Archive for May, 2016

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school track team finished up its season at the Milwaukee Invitational last Saturday. Marquette University High School’s Quad Park was the place for all the action. It is a track that has given us so many memorable races before. Now the current edition of our team would get the chance to post some of its own great results, and hopefully give the coach a few more legendary tales that he can inspire future teams with. It was a warm, somewhat breezy day. The track would be running fast. There were 12 of the strongest teams in the area on hand to compete. When 9:30 rolled around, we would get to see how our team stacked up.

Julianna Caspers lined up as the top seed in the 5th grade 1600. She gave us a big come from behind win here last year, and has not been beaten this year, but the competition would be her strongest of the season. Julianna’s plan was to get out ahead and not give anyone ideas that they could run with her, and she executed the plan flawlessly. Her routine 6:42 time was nine seconds ahead of second. First place medals don’t come easy at this meet, but Julianna earned another one. Joshua Lipski had by far his best 1600 race to date. He clocked in at 7:18. Very nice! Ethan Blischke ran in the 6th grade 1600 that amazingly had the top 8 athletes all break 6 minutes. Of course Ethan was one of them. His 5:56 time set a 6th grade DASH record. Joshua LeSac and Daniel Caspers placed 9th and 12th in the 7th grade race. In the 100 meters, we had five girls race each other in one heat. Zaela Schlissel and Gigi Edlund came out on top with low 17 second times. In the outside lanes, Elena Lezala-Montoya came in ahead of Mary LeSac and Angela Walters. In the next heat, Madelyn Zielinski ran the 100 meters in just 16.01 to place 8th overall. Emily Zielinski was one of four 6th grade girls to break 15 seconds. Her 14.92 was good for the 3rd place medal. Alexa Dawson’s 15.03 placed her 6th among the 7th graders. Katie Gorectke and Emma Taylor raced each other for the first time of the day. Katie’s 14.45 put her 4th overall with Emma just behind in 6th. Those kind of results will make it harder for me to push those girls into some longer races. Salim Lubbad was edged out at the finish and settled for the 3rd place medal. Micah Chan got his day started with a nice 16.66 time. Tikvah Schlissel’s 14.59 time gave him 10th place. Elijah Edlund’s 13.61 placed him 9th, but then we found out his leg was giving him problems. Sean Seraphine posted a nice 14.79 time. The medley relays were next. Madelyn Zielinski, Ethan Blischke, and Stephanie Chu got us into the lead. Elijah Edlund, not running 100%, then held off all but one team as the team earned the 2nd place medals. Our team of Micah Chan, Emily Zielinski, Joshua LeSac, and Naomi Zhou stayed competitive early and finished 7th. Our 8th grade girls 4×400 team had the goal of breaking the high school DASH record of 4:48. With the strong St Matthias team in the race, we knew we would be pushed to a good time. Emma Taylor, Rebecca Dickman, and Stephanie Chu all had impressive splits and put us in the lead. Katie Gorectke was passed by the St. Matthias anchor who ran her lap in about 60 seconds, but the girls were very excited to see their 4:46 time! Let me predict that the high school 4×400 record will be falling next year. Alexander Taylor, Salim Lubbad, Nathanael Chu, and Ethan Blischke finished 9 seconds under their seed time, but had to settle for 4th place in the very strong 6th grade boys division. In the 800, Julianna Caspers was the 2nd seed among the 5th graders. She stayed in the lead pack of 4 girls the whole way, and charged into the lead on the home stretch. She was pulled in only by the top seeded girl to place 2nd. Another impressive race from Julianna! Rebecca Dickman’s 2:58 time in the 8th grade girls race put her 7th overall. The 8th grade girls distance runners are very fast this year. Joshua Lipski had another good race this time in the 800. His 3:23 time is his new personal best. Nathanael Chu did two laps in just 2:58 to place 3rd overall. Everyone likes watching Nathanael run, and I sure liked seeing that time. Ethan Blischke battled his way to a 7th place finish with his 2:51 time. Joshua LeSac’s 3:04 gave him 8th place. The 200 was next, and the team put on a display like we have never seen before. We again had five 5th grade girls go head-to-head in the same heat. Zaela Schlissel got way ahead and finished in 36.37. That gave her 11th overall and is an amazing time for a 3rd grader. Elena Lezala-Montoya was next with a nice 38.06 time. Angela Walters edged Mary LeSac in a photo finish. Fourth grader Madelyn Zielinski was again in the final heat and posted an 8th place 35.25. Those were good results, but they hardly stopped there. Emily Zielinski had a great start in her 6th grade heat, and needed another late surge to cross the finish line first with her 30.30 time. What an exciting victory for Emily! Stephanie Chu and Alexa Dawson lined up in the final 7th grade heat. Stephanie got off to one of her usual great starts and then relentlessly held off all the other charging girls. It would be a 2nd place finish in 30.20 for Stephanie. Wow! Alexa Dawson followed with a respectable 31.01 for 6th place. Katie Gorectke and Emma Taylor came in together in their 200 heat. We did not know who won until the results came out. Officially, Katie nipped Emma by .02 with her 30.05 time. That gives us five girls that have run 200’s in under 31 seconds this year. We have only had two other girls that have ever done that in 11 years of DASH middle school racing! Salim Lubbad kept everyone comfortably behind him with his inspired final heat effort. He only got the 2nd place medal as a Hales Corners Lutheran boy, running without a seed time, ran faster in another heat. I bet you Salim would have beat him head-to-head. Micah Chan broke 36 seconds for the first time. Alexander Taylor’s 33.40 was his fastest of the year. Tikvah Schlissel finished in 30.32 to take 10th overall. In the 400, Julianna Caspers gave us one more lap in 1:28. Stephanie Chu gave us another lap in 1:13 to place 3rd overall and win yet another medal. Katie Gorectke stayed fast despite all her racing. Her 1:12 placed her 3rd overall, with Emma Taylor giving us two girls in the top-5. Nathanael Chu placed 8th with his 1:19. Alexander Taylor did a 1:21. Elijah Edlund tested his leg, but held up and posted a 1:23. Our 5th grade girls 4×100 team of Elena Lezala-Montoya, Mary LeSac, Zaela Schlissel, and Madelyn Zielinski placed 4th overall, just a second out of 2nd place. The 7th grade team of Emily Zielinski, Annika Lipski, Stephanie Chu, and Alexa Dawson did a 1:03 to place 3rd. Our 6th grade boys team of Micah Chan, Joshua Lipski, Bryant Farrell, and Alexander Taylor finished our day of racing with a 1:10 time.

