Archive for April, 2017

Hello DASH families,

The Shoreland Lutheran Pacer Relays were last Friday, and of course our varsity high school track and field team was there. There would be 14 teams on hand, making this year’s edition of the Relays one of the most competitive we have seen, especially for the girls. The weather was better than forecasted, and the team looked to be peaking. It was time to get the batons out, run fast, have fun, and do your best to help the team.

The relays started with the 4×1600, but this year to save time the athletes were to run in heats and have their times summed up like they do with the hurdle events. There were only three teams in the girls 4×1600, the smallest field of the day. Abby Chu got ahead of everyone making sure no other team had any thoughts of winning. Abby clocked in at 6:13 and Kayla Walters gave us a 1-2 finish.. Zipporah Caspers and Becky Tabler stayed in the pack to assure us our first victory of the day. The boys 4×1600 was particularly competitive with 6 teams having seed times seconds apart. Brian Durbin ran in the first heat coming in 3rd with a fast 5:11. Martin Luther’s 3rd runner came in a second ahead of Brian, and their 4th runner was 10 seconds behind. We were beating our seed times, but so were they. Justin Chu got off to a slow start, but then surged up to the leaders during the first lap. Justin then jockeyed for the lead until finally falling off the pace near the end. Justin finished 4th overall, 3 seconds behind the top Martin Luther athlete, and 2 seconds ahead of their number 2. Caleb Schaber never faltered staying near the lead pack. His personal best 5:00 time was very welcome. Joe Maurer stayed strong and went 10 seconds under his seed time. Was it enough? I thought it was, and a few minutes later the announcer declared us the winner with an amazing 20:16.6 time. Not until I got home and added up the Martin Luther boys times did I realize that we had won by only a tenth of a second. The 16 lap race had been decided by less than a step. Wow! What a monumental win for the boys! As we moved on the 100 meter hurdles, Grace Zinkgraf gave us a new DASH record time of 20.89. Ella Johnson also ran and jumped well, and Emma Taylor at the last minute jumped into the race and made it to the finish line. Elijah Edlund and Patrick Mazza did the 110 hurdles for the boys and got the team 2 points for their efforts. We needed a third runner, but we were successful in keeping Emma out of that race.  The 4×200 start is very spread out, and our girls had lane 1. The official decided to have only a whistle start which is not the norm. It surprised Meg Mazza and she did not get out of the blocks right away. When Meg, Alivia Kempf, Rebecca Doak, and Kayla Bruton did get running they got the baton around in a descent 2:01. Jared Aguilar, Joshua Schaber, John Klaves, and Joshua Roets lowered the DASH record by 2 seconds with their 1:44. That was only good for 11th out of the 13 entrants, but we were in sight of 6th which has the coach already thinking about next year when our boys will not be quite as young. Emma Taylor got the girls Distance Medley started with a fast 2:49 split on the 800 leg to keep us near the lead. Ella Johnson sprinted through the 400 and got the baton to Zipporah Caspers for the 1200 leg. Zipporah has run this leg all four years on the team and she did well again, but we had now fallen back to 5th place. Olivia Chapman now took control for the 1600 leg. Olivia soon moved us back into 4th, and then kept her eyes on the 3rd place girl, finally catching her with just a few meters to go. The 3rd place medals were ours. In the boys Distance Medley, Brian Durbin kept us close to the lead through two laps, and then Samuel Zinkgraf blew by two teams on his lap to put us into 3rd. Vincent Maurer ran the 1200 and with a fast last lap got the baton to Drake Hacker. Drake paced around in 4th place, but got passed early. In the end Drake’s 5:06 split put the team comfortably back into 4th. Drake gave us 5 boys running the 1600 in 5:11 or less. No one else had that. Grace Zinkgraf started for the girls 4×100 team. Zoe Smith, Kayla Walters, and Kayla Bruton joined her to run a 59.08 to place 6th. Our boys 4×100 of Jared Aguilar, Ben Hughes, Joshua Schaber, and John Klaves ran to a DASH record 50.78 to earn the 8th place point. I liked that. Our exciting group of 300 hurdlers were next. Alivia Kempf got out fast winning her heat with a DASH record time of 56.14. Ella Johnson then raced in with a personal best 59.28. In the next heat Emma Taylor got through the 8 hurdles in 57.68. That all adds up to a 4th place finish. Our hurdlers have never done anything like that. Elijah Edlund and Patrick Mazza both set personal bests for the boys. Next year let’s hope we can run three. The exciting Sprint Medley was next. Meg Mazza and Zoe Smith ran some fast 100 legs with Rebecca Doak finishing the first lap. That only took the girls 57 seconds. Kayla Bruton blew by several teams and got us into 5th place with her very fast 1:08 split. The girls broke the DASH record set last year by almost 5 seconds. Wow! Jared Aguilar started again for the boys. Ben Hughes raced through his 100 leg, and was followed by Joshua Schaber for a 200. Joshua handed off to Joshua Roets who crossed the finish line at 1:51.76. Yet another DASH record, but one that should be going even lower next year.  Our girls 4×800 team was seeded 2nd, but that didn’t stop Abby Chu from getting the team into the lead after the first leg. Kayla Walters enjoyed the lead through her first lap, but then top-seeded Martin Luther got ahead. Zipporah Caspers kept us close in her first lap, and then the Martin Luther girl slowed around the back stretch and Zipporah took back the lead, but the USM team was just a couple steps behind us as Olivia Chapman took control of the baton. The USM girl tried to stay with Olivia through the first lap, but we would go on to win by an impressive 11 seconds. That was fun to watch. The boys were the top seeds in the boys 4×800, but after the close 4×1600 we knew we had to bring our best to win. Caleb Schaber went stride for stride with The Prairie School team through the first two laps. Brian Durbin then got the lead early in his first lap and never looked back.  Our lead was close to 100 meters. Joe Maurer ran the 3rd leg and got the baton to Justin Chu with no other team in sight.  Justin raced his two laps to finish up the big victory. Our new 4×800 record now stands at 9:15. It could have been lower if we were pushed.  Our throwers took the field for the 4×100 throwers relay. Meg Mazza and Grace Zinkgraf kept us near the lead before handing off to Zipporah Caspers.  Zoe Smith then left everyone far behind with a dominant anchor leg. The 1st place points and the free hot dogs were ours. Elijah Edlund got the boys off to a great start. Ben Hughes then got us ahead of everyone but the exhibition teams. Brendan Sanchez took his turn and was flawless in getting the baton to Samuel Zinkgraf. The Thomas More team was good, but Samuel held them off for the win.  That felt good after finishing a close 2nd last year. We proved no one can run with our throwers! The sun was down and the lighting was not good for getting pictures of the 4×400, but we still ran fast. Rebecca Doak, Emma Taylor, Abby Chu, and Alivia Chapman ran the four laps in a fast 4:39 to place 6th. That was a tough field. In a very close 4×400, our boys were one of six teams that went under 3:53. Justin Chu, Joshua Roets, John Klaves ran very well, but we were still only in 6th. Then Samuel Zinkgraf made the most of his last Pacer Relays race, moving us up into 4th while being disappointed he couldn’t get ahead of the 3rd place athlete. It was a good finish to the big day of racing. Now it was time for the athletes to turn into DASH fans and cheer the coaches on in the coach’s relay. Mr. Beck got the team off to a great start, and Mr. Maurer displayed flawless running form in his second leg. Then Coach Caspers blew several teams around the second turn. Garrett Missiaen got the baton in 4th place and let no one pass on the anchor leg. The coaches were good, and we were able to put our disappointing last place finish from the year before behind us.

