DASH Middle School Cross Country 2015 Elkhorn Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

Our exciting middle school cross country team was in Elkhorn on Wednesday competing in one of my favorite meets, the Elkhorn Invitational. There were only six starting boxes, but with the very good Elkhorn and Waterford teams filling two of them, our competition would be stiff. This is the last of our early season meets. It gives us another chance to see how the team is progressing and what we need to work on, with the goal of peaking at our big championship meet ahead.

Our very young 7th and under girls team would get the DASH fans attention first. Julianna Caspers went out fast and stayed fast. Julianna was running 14th at the half mile point, and then methodically started moving up until she found herself in a race for 8th place at the finish. Her amazing 10:48 time would earn her a spot on the medal stand. Stephanie Chu started off much slower this time, but she was also able to move up near the end and capture the 14th place medal. Grace Caspers kicked it in at about the mile mark and caught up to the very steady Julia Kowalinski. Grace and Julia hit the homestretch together with Grace coming in just ahead. Zaela Schlissel got off to a great start in her first race. She found the going a little more difficult later on, but hung on for a 38th place finish. Yes, that gave us four 3rd graders in the top-38. The vision of these girls racing in a few years is hard to keep under wraps. Angela Walters stayed ahead of sister Jenna this time with both girls showing improvement. Mary LeSac made her season debut with a solid effort.

We had eighteen 7th and under boys lined up to race next. Jeffrey Breiling, Leif Kostrzewa, and Joshua LeSac ran together until about the half way point. Then Jeffrey pulled away and never let up for a hard fought 9th place finish and a nice 10:05 time. Leif finished just 12 seconds back which was just fast enough to get the 15th place medal. Daniel Caspers gave it all he had the last half of the race and finished a step behind Joshua LeSac. Joshua and Daniel were both shooting for medals, and just missed with their 18th and 19th place showings. Kaden Hacker followed Daniel through the course early, and stayed steady to the finish, where he was getting pushed by Nathanael Chu. Nathanael had been striding with Alexander Taylor until taking off to catch Kaden. Kaden, Nathanael, and Alexander finished 25th, 26th, and 28th. That gave us 7 of the top 28 spots. These boys are running close, so don’t expect them to finish in the same order next race. Seka Kostrzewa was back turning heads. The surges he puts on during a race really frustrate the bigger kids. Seka finished 40th overall and was followed by Tikvah Schlissel. Tikvah is still learning how to pace himself. Expect him to be up with some of our top guys next time out. Joshua Lipski proved his vast improvement is no fluke. He posted a very nice 12:10. Matthew Kowalinski may have been our most improved runner as he stayed with Joshua for most of the way. Ben Breitbach had an inspiring finish and was also much improved. Micah Chan ran steady and posted a good time. He still looks a little uncomfortable out there. A few more races should fix that. Christian Loustaunau ran better than I thought he would in his first race. Well done. Jacob LaBonte was happy with his time. He is gaining confidence now. Adam Loustaunau needs to smooth out his running. Once he does that he will be moving up. Bryant Farrell got through his third race. It is becoming routine for him now. Ethan Lindberg ran much better his second time out, and I think he beat someone.

DASH star Rebecca Dickman joined our 8th grade girls, giving us four at the start. Rebecca got out fast and stayed in the top-6 the whole way. Rebecca moved herself up into 5th place by the finish to give us another athlete to cheer for at the award ceremony. Emma Taylor had her best race to date. She had a strong start, found some girls she could run with, and then kept them behind her to the end to place 16th. Naomi Zhou posted another respectable time, and Sarah Lindberg struggled in her first race of the year. Practice time awaits.

We were only able to line up three 8th graders, but they all ran well. Vincent Maurer ran like a star again. He stayed with the four other really fast guys the whole way leaving one behind him at the finish. His 9:32 time was what was needed to get the 4th place medal. Caleb Schaber ran with the top-10 guys for a long while before settling for 14th place. His 10:13 is good, and he is close to becoming really good. Noah LaBonte cut off almost three minutes from his time on this course two years ago. He’s racing now.

This team is already pretty good. Now with the meets coming up fast, we will not have to wait long to see how good this team ends up. Adding in the high school races, the DASH fans will be in for plenty of excitement in the next three weeks. We have to stay ready, stay healthy, and get in some good workouts between meets. It is going to be a challenge, it is going to be exhausting, and it is going to be fun. You will not want to miss it.

Thanks to all the parents who made the trek to Elkhorn. It is a little extra driving for us, but meets this well run are hard to find. Kudos to the Elkhorn coaches for putting together such a strong team, and thanks to them for the invitation to race. Thanks to all the high schoolers who collected the cards at the chute. Thanks to Mr. Beck, Mr. Maurer, and Mr. Dickman for help with the coaching, and for being great DASH fans. Thanks to Zipporah Caspers and John LaBonte for being our official scorers. And thanks to the camera lady for capturing the excitement in photos. We get to do it all again soon. Until then,

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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