Of course we had a lots of good field event results. In the shot put, Alexa Dawson placed 4th, with Annika Lipski in 10th. Tikvah Schlissel got the 5th place ribbon, and Elijah Edlund’s 32’4″ throw placed him 4th. Gigi Edlund was our top girl softball thrower, and Bryant Farrell’s 115′ throw was tops amongst our boys. In the long jump, Gigi Edlund landed a 9’2″ jump for 11th place. Alexa Dawson had a 13 foot leap to place 2nd, just 1 inch behind first. I hope they measured right. Stephanie Chu placed 7th with her 11’5″ effort. Salim Lubbad went past 12 feet to place 5th. Ethan Blischke went exactly 12 feet to place 6th, and Elijah Edlund went over 13 feet to place 8th. In the discus, Jenna Walters effort was good for 5th. Annika Lipski threw her discus 45’2″ to place 9th, and Emma Taylor took 7th in the 8th grade division. We had two boys win in the discus. Joshua Lipski threw it five feet farther than any other 5th grader, and Tikvah Schlissel threw it 21 feet feet farther than any other 7th grader while breaking his own DASH record. 91’7″ is the new standard for Tikvah. Great job boys!

It was very satisfying seeing how well the team finished out the year. It would have been nice to have had closer to our full team on hand, but the athletes available were superb. This is my favorite middle school meet because it is so well run, and because it always shows us how good of a team we have had. Thinking back to watching this team practice in March, it is safe to say that the athletes exceeded the coach’s expectations. It was another great finish to another great year of DASH racing!

Thanks to our long jump volunteers, Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers, Katrina Lipski, and Lucretia Nyhart. The host team was very happy to have you help out. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the parents who got their athletes to the meet and then turning into great DASH fans. Thanks to the athletes for giving the DASH fans an effort worthy of cheering for. Thanks to the camera lady, who with a little help from Faith and Zipporah, got us another great set of photos. Now to get all the awards sorted out for the end-of-the-year party. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school track team was at Martin Luther High School last Saturday to compete in the Bulldog Dash Relays. Yes, the old Bulldog Dash was back after a year hiatus with a new all-relay format. Relay meets are always fun, but unfortunately I had to leave a few of our athletes of the roster this time. The weather was perfect as we geared up to race with seven other very good teams. We ran well, and we needed to. We found out it would take DASH record setting performances to cross the finish line first at this meet.

The distance medley was first on the schedule. I figured that our young and talented 5th grade girls would be tough to beat. Teams from all grade levels lined up to race together, and I did not get to see who the other 5th grade teams were before the race got going. Julianna Caspers ran the first four laps and kept up with all the bigger girls, but surprisingly she was not getting ahead of many. Savannah Bruton and Grace Caspers ran some good splits on their 400 meter legs, and then they got the baton to Julia Kowalinski for the 800 anchor leg. We ended up behind all the other teams which was surprising, but then we found out that all the other 5th grade teams had scratched. Our 13:14 time was very good and probably would have held up. We had three boys distance medley teams. The 8th grade team of Vincent Maurer, Elijah Edlund, Jared Aguilar, and Joshua LeSac ran in the very competitive 8th grade race. Their time of 11:30 put us in a close 4th place. The 6th grade team of Ethan Blischke, Caleb Alles, Bryant Farrell, and Alexander Taylor placed 3rd among the 6th graders, but ahead of the 7th grade winner. Our 5th grade team of Joshua Lipski, Salim Lubbad, Micah Chan, and Nathanael Chu made it close at the end, but settled for 2nd.

We fielded two girls teams for the 4×100 relay. Our 5th grade team of Elena Lezala-Montoya, Mary LeSac, Gigi Edlund, and Madelyn Zielinski raced around in a fast 1:11 to capture the 3rd place ribbons. The 7th grade team of Emily Zielinski, Annika Lipski, Stephanie Chu, and Alexa Dawson did an impressive 1:03 to place 3rd out of the 6 teams.

Our 5th grade girls 4×200 team of Elena Lezala-Montoya, Gigi Edlund, Savanna Bruton, and Madelyn Zielinski placed 3rd in a very spread out race. In a closer 5th grade boys race, Micah Chan, Nathanael Chu, and Joshua Lipski kept us in the mix. Then Salim Lubbad showed off his speed as he moved us up to 3rd down the home stretch. The 6th grade boys team of Bryant Farrell, Caleb Alles, Ethan Blischke, and Alexander Taylor finished the two laps in 2nd place. The 8th grade boys team of Jared Aguilar, Vincent Maurer, Joshua LeSac, and Elijah Edlund also took 2nd with their 2:04.19 time. Our 8th grade girls team of Emily Zielinski, Katie Gorectke, Emma Taylor, and Alexa Dawson was the only girls team to go under 2:10. Their 2:04.56 effort broke a 4-year old DASH record by 5 seconds! I knew that team would be tough to beat, and they proved it.

The Sprint Medley began with our 5th grade girls team. Elena Lezala-Montoya, Gigi Edlund, and Madelyn Zielinski did the first lap and put us in about a tie for second. Julianna Caspers, running in lane 7, was told to stay in her lane for the second lap which had us running farther than the other teams. I corrected the error after Julianna’s first turn, but the damage was done and we ended up in 4th. Our 5th grade boys team of Micah Chan, Joshua Lipski, Salim Lubbad, and Nathanael Chu were set up properly. Their relay was one of the closest of the day and our boys battled to a nice 3rd place finish among the 6 teams. In the 6th grade boys race, Bryant Farrell, Caleb Alles, and Alexander Taylor ran the first lap keeping us close. Then Ethan Blischke moved us up to 2nd place in his 400 meter leg and finished with an impressive 2:24 time. Our 8th grade girls were next. Emma Taylor, Alexa Dawson, and Katie Gorectke gave us the lead through one lap. Stephanie Chu ran a fast last lap, but was passed by the very good St. Matthias anchor. The girls set a DASH record, but had to settle for 2nd place.