It is hard to fit in the field events at this meet, but we did our best. Before helping with the photos, Faith Caspers gave the high jump another try and this time she proved to be very good, topping out at a nice 4’2″ height. Alivia Kempf made 4′ and Ella Johnson 3’8″ as the girls gave us an unexpected 5th place finish. In the long jump, John Klaves was our best once again with a 16′ leap. Joe Maurer went past 15 feet and Joshua Schaber topped out at 14′. Our girls team of Kayla Bruton, Kayla Walters, and Rebecca Doak all had to jump a little tired, and ended up just under 12′.  Brendan Sanchez was our best discus thrower. He was backed up by Patrick Mazza and Ben Hughes who both had personal best throws. Our girl discus throwers placed 6th overall in a good showing. Elisabeth Krmpotich put her discus past 66′ Grace Zinkgraf past 63′, and Zipporah Caspers 51′. Our girl shot putters were not at their best all coming in under 20′, but they were the best runners as discussed in the previous paragraph. Our boy shot putters combined to throw over 90 feet to place 4th overall. That was definitely one of our best results of the day. Elijah Edlund had a 33’7″ throw and is now the DASH record holder. Samuel Zinkgraf went over 30′ again and Brendan Sanchez had a personal best 29′ throw. Good job, boys.

Our girls and boys teams outpointed everyone in the running events. You can’t do better than that! Add in the hurdles and our girls were still on top. We do have work to do in the field events if we want to get our team scores to the next level. Overall it was an epic day with 6 first place finishes in the 27 events we competed in. We even did well in the coaches relay. The team could not have had much more fun.

