DASH Middle School Cross Country 2015 Kettle Moraine Lutheran Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH team was back in action for the 5th time in 10 days on Wednesday. It would be the middle school team’s turn to run in perfect fall weather, as they took the field for competition at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. This meet has really grown, so it would be the team’s last big test before the championships on the 17th.

Julianna Caspers has always ran well on this course, but this time she did not have a very good start. She made up a little time on the loop behind the track, but her best racing was saved for the extended uphill trek on the backside of the soccer field. When Julianna turned the corner and eyed the finish, she had moved all the way up to 7th. Her kick proved too strong for a St. Paul’s Lutheran girl, and the 6th place ribbon was hers. The amazing Juju lowered her time by 15 seconds from last week. 10:51 would be the time to beat for the boys. Julia Kowalinski impressed us all again as she raced around the course in just 12:18. That put her in the top third, and let her take home the 39th place ribbon. Our special 3rd grade girls were hardly done. Grace Caspers took off over a minute and 20 seconds from her time last week. Grace put on a surge during the last loop around the soccer field that moved her all the way up to 45th. Zaela Schlissel cracked our top-4 for the first time and lowered her time by over a minute and a half from last week. We now had four of our 3rd graders in. They were backed up by 2nd grader Hellena Hacker who finished right behind Zaela. The effort given by these girls could not have been better. One of the most talented of our 3rd graders, Angela Walters, was next. She has fallen behind the others because of her lack of training, but she is starting to look fast again. Jenna Walters gave us her best race this season and looked good at the finish. Mary LeSac, another 3rd grader, cut off almost five minutes from her time last week. That was the best Mary has run in two years. It was good to see her staying close to the other girls. We finished 8th out of the 15 teams that scored.

The 6th and under boys race was very competitive with 19 scoring teams and 171 athletes. Leif Kostrzewa had been sick earlier in the week, but he worked his way through the crowd and cracked the top-30 with his 10:42 effort. After Leif’s finish, the DASH boys would start coming in fast. Kaden Hacker has been improving each time out. He paced close to Leif for the whole last loop and finished just a fraction of a second behind him in 32nd place. Salim Lubbad willed himself to stay close to Leif and Kaden. He received the 34th place ribbon for his great effort. Nathanael Chu pushed it as hard as he could from the start and did not drop back from Leif, Kaden, and Salim until the very end. His run was inspiring. Seka Kostrzewa was next. He got stuck running by himself most of the way which I don’t think helped him. Hopefully that means our big guys ahead of him are getting faster. Joshua Lipski’s hard work is paying off as he lowered his 2500 meter personal record by 29 seconds. Alexander Taylor has been one of our top runners all year, but he is running injured now. He is going to take a few days off, and we will see if he is available for the championships next week. Micah Chan had a great day. His times are really coming down, except when he paces his mom in fun runs, then he has to slow down some. Jacob LaBonte showed off his speed with a great finish. Bryant Farrell fell one second short of breaking 15 minutes. So close. Ethan Lindberg dropped his time all the way to 16:30. He is running now. The boys team placed 5th overall, which left 14 teams behind us.

Rebecca Dickman led our 7th and 8th grade girls from the start. She had trouble with a side-ache, but finished strong and received the 16th place ribbon. Stephanie Chu paced herself very well, put a smile on when running past the camera lady, and moved up late to finish 26th. She knows how to race. Emma Taylor pushed herself much better early, then stayed steady until showing off her speed at the finish. Her 12:58 time reflects her improvement. Sarah Lindberg came through with her best race. She kept her composure and came through in 14:39. Naomi Zhou finished just two places back from Sarah. The team finished in 5th place, just one point out of 4th.

Caleb Schaber has become one of our stars. Caleb pushed the pace early and never backed down until he crossed the finish line in just 9:58. His time and 16th place finish were the tops among our boys. Joshua LeSac kept up a relentless pace. His 10:35 time was his first under 11 minutes on this course. Noah LaBonte ran a smart, strong race from start to finish. He has improved so much, and may be one of our key runners at the championships. Daniel Caspers had his best race since the Elkhorn meet. He liked his 10:58 time. Tikvah Schlissel lowered his time from last week with a gutsy effort. Our boys are really getting fast. Sean Seraphine posted a nice 13:34 time and has never run better. Ed Sherman ran much faster than he did last weekend to cap off our boys team. The 7th and 8th graders placed 5th overall out of 11 teams.

The team is looking good as we head into our last week. Our times are coming down, and with the exception of Alexander, we are staying healthy. It is time to look ahead to the Homeschool Championship meet in Verona on the 17th. We have one more week to get in some good practices, which includes our middle school meet at Brookfield Academy next Thursday. It is more fun to run fast, so let’s make it fun.

Thanks to Ed Beck and Pete Dickman for their help in getting the athletes ready to race. Thanks to Ramsey Schlissel and Hillery Farrell for helping pass out the bib numbers. Thanks to all the athletes, parents, grandparents, and little kids who joined me for the fun run. Thanks to Daniel Caspers for being my pacer, and for being tired enough from his first run to let me beat him at the end. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting the photos. They took a lot. We have finished our 5 meets in 10 days swing, but it is not time to rest yet, not with championship racing on the radar. You will not want to miss it. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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