In the 4×400, our 5th grade girls looked a little tired. Savanna Bruton, Grace Caspers, Julia Kowalinski, and Julianna Caspers did the four laps in 6:22 to place 4th. Our 8th grade girls team of Emma Taylor, Stephanie Chu, Annika Lipski, and Katie Gorectke finished with a pretty fast 5:32 time, good for 2nd place. In the last relay of the day, the 8th grade boys team of Vincent Maurer, Jared Aguilar, Joshua LeSac, and Elijah Edlund had the early lead in a close 3-team race. In the end, their 4:44 time gave them claim to the 2nd place ribbons.

The field event relays added two athletes distances together to determine the winner. I only have the total distances of both athletes as of yet. In the discus we had Emma Taylor and Katie Gorectke team up to throw 80’1″ which put them in a close 4th. The long jump was very competitive. Our 5th grade girls team of Madelyn Zielinski and Julianna Caspers placed 3rd out of five teams. The 5th grade boys team of Salim Lubbad and Micah Chan eked out a 3rd place finish by an inch. The 6th grade boys, Ethan Blischke and Nathanael Chu, tied for 2nd with jumps totaling 22 feet. The 7th grade boys team of Joshua LeSac and Daniel Caspers took 3rd overall and ahead of three teams with jumps of just 19’9″. All eight teams competed in the 7th grade girls long jump, yet our girls, Stephanie Chu and Alexa Dawson, came out on top with jumps totaling 23’6.75″. Well done! Our softball throwers did well. Our little girls team of Mary LeSac and Gigi Edlund kept four teams behind them while claiming the 3rd place ribbons. Joshua Lipski and Nathanael Chu took 5th among the 5th grade boys. Bryant Farrell and Caleb Alles teamed up to throw their softballs 235 feet. That was good for 2nd place among the 7 teams. Very nice! Annika Lipski and Alexa Dawson teamed up for 3rd place in the 7th grade shot put, and Elijah Edlund and Jared Aguilar won the 8th grade shot put by over 5 feet to cap off a good field event showing for the team.

It was nice to have an all relay meet on the schedule this year for the middle school team. Relays are always fun, and it is nice to put the emphasis on the team exclusively for at least one meet. The team still has two meets left to get some more individual and relay times in, and it looks like the team is peaking at the end of the season. That gives us an exciting racing week ahead. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to our long jump pit volunteers. Katrina Lipski, Steve Chu, Judy Chan, and Sara Lubbad worked hard and did a great job. Thanks to Faith Caspers for capturing the relay excitement in photos. And thanks to the many DASH fans on hand to cheer the athletes on. Now on to the teams final week.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school track and field team completed another successful season last Thursday up in Jackson. Living Word Lutheran and host Kettle Moraine Lutheran were on hand, making it our smallest meet of the season, but the racing was very competitive. The weather was cool, but not cold, with the wind blowing from the west toward the finish line. It would be a day where multiple teams would push each other to team records, and where our DASH stars would have one more chance to reach new milestones, and leave behind a lasting legacy in the DASH record books.

Our triple jumpers got the day off to an exciting start. Ben Bridge broke his own DASH record by a quarter inch. The girls triple jump record had withstood all challengers all season, but the day had finally arrived where it would fall. Hannah Forget got past the 27 foot record by two inches, but Johannah Lee’s triple jump measured just a quarter inch farther giving her the DASH record honors. In the shot put, Samuel Zinkgraf’s 29’10” throw was good for 2nd place. Brendan Sanchez backed him up with a personal best 26’01” to place 4th. Renee Walters placed 3rd, Zoe Smith 5th, and Nina Smrecek 7th. They have been our best throwers all season. Emily Czaplewski and Katrina Lipski had season best days which bodes well for next year. Our discus throwers did well. Renee Walters fell just short of her DASH record with a 78’5″ effort. Ben Bridge went past 73 feet and place 3rd. Will Farrell and Seth Holter were well over 60 feet, and Brendan Sanchez had a personal best 59’7″ throw. In the long jump, Kayla Bruton made it to 13’7″. Abby Chu went past 12 feet for the third meet in a row, and Johannah Lee followed up her triple jump with a 11’7″ long jump. John Klaves had his best jump since the indoor meet with his 15’10”. He was followed by Briton Kostrzewa, Paul Harty, and Nolan Giles-Pufahl, all jumping to personal bests. Very nice.