Thanks to the coaching help provided by Mr. Beck, Mr. Maurer, Mr. Kempf, and Garrett Missiaen. Thanks to Shoreland Lutheran for hosting another fantastic meet. Thanks to the DASH fans, especially the ones trying to keep warm in the bleachers. Thanks to our camera crew of Hataya Johnson, Faith Caspers, and the camera lady.  It took me longer than usual to get through the photos because they caught the excitement of relay racing so well. Be sure to check them out. We our now down to our last three high school meets. The season always goes by fast.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school track and field team had 20 athletes compete in Jackson yesterday at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. The weather was not ideal. It drizzled on and off and the wind chills were in the 30’s, but to the athletes credit we were able to post some good results.

The boys on hand did plenty of field events. Ben Bridge and Samuel Zinkgraf both threw the discus exactly 71’3″. Will Farrell was next at 64’9″. Zachary Werner has a new best of 48’4″, and Ben Hughes threw for the first time in preparation for today’s meet. Samuel Zinkgraf edged past 30 feet in the shot put. Ben Bridge and Zachary Werner both had personal best throws. Our throwers continue to be great this year. John Klaves and Joshua Below battled the cold in the long jump and were a little under their bests. Grace Zinkgraf reached 59’8″ in the discus, and Katrina Lipski went over 19’3″ in the shot put. Kayla Walters and Rebecca Doak placed 2nd and 4th overall in the long jump, and Katie Gorectke was 3rd in triple jump. Becky Tabler and Faith Caspers competed in the high jump for the first time and just missed the opening 3’10” height, which was the height that Alivia Kempf topped out at.

Grace Zinkgraf got the running started with a nice personal best 21.54 time in the 100 meter hurdles. She continues to edge closer to the DASH record. Joshua Below had trouble with one hurdle in the 110 hurdles, otherwise he continues to look good. Rebecca Doak did a fast 14.64 in the 100 meters, while Katrina Lipski and Naomi Zhou both raced to personal bests. John Klaves came in just ahead of Will Farrell and Tim Kowalinski in the 100 with a time of 13.19. Zachariah Pape raced four laps in 6:04. He will wait another day to break 6 minutes. Zachary Werner finished in 7:02. Jessy Homa, Kayla Walters, Katrina Lipski, and Katie Gorectke ran the 4×200 relay in 2:15. In the 400, Naomi Zhou finished in 1:50. In the next heat Becky Tabler raced in with an impressive 1:12.70 to place first overall. Ben Hughes got his 400 time down to 1:01, while Tim Kowalinski did not let his elbow slow him down much finishing in 1:03. Joshua Below looked good in the 300 hurdles and placed 4th overall. In the 800, Jessy Homa and Katrina Lipski struggled some in the second lap. In her first attempt at the 800 Alivia Kempf moved up in the second lap passing everyone to place first overall with a 3:03. Very nice. For the boys Zachary Werner did two laps in 3:05. Zachariah Pape now has a new personal record of 2:40. Brian Durbin also set a personal record of 2:16 running by himself in the front. That is what he came for. In the 200, Rebecca Doak came in just ahead of Katie Gorectke with both girls in the 31’s. Ben Hughes looked great clocking in with a fast 27.39. Tim Kowalinski and Will Farrell followed with mid 28 second times. Rebecca Doak, Kayla Walters, Becky Tabler, and Katie Gorectke stayed to run a 4×400. It was cold, but they gave the team one last good race finishing 1st overall.

Thanks to Dawn Kempf for helping with our high jumpers. Thanks to the camera lady for getting some nice photos. Thanks to everyone who stayed positive despite the cold conditions. We race again today in Union Grove. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH varsity high school track and field team was found in Delafield last Saturday, competing in a 10-team meet at St John’s NW Military Academy. The team has been training hard, and gearing up for this meet all season. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. There would be nothing like a head wind keeping us from posting some fast times. And fast times would be needed to bring home our share of individual medals and keep us in contention for the team awards.

