DASH Middle School Track 2014 University Indoor Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The young DASH middle school track team was indoors last Saturday competing in the annual University Indoor at UW-Milwaukee. It was the earliest meet the middle school team has ever had. Add in all the cold weather, the new athletes, and the stiffest competition of the year, and this meet was bound to be particularly challenging. Here are some of the highlights and reflective thoughts from the big meet.

The boys start first in this meet and our big guys, John LaBonte and Joshua Anumolu, got the season started by posting some nice times in their warmup 50 meter dash. Eli Adler edged Caleb Alles in a closely contested 50 meter heat to lead the 5th graders. Joshua Anumolu had been sick earlier in the week and did not have his usual kick in the 800 but put a respectable time. Our veteran distance runners, Joshua LeSac and Daniel Caspers, were joined by Eli Adler in the 800 with Eli coming out ahead in this promising threesome. In the 200, John LaBonte got off to a great start and posted a nice time. Wesley Evans looked great and finished in 9th place overall. 3rd grader Joshua Lipski impressed with his form. He has the talent to be pushed out a little longer. Our 6th grade relay team of Wesley Evans, Elijah Johnson, Zachary Werner, and Noah LaBonte put a better time than our 5th grade team of Joshua LeSac, Caleb Alles, Joshua Lipski, and Eli Adler, but our lack of experience showed on both teams. We had just two athletes run the 1600 meters this year. Joshua LeSac and Daniel Caspers placed just out on the ribbons as they try to race themselves into shape. The 400 meter race exposed our lack of practice time. The one exception was Wes Evans who raced to an 8th place finish and the boys best result of the day.

Our more experienced girls team got going in the afternoon. Returning DASH MVP, Gulla Kemmann, got the season off to a blazing start with a 3rd place finish in the 50 meters. Kayla Walters followed that up with her own 3rd place finish in the 7th grade division to get her day started. Stephanie Chu had one of her famous starts and earned 9th place out of 74 runners in the 5th grade. Alexa Dawson is back with the team again this year and was caught running fast in her race. Lucretia Nyhart put up the best time in the 800 for the girls. Faith Caspers followed with a 6th place finish in a very crowded combined heat race after starting in the back row. In the 200, Gulla Kemmann and Grace Dupar posted some good early season times. Abby Chu showed off her steady speed and got the coach thinking about getting her to run a 400 soon. Stephanie Chu’s 11th place finish in the 200 was the team best. Our 8th grade relay team of Lucretia Nyhart, Kayla Walters, Grace Dupar, and Gulla Kemmann posted a good time, but just missed out on the awards. The 5th grade team of Stephanie Chu, Julianna Caspers, Libby Evans, and Alexa Dawson was very exciting and came in 2nd in their heat. Faith Caspers has run the 1600 in this meet since its inception in 2009. She came in 2nd place again this year, making that four 2nd place finishes in those six races. Our accomplished 1st grade foursome of Julianna Caspers, Angela Walters, Grace Caspers, and Mary LeSac all lined up for the 5th grade 1600. Julianna and Angela went out fast and stayed together for a lap and a half until Julianna pulled away. Grace Caspers stayed steady early on and kept Angela in her sights. Mary decided to enjoy this race from behind. Julianna never let up to the finish and posted a personal best 7:10 to place 5th overall. Grace raced past Angela in the final stretch to post an 8:15, five seconds ahead of Angela as the girls turned heads as usual. We still had the 400 left for the girls, and like the boys our lack of practice was exposed. Kayla Walters posted the best 400 time of the girls in the last DASH race of the day.

I would have liked this meet to be a week or two later, but one of the positives will be the extra couple extra weeks of practice gained before the next meet. Now we have a lot of hard work ahead to get into mid-season form. We need to stay alert and give our best effort in the weeks ahead to make this another great DASH season.

Thanks to Ed Beck as usual for his assistance with the coaching. Thanks to Adam Wickersham, the meet coordinator, for getting us heat sheets this year. That really made things easier. Thanks to Andrea Beck for letting us use her camera. Andrea along with Zipporah Caspers and Faith Caspers took the great photos. Thanks to all the parents who sat through another long meet. And thanks to the athletes for running hard and having fun.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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