The running events started with the 4×800 relay. Andrea Beck decided to save herself for the 1600, but our girls still had eyes on the DASH record. Kayla Walters raced the first leg in just 2:47 to put us ahead of where we needed to be. Abby Chu, always reliable, did her laps exactly to the second of what the coach said was needed. We had now built up a sizable lead, and thus would not be pushed to the record. Faith Caspers and Zipporah Caspers ran the last four laps, and with the help of the DASH fans, and the prodding of the coach, raced in with a time of 11:32. Yes, it would be another DASH record, and by only a second! The coach regrouped, (he was the most excited), just in time to watch Hannah Forget run the 100 hurdles. Her 22.80 time was a personal best. In the 100 meters, we had three girls in the final heat. Nina Smrecek posted a fast 14.58 time. Zoe Smith finished in 13.94, just .01 second behind the 2nd place girl, and Kayla Bruton made it look easy, running 13.46 to place first. Tim Kowalinski, Will Farrell, and Ben Hughes all posted low 13 second times with Ben Hughes’ 13.12 keeping him a step ahead. Samuel Zinkgraf gave us a 12.41 effort, the fastest non hand-timed 100 meter race ever for the DASH team. Andrea Beck posted a 5:53 time in her 1600 race. Katrina Lipski finished 3rd in 7:47. Justin Chu drafted behind Jacob Dickman for close to three laps and went on to smash the 5 minute barrier for the first time. We have been waiting for Justin to get under 5 minutes all season. His 4:56 bumps him up to the really fast division now. It is where we know he belongs. That really fast division is where Jacob has been for over a year. His last 1600 DASH race was his fastest yet – 4:46.20. Drake Hacker moved up to 3rd in the last lap to give us a 1-2-3 finish. Joe Maurer also moved up and ended up 5th overall with his 5:19 time. John Kowalinski followed with a personal best 5:38. Our girls 4×200 relay team of Nina Smrecek, Kayla Walters, Jessy Homa, and Zoe Smith ran to a respectable 2:05. Then we were on to the 400. Things were moving along very fast. Kayla Bruton stayed just ahead of Abby Chu at the end with her 1:12 time. Emily Czaplewski cut two seconds off her personal best time to place 6th. Briton Kostrzewa was in a class by himself with his 56.50 time. Paul Harty worked his way into 2nd place with his 1:01 time. John Klaves was right behind Paul and just ahead of the really fast, but tired, Justin Chu. Our 4×100 girls team of Hannah Forget, Renee Walters, Zipporah Caspers, and Jessy Homa stayed close with their 1:02 time. The boys team of Will Farrell, Ben Hughes, Seth Holter, and Timothy Kowalinski ran well to place 2nd. The 300 hurdles was next and Johannah Lee came out the winner in the girls race with a strong 1:01. Ben Bridge found no challengers as he posted a nice 53.44 time. The 800 girls race was next. Andrea Beck was pushed along this time, and did not take the lead until the home stretch. It took a 2:37 effort from Andrea to pull off the win, and lower one of her DASH records yet one more time. Well done! Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers, and Kayla Walters stuck together the whole way. Their times were respectable, but far from what they did in the 4×800. With the record in hand, that was OK. For the boys, Jacob Dickman and Briton Kostrzewa went out with the lead pack of four. The racing was fast in the lead pack with Jacob jockeying for the lead most of the way. Jacob finished in 2:09 and Briton in 2:12. That was very good considering their lack of recovery time. In 5th place was John Kowalinski. His 2:30 time was impressive. Joe Maurer had a good finish to get his 2:34. John Klaves was next with a 2:43, and Brendan Sanchez looked strong, staying close to John the whole way and posting a 2:54. In the 200, Kayla Bruton moved up to 2nd late and posted a personal best 28.46. Zoe Smith’s great start got her to a 29.12 time and 3rd place overall. Nina Smrecek, in her last DASH race, gave us a 30.59. She has never been faster. What a season she has had! Hannah Forget won her heat by a large margin in 32.70, breaking her personal record by over a second. Paul Harty won his 200 heat which included Seth Holter and Nolan Giles-Pufahl. The last heat was called back after running close to 100 meters. Ben Hughes still raced in with a nice 27.62. Samuel Zinkgraf did a 26.22 despite tweaking his hamstring earlier. We had reached the 4×400. Our boys team of Paul Harty, John Klaves, Ben Bridge, and John Kowalinski raced to a respectable 4:13 2nd place finish, only behind our really fast boys team of Justin Chu, Samuel Zinkgraf, Jacob Dickman, and Briton Kostrzewa. Our really fast guys posted a 4 minute flat time. Samuel couldn’t resist the chance to run with these guys one more time and came away limping. I hope the injury does not slow Sam down too long. Johannah Lee got the girls team off to a great start. Kayla Walters and Faith Caspers ran well in the middle legs, but not at DASH record pace. Andrea Beck was next to give the team one last lap in her storied career. Andrea stormed around the last turn and moved us into 2nd place with her 1:08 split. It was yet one more memorable finish from Andrea, putting a stamp on another memorable DASH season.

It is hard to believe this was our last meet. The team is running so well now and having so much fun, it is a shame it has to come to an end. What makes it even harder to say goodbye to the season is that we are saying goodbye to our seniors. The team will be very different next year without long-time DASH stars Andrea Beck, Jacob Dickman, Renee Walters, and Nina Smrecek. Fortunately their legacy will be remembered through the DASH Blog, our Flickr photos, and maybe an appearance now and then at DASH events. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to athletes for giving us such an exciting, special season. It was fun having such a big team that filled up so many events. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the DASH fans who lined the fence throughout the meet cheering the team on. And yes, we got some great photos once again that you will want to check out. Thanks to Kettle Moraine Lutheran for rescheduling and then hosting such a great meet. And thanks to the camera lady and Grace Caspers for their effort. We still have three more middle school track meets so it is not time to rest yet. The returning high school team gets to start getting ready for cross country season starting now. More great times await in the fall.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Our middle school track and field team was back in action on a gorgeous day at Brookfield Academy last Friday. Our team is not lacking for stars this year, and we would go on to post great results throughout the day.