The 4×800 relay got the big day of racing started. Kayla Walters looked like her old self as she got the girls off to good start. Emma Taylor ran the second leg and ended up with the fastest split among the girls. Add another event to Emma’s growing list. Jessy Homa ran a nice two laps and then Zipporah Caspers finished off a 2nd place finish for the girls. Caleb Schaber got our boys 4×800 team into the lead. Then Brian Durbin ran the next two laps and kept us on a DASH record setting pace, but we still fell behind the Living Word Lutheran team. Vincent Maurer then kept us a few steps off the lead before handing off to Drake Hacker. Drake crossed the finish line in 2nd place with a time of 9:20. That is the new DASH record, and an unexpected one. The boys were outstanding. In the 100 hurdles, Grace Zinkgraf used a personal best 21.68 to edge Ella Johnson by .01 second. Elisabeth Krmpotich stayed right with them until she took a spill midway. Elijah Edlund had a great race going, but his landing on the last hurdle slowed him some. He still set a DASH record of 21.15. That time will be going lower soon. Joshua Below almost matched Elijah with his 21.36. Our hurdlers are working hard and are fun to watch. Grace Zinkgraf got the 100 meters started by winning her heat with a personal best 15.56. Zoe Smith looked fast and placed 7th overall, and Kayla Bruton got her day started by earning the 2nd place medal with a time of 13.57. Samuel Zinkgraf posted a nice 12.42 to place 8th. Jared Aguilar broke 13 seconds for the first time with a 12.80, and Will Farrell posted a 13.40 in his first race of the season. The much awaited 1600 was next. Olivia Chapman stayed in the lead pack early. The pack eventually dwindled to three girls, and in the end no one was able to stay with Olivia. Olivia’s 5:40.54 won the meet and lowered the DASH record by a fraction of a second. Very nice! Abby Chu did a 6:11 to get her day started. I know she can even go lower as she gains experience in the event. Becky Tabler looked much better this week and earned us the 8th place point. Every point would be important. In the boys 1600, six guys went under 5 minutes including senior Justin Chu. Justin was pushed to a 4:52 to earn the 3rd place medal. His times are really getting low. Caleb Schaber did a personal best 5:11 as he continues to amaze. Brian Durbin’s 5:20 gave us 3 in the top 8. No other team could match our depth. Our girls ran well in 4×200 relay, but we had a handoff outside of the exchange zone missing out on some 2nd place points. The boys 4×200 team of Jared Aguilar, Joshua Schaber, Ben Hughes, and John Klaves set a DASH record of 1:46 to place 4th. This year’s group of boy sprinters are the best we’ve had. We placed three girls in the top-6 in the 400. Kayla Walters was 6th, Kayla Bruton 4th, and Rebecca Doak 2nd. Rebecca is now number 2 on the DASH record list with her 1:09.12. She really heads down the home stretch fast. Elijah Edlund matched his 1:02 from the week before for the boys. Joshua Below had a personal record 1:01. He is catching the DASH fans attention. Joshua Roets broke a minute to be the team leader. The 4×100 was next, and the girls team got DQ’d again. They kept going and had a great time, but we obviously have to work on our handoffs. The boys team was helped by another teams’ DQ to earn the 3rd place medals. Jared Aguilar, Ben Hughes, and John Klaves were joined by Will Farrell to break yet another DASH record with their 51.05. Our hurdlers were back running and jumping through 300 meters. Alivia Kempf and Ella Johnson just missed going under a minute, also just missed the DASH record. Emma Taylor did both and ended up 3rd overall with her 59.11. I am looking forward to the 300 meters like never before. Elijah Edlund did a nice 54.92 in his first attempt at the event. Joshua Below did a 51.97 to place 8th. Elijah and Joshua would have done a little better if the coach could have left them off the 400 team. Olivia Chapman took over the girls 800 race in the second lap giving her a second victory on the day. Abby Chu had a great finish, moving all the way up to 3rd in a photo finish. Zipporah Caspers gave us a 3rd girl in the points with her 2:55. The field for the boys 800 race was particularly strong, partly because of our boys. Justin Chu was back giving the team another 3rd place finish with a personal best 2:13. Brian Durbin’s 2:18 effort nailed down 6th, and Caleb Schaber held off a couple older boys at the end to finish behind Brian. Our 800 teams were outstanding. The event that gave us the most team points was the girls 200. Rebecca Doak and Katie Gorectke went stride for stride to the finish to take 4th and 5th. Rebecca came out .01 seconds ahead in another photo finish. Kayla Bruton did a personal best 28.30 and kept all the other girls behind her. That adds up to 19 points for the girls in one event. In the boys 200, Joshua Roets came in just ahead of Joshua Schaber with both boys breaking 27 seconds for the first time. Samuel Zinkgraf powered his way to a 25.68 to place 8th. Kayla Walters placed 5th overall in her first attempt at the 3200. Becky Tabler finished close behind with some good racing, and Zipporah Caspers also made it through in less than 16 minutes. Drake Hacker paced himself very well and moved himself up into 4th place on the last lap in his 3200. Vincent Maurer did well with his 12:45.

