DASH High School Cross Country 2014 Prairie Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The high school cross country team was in Racine yesterday for the annual Prairie School Invitational. The weather turned for the better earlier that morning. There would be no thunderstorms, only a minimal light rain. The Armstrong Park course was in pristine condition. It was finally time to put our paces to the test in this much anticipated meet.

Andrea Beck led the girls team once again. Andrea is really running well now and ran to a season best 22:41 to finish 7th overall. Behind Andrea, Kayla Bruton, Lucretia Nyhart, and Marlissa Muckerheide were all racing close together. Marlissa was the early pace-setter for the group with Lucretia following close behind. Kayla would later move up and stride with Lucretia through the last mile before showing off her speed with a great finish. Lucretia was right behind posting a personal best time of 25:21. Marlissa struggled through the last mile, but finished in under 26 minutes. Johannah Lee ran varsity for the first time and broke into our top-5. She lowered her time from Saturday by over two minutes. She looks ready for Rochester. Zipporah Caspers struggled again with a foot injury. She will now rest up and try to get ready for the championship meets ahead. Jessy Homa was out sick last meet and is not back running her best yet. She gets another chance next week. The girls placed 5th place overall, well ahead of 6th. The team is very young, and the coach is already dreaming about moving up in the standings next year.

Our boys team was the favorite to win this meet, but staying ahead of the defending champion Brookfield Academy team would prove difficult early. In the first half of the race, DASH stars Jacob Dickman and Ransom Nyhart settled in with the lead pack keeping the top-2 Brookfield boys behind them. John Sherman and Joe Hughes got out fast with the pack and fought hard to keep us in contention, while Justin Chu and Matt Lange bided their time waiting to move up later if and when the Academy boys slowed. As the second half of the race heated up, our boys were methodically moving into the spots we needed to be in to win. Jacob Dickman was holding the 5th place spot down, with Ransom playing defense behind him. They would not be passed. Justin Chu made his move and got ahead of Brookfield Academy’s 3rd runner. Joe Hughes and John Sherman worked together holding their positions and stayed close to Justin with Matt Lange in the back waiting to help out if anyone faltered. The boys had the lead, and they stayed the course to the end. They ran like champions and would be rewarded appropriately for their efforts later. Danny Wickman was behind them running to his best time of the year. And Samuel Lee ran in his first race giving everyone a little excitement with his sprint to the finish to cap off an historic day of DASH racing.

The award ceremony had the DASH fans cheering loudly as Andrea Beck was called up to receive her 7th place medal. Kayla and Lucretia just missed out on a top-15 medal with their 17th and 18th place finishes. We were hoping to cheer for Joe and John, but they ended up in 16th and 17th. So close! The DASH fans recovered and were back cheering loudly for Justin Chu and his 10th place medal, and for Ransom Nyhart who finished 6th. Jacob Dickman had to leave early, but his 5th place medal will be his soon. The boys team results were announced next, and to the amazement of many, the DASH team was declared the winner by a convincing 15 points. We had won our second meet in a row! it was time again for trophy pictures, and the apres-race pizza party.

Thanks go out to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to Faith Caspers who took most of the pictures in the rain. Thanks to The Prairie School for putting in the work needed to set up the course, inviting us, and giving us the opportunity to take home a little extra this year. Thanks to all the DASH fans who made it to the meet and cheered the team on. And congratulations to former DASH stars Christian and Matthew LeSac. They both received top-15 medals, with Christian winning 1st for the second year in a row. DASH stars, current and former, are running fast all over the area. This team is special. And with homeschool championship racing the next two weekends, it should be equally exciting. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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