The racing started at 3:00 sharp with the 100 meter hurdles. Ethan Blischke and Caleb Alles both broke 20 seconds in the 6th grade boys heat with Ethan coming away with a very close victory. Tikvah Schlissel placed 3rd among the 7th graders. Then Alex Hilbelink amazed the DASH fans by getting through the hurdles in just 17.01. Alex finished two hurdles ahead of the next competitor while smashing the DASH record. Oh my! Emma Taylor raced through the hurdles to a 2nd place finish as our lone girl hurdler. In the 100 meters, Melanie Hilbelink, Gigi Edlund, Mary LeSac, and Angela Walters all finished within half a second of each other, with Melanie and Gigi finishing with identical 18.09 times. Zanna Hughes was also in the 18’s in the 6th grade division. Micah Chan posted a nice 16.22 time to place 7th and Simon Smrecek kept up well with his 18.12. Alexa Dawson won her heat, but finished 3rd overall in a very tight 7th grade girls division. It is too bad the top girls did not race each other. Tikvah Schlissel ran the 100 meters in 14.22 to place 7th. Alex Hilbelink blew by everyone, just missing another DASH record, with his 13.11 to win the boys 7th grade division. In the 800, the little girls went first and they were fast. Julianna Caspers posted a nice 3:05 time, but that was only good for 4th among the 5th graders. Julia Kowalinski finished in 3:20 for 7th, and Grace Caspers’ 3:34 put her 10th. Rebecca Dickman went out with the leaders in the next heat. Her first lap was fast, the second lap was a struggle, but Rebecca hung on for 2nd place. Annika Lipski was the only 7th grader competing so her effort was good enough to place 1st. For the boys, Vincent Maurer took the lead in the 2nd lap and held off everyone to the finish to give us another DASH victory. His 2:32 time was very good. Ethan Blischke and Joshua LeSac finished in under 3 minutes with some good racing of their own. In the 200, Madelyn Zielinski raced to a 3rd place finish. Savannah Bruton stayed just ahead of Elena Lezala-Montoya as they came to the finish side by side. Gigi Edlund posted a good time to place 9th in the 6th grade division, and Emily Zielinski ran the 200 meters in just 31.24 to place 2nd. Katie Gorectke, in her first DASH track race, impressed us with her 2nd place effort. Micah Chan and Caleb Alles were our top 5th and 6th grade boys. Alex Hilbelink’s 29.09 placed him 3rd in the 7th grade division, and Jared Aguilar’s 27.87 got him 5th among the fast 8th grade boys. In the 400, Savannah Bruton outkicked Angela Walters at the end to place 7th. Zanna Hughes had a great start and hung on for 7th place in the 6th grade division. Emma Taylor raced around the track in just 1:14 to place 3rd. Alexander Taylor had a great finish. His 1:22 was good for 5th. The official times for Jared Aguilar and Elijah Edlund were both 1:08, but I had Jared’s time a little better than that. We ran four 4×100 teams. Our 5th grade team of Elena Lezala-Montoya, Simon Smrecek, Madelyn Zielinski, and Micah Chan ran well and placed 3rd. The 6th grade team of Savanna Bruton, Caleb Alles, Melanie Hilbelink, and Bryant Farrell were a close 7th. Our 7th grade team of Emily Zielinski, Alexa Dawson, Andrew Mazza and Alex Hilbelink gave us a come from behind victory, and the 8th grade team of Sean Seraphine, Katie Gorecke, Emma Taylor, and Elijah Edlund finished in 58 seconds to place 3rd. In the 1600, Julia Kowalinski raced out fast and had the lead through the first turn. Julianna Caspers followed her out and finished her first lap in just 1:24 to get ahead of all the 5th graders, and all but one 8th grader. Julianna then went head to head with another 8th grader for the next three laps in a great display of racing. Julianna was pushed to a personal best 6:33. That was 3rd overall and 29 seconds ahead of any other 5th grader. Wow! Julia Kowalinski and Grace Caspers gave us 3rd and 4th place efforts in a good showing from our little girl distance runners. In the boys 1600, Vincent Maurer stayed up with the leaders once again. His 5:50 time was good for 2nd place. Joshua LeSac won the 7th grade race with his personal best 6:16. Ethan Blischke matched Joshua’s time to earn 4th place honors in the 6th grade division. We had three teams in the final 4×400 heat. Our 6th grade team of Alexander Taylor, Savanna Bruton, Julianna Caspers, and Ethan Blischke were a little tired after the 1600 and finished in 5:48. Our team of Vincent Maurer, Annika Lipski, Joshua LeSac, and Rebecca Dickman was equally tired and did the four laps in 5:40. Our one team that wasn’t tired got involved in some of the best 4×400 racing I’ve seen. Katie Gorectke got the team off to a great start and close to the lead. She handed the baton to Jared Aguilar who put us into the lead before he was done. Emma Taylor took a flawless handoff from Jared and kept the lead through the second turn. The lead then started to narrow, and Emma heard a coach telling his athlete that Emma looked tired. That gave Emma the extra energy needed to speed ahead, keeping our lead for Elijah Edlund’s final lap. The two boys behind Elijah gave great effort to catch up to him heading into the final straightway. Then Elijah showed us what he had left. The three boys went stride for stride for the last 100 meters, but Elijah would not be passed. It would be a thrilling victory for the DASH team, and a great way to end another day of racing!

We did manage to squeeze in a few field events. Melanie Hilbelink jumped 8’10” to top our little girls. Alexa Dawson’s 11’8″ leap gave her 2nd place honors. Emma Taylor’s 10’9″ gave her 3rd. Alexander Taylor did a 10’6″ jump. Jared Aguilar had a personal best 11’11”, and Elijah Edlund went past 14 feet for the first time. Alex Hilbelink went an inch past his DASH record to win among the 7th graders with his 15’8″ leap. Luke Smrecek had a nice 19’4″ shot put throw to place 5th. We also had three athletes win their divisions. Annika Lipski won with her 23 foot throw. Bryant Farrell won by over a foot in the 6th grade division, and Elijah Edlund threw his shot 5 feet farther than anyone. The 30’10” effort from Elijah was impressive.

The weather was practically perfect and the team took advantage of it to post some great results. It was great to see once again so many different athletes winning events. This team is very good, and fortunately we will get to see plenty more from them later this month. It is going to be fun.

Thanks to our volunteers. We had Zipporah Caspers, Meg Mazza, Faith Caspers, Kayla Walters, and Jodi LeSac all stepping up and helping where needed. It makes our team look good to have so many people helping out. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. And thanks to the camera lady for getting a great set of photos. Don’t forget to check them out.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was a perfect day for a track meet last Thursday, and the DASH high school track team took advantage of it to post some really fast times at the annual Waukesha South Old-Fashioned Track Meet. The athletes get to pick their own events at this meet, and we had plenty of athletes try out something new. We ran fast and had fun. Below are the highlights.