The 4×400 teams will get their own paragraph. Nothing can beat a close 4×400. Going full speed for a mile, with new athletes taking their turn each lap, keeps the tension and excitement building throughout the race. We got that twice on this day. Julia Radewahn went first for our girls, and after the first turn we found out the Brookfield Academy team was going to be our competition. Despite a 1:10 split from Julia, the first BA girl got a step ahead down the homestretch. Emma Taylor would then take her turn at her favorite event. Emma was running about even with 100 meters to go, but the BA girl, (who happened to be former DASH star Sammie Ronge), was able to get a step on her before the next handoff. Another 1:10 split down and we were still a step back. Abby Chu took the baton and the chase was back on. Abby got right on the girls heals on the backstretch and the girls were running side by side around the last turn, but once again the BA girl was able to stay a step ahead before the handoff. We would get one more chance to get ahead. The pressure and the baton went to Rebecca Doak. Rebecca paced a step or two back, but then finally the BA team cracked. Rebecca surged around the last turn and the Brookfield Academy girl had no answer. To great fanfare, Rebecca sped down the home stretch to victory. The girls clocked in with a new DASH record of 4:39.73 with all the girls doing about 1:10 splits. Justin Chu took the baton first for the boys. Justin’s 57 second split got us into the lead a few steps ahead of the Messmer team. Joshua Roets took his turn and increased our lead to a little over 10 meters. We were in very good position, but Messmer was staying within striking distance. John Klaves raced around in 57 seconds, but even with that pace our lead shrunk. Samuel Zinkgraf would get the finishing duties and try to hold off the Messmer anchor. Down the back stretch our lead dwindled some more, and after the last turn it was down to a step. 1500 meters were behind us. It was now a 100 meter race with Samuel a step ahead. Samuel could feel the Messmer boy close, and tried to kick it up another notch, while the Messmer athlete who had worked so hard to catch Samuel started showing some fatigue. In a wild finish Samuel refused to be passed, literally falling over the line to victory. What a finish! And yes, it was a new DASH record – 3:48. Like the girls, the boys all clocked in with even splits. It was definitely a team victory, and one we will be talking about for a long time.

While I did not get to witness many, we had a pretty good day in field events. Alivia Kempf made 4’2″ and Ella Johnson 3’10” in the high jump, both personal bests. Will Farrell and Brendan Sanchez reached upper 60’s in the discus. Our girl discus throwers, Elisabeth Krmpotich, Grace Zinkgraf, and Zipporah Caspers placed 4-5-6. Very nice. Kayla Bruton jumped 13-09, and Rebecca Doak just under 12 feet. The long jumping boys had a very good day. Joshua Below did a 14’07”. Joshua Schaber landed an unexpectedly good 16’8″ jump, and John Klaves hit 17 feet for the first time. Zoe Smith and Emma Taylor threw the shot put in the low 19’s, and Elisabeth Krmpotich had a nice 21’3″ throw. The shot put boys had the best day in DASH history. Brendan Sanchez had a personal best 28’8″ throw. Elijah Edlund was over 30 feet again, this time hitting the 30’6″ mark. And after a long wait, Samuel Zinkgraf did it. He is now the new shot put DASH record holder – 33’2.25″. We had one more DASH record in the triple jump. Katie Gorectke, in just her first try at the event, made it to the 27’5.5″ mark. Very nice!

The team scores came in and our boys finished a strong 4th. Our girls came close to catching the very good Living Word Lutheran team, but they nipped us again. The final score was 159-141 in their favor. I thought the team was outstanding. We can hold our heads up high, and start thinking about what we can improve on to be a little stronger next year. I know I am already thinking about it. It will be all about the team again this Friday at the Pacer Relays. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, Garrett Missiaen, and Greg Kempf for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Hataya Johnson and Faith Caspers for taking another set of great photos. Thanks to the DASH fans for helping the athletes give us their best. And thanks to Lee and Connie Krmpotich for opening up their home for the great post-race festivities. It was a special way to end a great day of DASH racing.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school track team opened its outdoor season in Watertown last Saturday. There would be no relays for our 40 athletes on hand.  Everyone would be on the clock with the time trial format, showing off their talents for the coaches and the DASH fans. The weather was warm and very nice for a mid-April meet. There was a blustery headwind that slowed down the 100 and 200 times some, but it did now stop the team from posting some impressive results.

