DASH High School Cross Country 2015 Prairie Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was in Racine yesterday to compete in the annual Prairie School Invite at Armstrong Park. It was a blustery, cool day, and the course was in meticulous shape and would be running fast. We have seen some very close team scores here in the past, and everything pointed to a repeat of that again. This meet is my favorite, and has been on my radar all season. The gun went off to start the girls at 4:15. At long last, it was time to run around the beautiful park and try to follow all the action.

We were only able to line up six girls, so the added pressure was on to have everyone run their best. The pace was surprisingly slow at the start, so Andrea Beck stepped up to pace the pack from the front. Andrea is really hitting her peak now and she maintained her great racing to the end to get a personal record 21:50 and place 6th overall. Faith Caspers put in another solid performance, coming in with a respectable 24:18 time, good for 18th. Kayla Walters stayed close to Faith once again, and moved up to 20th with her strong finish and a season best time of 24:46. Zipporah Caspers was able to run much easier this time and came through for us with her best race of the year. Jessy Homa broke 26 minutes for the first time this year and finished right behind Zipporah. Katrina Lipski stayed steady through the course and posted a good time. I wish she would have stayed to collect her 9th place JV medal. Our girls were impressive.

Jacob Dickman assumed the lead in the boys race coming back up the hill on the first loop, then he continually pushed the pace the next two miles, dropping everyone in the process. A Prairie athlete moved up just before the finish, but was never a real threat. Jacob would get his second victory in less than a week, this time with a personal best time of 17:14. His legend grows. Justin Chu was back with the team and gave us a second top-10 finish. His 18:30 time was good for 7th. Seen finishing just a few places behind Justin was freshman Drake Hacker. Drake has been running strong in practice, but his 18:36 time and 10th place finish surpassed expectations. He was the first freshman on any team to finish and he helped give us the strongest top-3 of any team. Speaking of team scores, the race was turning out to be a four-team battle. The top-10 were spread out among all the top teams leaving no one more than a few points ahead or behind. The race would be decided by the 4th and 5th runners. Joe Hughes was next in for us. His time of 19:34 was respectable, but the other teams were able to get too many athletes in ahead of Joe, who placed 27th. John Sherman ran much stronger this time out. His 19:56 time was his best of the season, which is a good sign that John is rounding into form. In the end, the top four teams all had their top-5 times add up to an hour and 33 minutes. It was oh so close, but the way the points landed gave the advantage to the team with the best 4th and 5th runners. That was Union Grove. Congratulations to them. Samuel Zinkgraf’s calf held up as he ran to his personal best time of 20:00.4. I am betting he gets under 20 minutes this Tuesday. He just has to! Joseph Maurer ran with Sam and John Kowalinski most of the way, and he also just missed going under 20 minutes with his 20:09. John followed with a 20:14. Our boys would be coming in fast now. John Klaves edged John LaBonte this time out and they got their times to show up red on athletic.net, which means personal bests. Tim Kowalinski finished just ahead of Lucas Ebel. Lucas was our 6th JV runner to finish and he placed 13th overall. When you have 6 of the top 13, you dominate the team scores. The JV boys scored a very low 32 points, well ahead of Union Grove’s 60, while taking home 6 of the top-15 medals. Joshua Anumoulu runs better each time out. His time is down to 23:04. Ben Hughes was running with a cold and it showed. I hope to see him race like last Saturday again soon. Will Farrell broke into the 23’s. His hard work is paying off. Joshua Schaber had his best race thus far, as did Ben Fenelon who was racing his first race since Minooka Park.

The girls ran great. The varsity boys were close, and nobody could run with our JV boys. It was an exciting meet again this year, and we have grown into a team that should be in contention every year for the foreseeable future. We will give it another try next year. Now we have to prepare for the two remaining meets on our schedule. They should also prove to be very competitive. Let’s get ourselves in position to run our best and hope that the points come out in our favor next time. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to all the DASH fans who joined me in encouraging the athletes and keeping track of the race. Thanks to our coaching staff who was all on hand. Kudos to three former DASH athletes who all earned top-15 medals – Christian LeSac, Matthew LeSac, and Alex Navin. That comes out to six medal winners total in the varsity boys race that have current or former DASH ties. Kudos also to the new Eastbrook coach, DASH mom Jodi LeSac. She had her boys team running well, and got them to finish right behind us just as I had hoped. Thanks to the camera lady for getting us plenty of good photos. We have two more weeks to keep pressing forward. Let’s finish up with no regrets.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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