Hannah Forget got the DASH running started with a solid 22.69 effort in the 100 hurdles. Katrina Lipski looked fast in her 100 heat with her 15.85. Hannah Forget came in ahead of Emily Czaplewski in the next heat. Nina Smrececk stayed just ahead of Meg Mazza with both girls getting mid 14-second times to get their day off to a good start. Renee Walters followed with a 15.04 time in the same heat. Kayla Bruton and Zoe Smith went head-to-head in the last heat. Zoe’s 14.00 time was fast, but Kayla’s blazing fast 13.41 kept her ahead. Ben Bridge, Tim Kowalinski, and Paul Harty got their chance to show their speed in the 100. All fared well with Ben and Paul matching each other stride for stride to post 13.4 times. Tim broke 13 seconds in his quest to become a sprinter. Will Farrell followed with his own 13.4 time, and then Samuel Zinkgraf powered his way to a new DASH record of 11.87 in the last heat. Very nice! Andrea Beck was pushed along through the first three laps in the 1600 before taking command in the end. Andrea clocked in at 5:40 to lower her own DASH record by 7 seconds. Katrina Lipski had a season-best 7:29 in her 1600. John Kowalinski stayed near the front in the first 1600 boys heat and finished with a 5:41. In the second heat, Jacob Dickman and Justin Chu were the pacesetters after a rough start and ran by themselves the last three laps to finish 1-2. Joe Maurer finished strong and clocked in at 5:15 to take 3rd. Brian Durbin had a very fast first lap and then hung on for an impressive 5:33 time in his first 1600 race. In the 4×200, the girls team of Hannah Forget, Kayla Walters, Faith Caspers, and Zipporah Caspers looked good and finished in 2:10. Our team of Nina Smrecek, Meg Mazza, Zoe Smith, and Kayla Bruton lowered their own DASH record set last Friday to 1:59. No record appeared safe the way we were racing today. In the 400, Seth Holter edged Nolan Giles-Pufahl as they raced one lane apart. John Klaves got his 400 time down to 1:02. In the last heat, Samuel Zinkgraf, Briton Kostrzewa, and Justin Chu raced each other with each finishing in under 60 seconds – Justin in 58 seconds, Samuel in 57, and Briton breaking an 8-year old DASH record with his 56.02. Yes, no record was safe today! The girls fielded a record three 4×100 teams. Zipporah Caspers, Faith Caspers, Katrina Lipski, and Emily Czaplewski raced around in 1:07. Hannah Forget, Renee Walters, Jessy Homa, and Kayla Bruton broke a minute with their 59.69. But the team of Nina Smrecek, Meg Mazza, Kayla Walters, and Zoe Smith were the ones that lowered another DASH record with their fast 57.63! We had two boys 4×100 team that had fun racing each other. Paul Harty, Ben Bridge, Will Farrell, and Tim Kowalinski finished a few steps ahead of John Kowalinski, John Klaves, Seth Holter, and Brian Durbin. Ben Bridge and Paul Harty then moved on to the 300 hurdles with Ben coming in just ahead with a 54.37 time. We had five girls toe the line for the 800. Kayla Bruton, trying the 800 for the first time, went out fast and led through the first lap. On the back stretch of the 2nd lap, Faith Caspers took off being pulled along by the lead pack. Faith finished in a personal best 2:51. Zipporah Caspers came in next with a 2:59, followed closely by Kayla Bruton at 3:00 and Jessy Homa at 3:02. Katrina Lipski, in her 4th race of the day came in with a 3:36. For the boys, we had four boys all race to personal bests. John Kowalinski lowered his time down to 2:24 with Joe Maurer getting his time down to 2:20. Jacob Dickman and Briton Kostrzewa in a valiant attempt to break another DASH record came up just short with their 2:08 and 2:09 times. Those times are the 2nd and 3rd fastest DASH times ever. The racing slowed down some now as the meet was taking longer than usual. Emily Czaplewski did the 200 meters in 36.78. Zoe Smith then put together a very good time of 28.63, her best 200 time of the year. Ben Bridge finished ahead of Brian Durbin with a nice 27.87 time. Samuel Zinkgraf then showed off his speed once again in the final 200 heat, breaking yet another DASH record with his 25.09! In the 3200, Drake Hacker finally got his day started and made the most of it. Drake led from start to finish and smashed his personal record with his 11:14 effort. It was just light enough to get in the 4×400. The girls team of Jessy Homa, Kayla Walters, Faith Caspers, and Kayla Bruton did a 4:49 to come within a fraction of a second of the DASH record. Meanwhile, Justin Chu, Samuel Zinkgraf, Jacob Dickman, and Briton Kostrzewa were getting the baton around the four laps in just 3:52 to win the last race of the day, and smash one last DASH record. What a day of racing!

The field events are hard to sneak in at this meet, but we did have a few good results. Kayla Bruton jumped 13’11.5″. Renee Walters triple jumped past 26 feet, and Hannah Forget got past 25 feet. Field event specialist Renee Walters threw her discus a season best 75 feet after breaking her own DASH record in the shot put. The new record is now 25’03.5″. For the boys, Ben Bridge did a 29 foot triple jump. John Klaves led the long jumpers with his 15’01”. Briton Kostrzewa and Brian Durbin were in the high 13 foot range. Ben Bridge hit the 74 foot mark with his discus, Will Farrell threw 68 feet, and Seth Holter 59’08”.

The team had some old-fashioned fun, getting to try out some new events and still finding time to set eight new DASH records. This team just keeps getting better each week, and fortunately we still have two more meets on the schedule. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Waukesha South for doing all the work that a host team does, and letting us compete and have fun. Thanks to the camera lady, plus Andrea Beck and Zipporah Caspers for capturing the meet in photos. With the sun out and the finish line on the east side of the track, getting finish line photos is particularly difficult. They did not do too bad. Thanks to Ed Beck and Pete Dickman for all their coaching help. We do it again next Thursday. You will not want to miss it.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was a cold, blustery day for a track meet last Saturday, but that did not stop the DASH middle school track team from competing in the MQS Phoenix Invite at Nathan Hale high school. The meet turned out to be a little smaller than last year, but it would still feature some of our toughest competition of the year. With the threat of rain on the horizon everyone was anxious for the running to start.

First off, though, were the field events. For the girls, Alexa Dawson was our top long jumper. Her 12’04” jump placed her 2nd among the 7th graders. Emma Taylor had a nice 11’02” leap, and our young girls were led by Madelyn Zielinski who jumped 9’09”, followed by Julianna Caspers at 8’09”. Elijah Edlund landed a 13’10” jump to lead the boys. Salim Lubbad placed 3rd in the 5th grade division with his 12’2″. Ethan Blischke made it to 12’1″, Joshua LeSac to 11’8″, Sean Seraphine to 11’5″, Vincent Maurer to 11′, and Micah Chan to 10’8″. We have a lot of good jumpers this year. In the shot put, Alexa Dawson and Annika Lipski both got the shot past 21 feet to claim 4th and 5th place. Elijah Edlund impressed the DASH fans with his 31’10” throw to place 4th. Tikvah Schlissel showed off his strength and placed 3rd among the 7th graders with his 24’9″ throw. Our top girl softball thrower was Zanna Hughes, followed closely by Jenna Walters, Angela Walters, and Becca Werner. For the boys, Joshua Lipski and Luke Smrecek had strong throws of 67 and 72 feet, but Bryant Farrell stole the show with his DASH record breaking 127′ throw.