The 1600 meter run was first on our schedule. Olivia Chapman showed off her stride and finished in less than 6 minutes. Abby Chu, running her first 1600, impressed us with her 6:19. Becky Tabler struggled in her first DASH race. She has looked good in practice and will get another chance next week. Katrina Lipksi dipped under 8 minutes. For the boys, freshman Zachariah Pape showed us his potential and paced himself well. Vincent Maurer did a 5:49 and is still rounding himself into shape. Brian Durbin, coming off a week of debating, was a little off, but managed a 5:24. Drake Hacker looked better this time and came in just ahead of Brian. Joe Maurer moved up to place 6th overall with a 5:20. Caleb Schaber went out fast and caught everyone’s attention. In just his first 1600 he finished 3rd overall with a 5:14. Justin Chu took off after one lap and dipped under 5 minutes for the win. He is ready for a big season. Grace Zinkgraf looked good in the 100 hurdles, although she hit the last hurdle and fell. The coach was happy with her effort. Joshua Below and Elijah Edlund raced through the 110 hurdles in identical 21.83 times in separate heats. These two boys are the best the team has ever had. In the 200, Kayla Bruton made running a 28.70 look easy.  Zoe Smith looked much better and posted a nice 31.18 time. Meg Mazza won the 5-DASH-girl super heat. Meg needed a 31.42 to stay ahead of Rebecca Doak’s 31.63, Emma Taylor’s 31.65, and Katie Gorectke’s 31.78 times. The team has never had this much speed. Kayla Walters was also in that heat. She made her case to be back in the distance events.  We need her there. I had Julia Radewahn under-seeded in all her events. She is yet another very good sprinter that should have been running with the girls in the super heat. Ella Johnson broke 33 seconds and Elisabeth Krmpotich ran a nice 33.80. That event for the girls was amazing.  In the boys 200, Samuel Zinkgraf was our number 1 with a 26.85. He was followed closely by John Klaves, Joshua Schaber, Jared Aguilar, Joshua Roets, Ben Hughes, and Elijah Edlund. I was impressed with how close everyone was to Samuel. We need that. Tim Kowalinski can also run with the group above, but he took a spill just before the finish. Patrick Mazza finally raced his first high school race in the 200 after practicing for over a year. In the 800, more than half the participants were from our team. Zipporah Caspers led our girls in the first heat. Kayla Walters was next, getting just ahead of Rebecca Dickman at the finish. Rebecca was followed by Becky Tabler. Katrina Lipski had a good finish, getting ahead of a slowing Faith Caspers down the homestretch. Faith had pain in her knee again and may be done for the season.  In the next heat, Abby Chu posted a nice 2:51 time. Olivia Chapman was the early leader and raced in with a 2:37.6. That time broke the DASH record by a fraction of a second. Very nice.  Justin Chu and Brian Durbin paced all the boys and gave us an impressive 1-2 finish. Caleb Schaber did about a 2:22, but was DQ’d after cutting into lane 1 too soon.  I forgot to talk with him about that. It is easy to forget he’s a rookie. Joe Maurer did a routine 2:28. He was followed by Vincent Maurer, Zachariah Pape, and Tim Kowalinski all finishing in the 2:40’s. Zachary Werner broke his personal record by 25 seconds. Well done. We ran 6 athletes in the 300 hurdles and they all did well. Emma Taylor, despite falling, was our first girl to the finish. Alivia Kempf did a 1:02 and looked great. I knew she would be good if she tried it. Ella Johnson and Elisabeth Krmpotich gave us four girls with 1:03 or better times.  Joshua Below finished in just 50 seconds. The long-standing DASH record may be going down this year. Patrick Mazza broke a minute in his first try.  Oh, is it nice to have so many good hurdlers. In the 100, Kayla Bruton, Meg Mazza, and Zoe Smith placed in the top-25. Katie Gorectke, Julia Radewahn, Grace Zinkgraf, and Katrina Lipski also showed us some good speed. Samuel Zinkgraf again had the fastest time among the boys, but again the boys behind him were close. Jared Aguilar had the best start of the day and that helped him to hold off John Klaves, Joshua Roets, and Ben Hughes in another DASH super heat. Joshua Schaber should have been in that heat as well with his 13.26 time. Brendan Sanchez showed great effort and took a tumble just past the finish line. He now has a new personal record about half a second lower. It was time for the 400, the last event of the day. We placed 11 girls with 1:16 or lower times. Alivia Kempf was about 6 seconds faster than her last meet. Becky Tabler showed us her speed and broke 1:15. Ella Johnson finished in a personal best 1:14.42.  Julia Radewahn won her early heat easily with a 1:13. She will go even faster when he I get her into a proper heat. Katie Gorectke did a 1:12. Emma Taylor got a personal record 1:11.4. Rebecca Doak showed off her 400 running skills with a 1:10. I had my eye out for that after seeing her run in practice. . And then Kayla Bruton followed with her own 1:10. Bring on some 4×400’s. We need that record to be lowered this year. Patrick Mazza got the boys started by winning his heat. Joshua Below won his early heat with a 1:03. I had him under-seeded.  Caleb Schaber finished in 1:00 in his heat, and came in ahead of Elijah Edlund’s 1:02, and Jared Aguilar’s 1:03. These freshman boys are top notch. It only took 58 seconds for Joshua Roets to do a lap. You will be seeing more full laps from him. Justin Chu then raced John Klaves. John’s 1:02 was descent, but Justin Chu got way ahead with his 58.10. Samuel Zinkgraf finished the great day of racing with his own heat victory and 59.01 time.  That was a lot of running – a lot of fast running.

