josiah Chu, Seka Kostrzewa, Nathanael Chu, Micah Chan, Silas Johnson, Noah Caspers, Charlie Johnson. Back: Alexander Taylor, Joshua Lipski, Joshua LeSac, Kaden Hacker, Bryant Farrell, Leif Kostrzewa, Daniel Caspers.

  • Track 2016

    DASH HS 4x1600 Relay Winners. Boys: Drake Hacker, Justin Chu, Briton Kostrzewa, Jacob Dickman. Girls: Zipporah Caspers, Faith Caspers, Kayla Walters, Andrea Beck.

  • Rebecca Dickman, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Stephanie Chu.

  • Cross Country 2015

    2015 Bradley Tech Cross Country Champions: The 1st place DASH boys: Lucas Ebel, John Klaves, John LaBonte, Joshua Schaber, John Sherman, Joshua Anumolu, Ben Hughes, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Drake Hacker, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes, Jacob Dickman, John Kowalinski, Will Farrell. the 2nd place DASH girls: Margaret Serchen, Kayla Walters, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck, Faith Caspers, Renee Walters, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa.

  • The DASH girls middle school team. Front: Mary LeSac, Grace Caspers, Hellena Hacker, Julianna Caspers, Zaela Schlissel. Middle: Julia Kowalinski, Anabel Fisher, Savanna Bruton, Stephanie Chu, Angela Walters. Back: Naomi Zhou, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Makenna Fisher, Jenna Walters.

  • The DASH middle school boys team. Front: Vince Maurer, Jeffrey Breiling, Leif Kostrzewa, Caleb Schaber, Seka Kostrzewa, Alexander Taylor, Noah LaBonte. Middle: Ethan Lindberg, Micah Chan, Jose Rosario, Joshua LeSac, Adam Loustaunau, Salim Lubbad, Kaden Hacker, Nathanael Chu, Jacob LaBonte, Ben Breitbach. Back: Daniel Caspers, Joshua Lipski, Tikvah Schlissel, Bryant Farrell, Christian Loustaunau, Ed Sherman, Peter Chan, Matthew Kowalinski.

  • Track 2015

    2015 High School Track. Front: Andrea Coulter, Stefanie Klaves, Renee Walters, Jessy Homa, Bekka Homa, Nina Smrecek, Johannah Lee, Kayla Bruton, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck. Back: Jacob Dickman, Jeremy Marek, Justin Chu, Nicholas Funk, Noah Evans, Samuel Lee, Danny Wickman. Missing: Tommy Ebert, Joe Hughes, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 2013

    Front : Abigail Larkin, Sophia Zyzo, Grace Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Zinkgraf, Elijah Anumolu, Daniel Caspers, Leif Kostrzewa, Wesley Evans, Mary LeSac, Andre Coulter, Abby Chu, Grace Dupar, Gulla Kemmann. Back: Danny Wickman, Lucretia Nyhart, Mia Wickman, Faith Caspers, Toria Schein, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Guidone, Olivia Zyzo, Toria Schein, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joshua LeSac, Joshua Anumolu, Kayla Walters, John Klaves, Christopher Fossell, Joe Hughes, Glenn Kaboskey. Missing: Stephanie Chu. Simran Khunger, Foster Todd, Briton Kostrzewa, Alex Navin.

  • Cross Country 2012

    Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invite 7th-8th grade champions: Briton Kostrzewa, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes.

  • Track 2012

    Amelie Kemmann, Andrea Kempf, Andrea Beck, Sarah Klapak

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

    Andrea Beck, Lucreitia Nyhart, Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers. Coach Jim Caspers and Ed Beck in back.

  • Cross Country 2004

    Legendary race - Maitland Park This is where it all began.