The calls for the 100 meter races were made, and once the coach made sure everyone went to the staging area with their sweats on, the athletes lined up for their preliminary heats. Our 5th and under girls all ran well. Gigi Edlund, Melanie Hilbelink, Zanna Hughes, Mary LeSac, and Becca Werner all finished in just over 18 seconds. Elena Lezala-Montoya came to the finish in just under 18. Madelyn Zielinski, Emily Zielinski, and Alexa Dawson all won their heats and made it to the finals. Simon Smrecek, just a 3rd grader, held up well against the bigger competition. Micah Chan had a good time of 16.98. Tikvah Schlissel ran fast in a fast heat to also make the finals. Salim Lubbad posted the fastest preliminary time by over half a second in the 5th grade division and would be the favorite to win. We fielded only two 4×400 teams this year. The team of Joshua Lipski, Salim Lubbad, Alexander Taylor, and Ethan Blischke posted a nice 5:21 time to win the first heat. Vincent Maurer, Jared Aguilar, Joshua LeSac, and Elijah Edlund raced the 1600 meters in 4:48 to place 4th in the last heat. In the all-school relay where 2 boys and 2 girls do a 4×100, our team of Madelyn Zielinski, Micah Chan, Alexa Dawson, and Sean Seraphine got the baton around in 1:05 to place 7th out of the 13 teams. Julianna Caspers ran a very even four laps in the 1600 to give us another victory – by 18 seconds. Julia Kowalinski lowered her time to 7:20 to earn the 4th place ribbon. Ethan Blischke moved up as the race went along, leaving all the other 6th graders behind him. His 6:13 time was impressive. Kaden Hacker had a nice 6:41 to place 3rd. Joshua Lipski lowered his personal best by 15 seconds and has never looked better. Vincent Maurer did not look his best, but still managed a 6:03 time to lead the boys. Joshua LeSac’s 6:39 placed him 4th among the 7th graders. We did our best to keep Madelyn Zielinski warm before the 100 meter finals. The wind was really blowing now and a light rain was starting. Madelyn could not match her great preliminary time. She settled for 5th overall, not bad for a 4th grader. Salim Lubbad got off to a great start and led the whole way to nab another DASH victory in the 5th grade boys race. Emily Zielinski was declared the winner in a photo finish in the 6th grade finals. I am not sure they called it correctly, but Emily’s time of 14.79 was fantastic. Alexa Dawson left no doubt who the fastest 7th grader was. Alexa stayed a step ahead and finished with a smile on her face. Well done. Tikvah Schlissel was seeded 7th and that is where he ended up with his 14.72 time. Our top sprinters were really at their best this time out. The rain started to fall heavier at the start of the 400 races. The team started thinning out and the racing was difficult. Rebekah Melder held up well to place 8th in the 7th grade heats. Emma Taylor broke 1:20 in the 8th grade race, and stayed just ahead of her brother Alexander who came in just over 1:20. Jared Aguilar raced around in 1:08, and Elijah Edlund raced in the last heat of the day and finished in 1:11. The meet was then called because of the miserable conditions, with our team having made the most of it.

It was great to see so many victories. Our very good team from last year never had this many. This team is not short on stars, and it should end up being one of our best. The forecast for Friday is 78 degrees. I hope to see you at Brookfield Academy where we get to see this team race again.

Thanks to all the DASH fans who held out well in the tough conditions. Thanks to our volunteer timers, Chuck Maurer, Jodi LeSac, and Faith Caspers. Thanks to Ed Beck for helping me keep things running smooth. Thanks to the camera lady who got some pretty good photos even while juggling an umbrella. The middle school schedule is getting into full swing now this month. Now to work on getting us even faster.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Last Friday the high school team was at Union Grove high school to compete in the much anticipated Pacer Relays. It was supposed to be the teams’ third meet in three days, but because of the rainy, cold week everyone would arrive well rested. This is the coach’s favorite meet. Individual glory is put aside as our athletes work together, combining their talents to see how we stack up against the worthy competition. DASH records are usually set as the intensity drives the team to compete at its highest levels. It all adds up to a special night where memories that will last a lifetime are made.