Field events are hard to fit in with all the running, but we did fit most of them in. Alivia Kempf and Ella Johnson were our high jumpers again. They both made it over the 3’8″ mark, and then Alivia topped out at 3’10”.  Kayla Bruton is getting in her long jump groove now and did a 13’8″. Rebecca Doak made it to 12’4″ in her first jumps of the year. Grace Zinkgraf had a nice 11’10” jump, just ahead of Abby Chu’s 11’8″, and Julia Radewahn’s 10’5″.  John Klaves went all the way to 16’7″ this time. He is getting better each meet. Joe Maurer had a personal record 15’9″. Brian Durbin did his usual 14 feet, and Joshua Below made it past 13. Jared Aguilar jumped 12’6″ for a personal record. In the discus, Grace Zinkgraf had a very nice 63 foot throw. Elisabeth Krmpotich got her discus to 56 feet. It was her first time throwing discus, but not her last.  Ben Bridge missed the DASH record by 3 inches with his 76’9″ throw. Brendan Sanchez impressed with his 68′ effort. He is getting good. Patrick Mazza and Zachary Werner also threw well. Zoe Smith led our girls again in the shot put. Meg Mazza hit 20 feet for the first time. Emma Taylor did a respectable 19’7″ in her first try at shot. Ben Bridge threw his shot 25 feet. Brendan Sanchez threw it over 28 to improve his personal record by over 2 feet. Samuel Zinkgraf broke 30 feet by 2 inches. Elijah Edlund, our middle school star from last year, seems to have taken a liking to the heavier 12 pound shot he is now throwing. Elijah’s best was measured at 30’3″. The DASH fans will have to pay extra attention to the shot put field this season with the boys throwing like that.

The time trials are in the books. Now we move on to the heart of our schedule in the weeks ahead. The team looks to be ready to score some points!  I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Joe Maurer, Garret Missiaen, and Greg Kempf for their help with the coaching. Thanks for all the parents on hand who got the athletes all the way out to Watertown and ready to compete.  More thanks to the parents who then transformed themselves into great DASH fans. Thanks to Watertown HS Coach Chris Mertens for inviting us, having the meet run so smoothly, and even correcting an invalid mark for us quickly that I brought to his attention.  Thanks to our camera crew of Hataya Johnson, Faith Caspers, and Grace Caspers. The photos are superb. Be sure to check them out. Plenty of practices and meets ahead, but it will go by quick.  Stay healthy and be ready!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH varsity high school track and field team competed against mostly Division 1 teams last Saturday in the Ed Dwyer Invitational at Waukesha South high school. It was the first meet of the season for our boys, and a few of our girls. The meet would be a tough early season test that would push our veterans to some fast times, and help bring to light some new stars for the DASH fans to get excited about. Our team is now big enough, and talented enough, for the coach to not hesitate to max out the roster for most events in a meet like this. The highlights are many.

The 4×800 relay teams got the day’s racing started. Freshman Olivia Chapman, making her DASH debut, got the girls team out to a fast start. Kayla Walters took the baton next, but unfortunately was not feeling 100% and we fell back some. Zipporah Caspers and Abby Chu finished up with some very nice splits and the girls ended up with an 11:32.10, breaking the DASH records by a few tenths of a second. That record should be going lower before the month is out. Caleb Schaber started the boys 4×800 team off with the teams’ fastest split. Vince Maurer, John Klaves, and Drake Hacker backed him up and posted a nice 4th place finish. The DASH team has plenty of hurdlers this year. In the high hurdles, Ella Johnson, Elisabeth Krmpotich, Joshua Below, and Miles Talbert all did very well for first-timers. Expect to read some good meet report comments about our hurdlers this season. Meg Mazza’s start in the 60 yard dash was flawless and helped her to get out ahead in her heat and post an amazing 8.11 time. That was good for 8th place overall, plus the cover photo for the meet’s DASH Flickr photo album! Samuel Zinkgraf led the boys in the 60 yard dash, but then hurt himself trying to slow down at the end. His day was done. We will need the multiple DASH record holder later this season. Olivia Chapman was our lone girl in the mile and she posted a respectable 6:17 time to place 7th. Our girls distance runners will be more numerous in the meets ahead. Joe Maurer posted a nice 5:27 time in the mile to place 2nd in his heat. Brian Durbin followed with a 5:24 in the next heat. Justin Chu led that same heat for a while before settling for 4th overall with a 5:07 time. His mile times may not have a 5 in the front for the rest of the year. Meg Mazza got us in good position leading off the 4×240 relay. Abby Chu and Katie Gorectke also ran very well. Kayla Walters gave us her best in the 3rd leg, but she just was not healthy enough to go very fast this time. She asked the coach if her day could be done, and for the first time ever he said yes. Look for the real Kayla to be back next meet. Joshua Schaber took Samuel Zinkgraf’s anchor leg of the 4×240 relay. Joshua Roets, Ben Hughes, and John Klaves combined with Joshua for a fast 2:20 time. In the 400, Ella Johnson led Elisabeth Krmpotich and Alivia Kempf around the track 2 1/2 times while posting a 1:15. Jared Aguilar got off to a great start in the 400, but struggled in the last lap. Practice the next two weeks will fix that. Vincent Maurer also got in a 400 heat. The coach wants to see much more of him. Maybe a 3200? Our 4×160 girls relay team of Meg Mazza, Katie Gorectke, Jessy Homa, and Zoe Smith impressed the DASH fans with their nice 6th place finish. The boys team of Ben Hughes, Joshua Roets, Joshua Schaber, and John Klaves ran to a DASH record 1:30 time, also good for 6th. Ella Johnson and Miles Talbert were back hurdling again, this time in the 60 yard low hurdles. Freshman Ella Johnson came in ahead of 4 girls as she continues to help the team wherever needed. Abby Chu raced five laps around the track in 2:48 to place 11th overall in the 800. Our distance running trio of Justin Chu, Brian Durbin, and Joe Maurer were back for the 800, all finishing in the 2:20’s, and placing in the top-14, including Justin’s 5th place run. Zoe Smith has had some leg issues this past week, but to the coach’s relief she made it to the end of the meet still running fast with a nice 31.93 200 time. Kayla Bruton was a late arrival, but her 8th place 200 finish was worth the wait. Kayla looked very good. The DASH fans will not want to miss any of her races this year. We had our three boys entries in the 200 all in the same heat. Junior Joshua Roets proved the fastest this time. He impressed us with his 28.93 indoor time to cap off a great first track meet. Coming in behind Joshua were Ben Hughes who edged Jared Aguilar. The boys have some speed this year. Let’s hope the coach figures out the best ways to use it. Caleb Schaber paced behind Drake Hacker for most of the 2 mile race. Drake struggled some and Caleb passed him near the end, but Drake showed us what he is made of with a gutsy last lap. Drake didn’t have a good day by his standards, but the 2 mile is tough this early. Caleb may be a freshman, but he showed the DASH fans once again that he is already one of our top distance runners. The stands had thinned out some by the 4×400, but of course we still had plenty of DASH fans on hand. Katie Gorectke started for the girls and kept us close. Ella Johnson and Zipporah Caspers followed with some great splits. We were in 4th and not too far back of 3rd, but the 1st place team had lapped us. Kayla Bruton ran the anchor leg and stayed with the top team’s anchor, even stopping when the other girl finished. We then got Kayla to run one more lap to put our claim on 4th. Justin Chu led the boys 4×400 team which stayed in a battle with the home team the whole way. Joe Maurer, Brian Durbin, and John Klaves gave us everything they had left, but we finished a couple steps back with a 4:06. A good 4×400 is always a great way to cap off a day of racing.

In field events, our shot put teams were close to what we expected. Samuel Zinkgraf, Brendan Sanchez, and Joshua Schaber all threw well for the boys, while Zoe Smith, Elisabeth Krmpotich, and Meg Mazza did the same for the girls. The girls high jump bar started at 3’10”, and Ella Johnson and Alivia Kempf were close but they could not keep the bar from falling. Abby Chu had a personal best 12’11” long jump. Kayla Bruton and Kayla Walters took the day off. Miles Talbert did not pop the big jump he is capable of yet. Brian Durbin had a solid 14’5″ leap. John Klaves took one jump for 16’2″ and called it a day. I was keeping him too busy running relays.

We certainly had our disappointments with Kayla Walters not able to give us her best, and Samuel Zinkgraf and Joshua Below having their days end early. Elijah Edlund had to miss the meet because he was sick. When you have a big team, not everyone is going to be at their best. It was impressive how we were able to plug different athletes into the relays and still hit or come very close to our seed times. We have things to work on in the next two weeks for sure, but we are not too far off from where we want to be. The season should be special. You will not want to miss it.

Thanks to all the DASH fans who came out. We had quite a contingent. Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, Danica Johnson, and Garrett Missiaen for their help with the coaching. Thanks to our photographers Hataya Johnson, Faith Caspers, and Grace Zinkgraf for getting the photos. The outdoor season is next. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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