When the heat sheets came out Thursday morning, we found both of our 4×1600 relay teams listed as the top seeds. We have never come out on top in any Pacer Relays event before. That would hopefully be changing this year, but we knew it wouldn’t happen if we did not bring our best. The Martin Luther team got out ahead of our 4×1600 team by about 100 meters through the first mile despite Kayla Walters running in the 6:20’s. We knew then we were in for quite a race. Faith Caspers and Zipporah Caspers raced through the next eight laps as fast as we expected, but the girls could not put a dent in Martin Luther’s lead. Andrea Beck took the baton for the last four laps and patiently and methodically cut the deficit down to about 25 meters before the bell lap. Andrea made her move to loud DASH cheers right in front of our tent with 300 meters to go. Her kick would not be matched. It took 16 laps to get the lead, along with a 5:47 effort from Andrea, but the girls did it. We had laid claim to our first 1st place Pacer Relay medals. The boys lined up next with Justin Chu getting out fast through the first two laps. Justin would put us in a close third through the first mile, before handing off to Drake Hacker. Drake soon passed the Martin Luther team. It was now a two-team race with Drake keeping the Shoreland Lutheran team in his sights. Briton Kostrzewa would then tuck in behind Shoreland’s third runner and stay that way for the first three laps. On Briton’s last lap, again with 300 meters to go right in front of our tent, he made his move to the front. Briton’s kick gave us a lead of over 50 meters as he got the baton to Jacob Dickman. That is right where we wanted to be. Jacob would never be threatened over the last mile as the boys laid claim to our second set of 1st place medals with a time of 20:20. Monumental! We had three girls jump the 100 hurdles. Grace Zinkgraf, Johannah Lee, Hannah Forget earned the team four points for their efforts which is what we had hoped when we formed that team. Our sprinters were next. Our 4×200 girls team of Nina Smrecek, Zoe Smith, Meg Mazza, and Kayla Bruton gave us a DASH record, finishing in 2:01, yet only finished 7th. The boys 4×200 team of Jeremy Marek, Ben Hughes, Westley Marek, and Samuel Zinkgraf broke a long standing DASH record by 3 seconds, yet took 8th. The competition was fast, and was pulling us along to some really nice times. Our girls distance medley team got started with an 800 leg from Kayla Walters. Abby Chu then ran a fast 400 meters, followed by Zipporah Caspers nice 4:42 split over 1200. With Andrea Beck ready to run another 1600 leg, we found ourselves not far back from the Martin Luther girls again, running in 3rd. Andrea Beck soon moved us up to 2nd and that is where the girls would finish. Our 14:47 time lowered they DASH record by 30 seconds. In the boys distance medley, Briton Kostrzewa got us into the lead through the first 800. Drake Hacker ran the next 400 and got the baton to Justin Chu just ahead of the Ronald Reagan team. Justin then proved too fast for the other athletes running the 1200. Jacob Dickman would once again get to run the last four laps with the lead. It was a tight race behind us, but we stayed well ahead of all that, crossing the finish line 14 seconds ahead with an amazing time of 11:55. It was a second set of 1st medals for the boys. The 4×100 was next, and our girls team of Hannah Forget, Jessy Homa, Johannah Lee, and Meg Mazza was impressive and got us the 5th place points with their 1:01 effort. Our boys team of Westley Marek, Ben Hughes, John Klaves, and Ben Bridge got the baton around the track in 53 seconds to take 7th. The sprint medley was next. We fielded a very strong girls team of Nina Smrecek, Kayla Bruton, Zoe Smith, and Abby Chu. The girls stayed very competitive and ended up a very close 4th place with their 2:10 time, breaking the DASH record by 8 seconds. When the 2nd place team was disqualified we were moved up to 3rd to capture some more medals. Medals and DASH records were coming our way on a steady basis. What fun! But then our boys sprint medley team of Westley Marek, John Klaves, Jeremy Marek, and Tim Kowalinski found the competition especially tough while taking 10th out of 11 teams. Our distance runners were back for the 4×800. Briton Kostrzewa and Justin Chu had enough left to put us in 2nd place through 4 laps, but the race was staying very close behind us. John Kowalinski gave us a personal best 2:29 split, but we fell back into 3rd. Jacob Dickman gave us an inspired surge at the finish, but this time we would come up short by .05 seconds. The boys would add some 3rd place medals to their haul. The girls 4×800 were seeded to place 3rd, well behind 2nd and well ahead of 4th and that is exactly how the race played out. Kayla Walters, Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers, and Andrea Beck ran the 8 laps in 11:46. We would not be pushed a DASH record this time, but we would get another set of top-3 medals. We were able to field very strong teams in the 4×100 Throwers relay. Our girls team of Nina Smrecek, Renee Walters, Meg Mazza, and Zoe Smith got the lead early and saw it only got bigger as the girls set a DASH record 58.81. The girls won the 1st place medals and the free hot dogs. Yummy! The boys team of Ben Bridge, Ben Hughes, Samuel Zinkgraf, and Jeremy Marek made a valiant effort for the hot dogs, but the Thomas More team was just a little hungrier. The boys settled for the 2nd place medals hoping the hot dogs would slow the Thomas More boys down for next year. Our girls 4×400 team of Abby Chu, Johannah Lee, Jessy Homa, and Kayla Bruton broke 5 minutes to take 4th overall. The boys 4×400 team of Tim Kowalinski, John Klaves, John Kowalinski, and Samuel Zinkgraf finished the amazing day of racing by coming in first in their heat. Well, the day was finished until the coaches were coaxed into the Coach’s Relay. The old coach, with his back hurting, got us off to a slow start. Then coach Dickman kept us slow through the 2nd leg. Tonya Bruton and Mr. Beck were able to give us a good finish. I was surprised at how much fun the athletes had watching us all. We will have to prepare better for next year. Practice on Tuesday.

Our field event teams got us some extra points, with one team nabbing our first ever top-3 medals. Our boys long jumpers were actually declared the winners for a while. John Klaves, Briton Kostrzewa, and Westley Marek’s jumps added up to over 45 feet. Jeremy Marek also jumped over 15 feet. PTTiming added our 4 boys together and they came out ahead of the other teams 3 jumpers. After taking Jeremy out the boys finished 8th. Our boys discus throwers also took 8th. Jeremy Marek got his discus just over 70 feet, while Samuel Zinkgraf and Ben Bridge were in the mid 60’s. We were short on shot putters, but Ben Bridge got his shot past 24 feet. We fielded a girls triple jump team for the first time. Renee Walters, Hannah Forget, and Johannah Lee had their jumps add up to over 75 feet to finish 5th. Our shot put team of Renee Walters, Zoe Smith, and Nina Smrecek impressed with their 7th place finish out of the 10 teams competing. Our discus team of Renee Walters, Andrea Beck, and Grace Zinkgraf finished a nice 5th place out 8 teams. Our girls long jump team captured the 3rd place medals with Kayla Walters and Abby Chu’s jumps adding up to over 25 feet. Kayla Bruton gave us another 14 feet 10.5 inches to win the meet with a DASH record setting jump. Wow! I wish we had photos of that jump.

Our boys finished up with 40 team points to place 7th. The girls earned 72 team points to place 4th, just behind Shoreland Lutheran’s 79 points, and Thomas More’s 77. A pole vault competition was added to the meet earlier in the week which Thomas More won and Shoreland Lutheran placed 2nd. Take the pole vault out and our girls would have moved up to second. Oh, so close, but that’s the way it goes.

The team competed exceptionally well. We had nine DASH records set. Looking back I am not sure how we could have done much better. I was a little worried during the girls 4×1600 that the day would have us coming up just short, but Andrea’s comeback in the 16th lap squashed those doubts and then the team rolled through the meet and kept the great results coming. I did not find out about the girls long jump until after the meet, so the epic results continued even after the meet for me. I hope everyone enjoyed it, and appreciate the effort the athletes gave us.

Thanks to Mr. Beck and Pete Dickman for helping inspire the athletes to compete at their best. Thanks to the DASH fans for spurring the team on. It was no accident that our base is where the team started moving up in many of the races. Thanks to the Shoreland Lutheran team for hosting such a top-notch meet that I have come to hold so dear. Thanks to the camera lady who captured the excitement in photos. I actually forgot the camera, then Renee Walters was going to bring it, but she also forgot it. But Andrea Beck came through for us by bringing her camera and letting us use it. What a relief! The team still has three meets left. We get to see what this team can do for an encore.  I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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    Legendary race - Maitland Park This is where it all began.