Archive for September, 2017

Hello DASH families,

Thursday was the day for the annual Prairie Invitational, the meet the coach always looks forward to the most. There were 11 teams on hand, and the scouting report would have us as one of three teams in contention for the team trophies. The weather was a sunny 70 degrees with low humidity, making it a perfect setting for the athletes and for the fans to watch some exciting racing on the beautiful and hilly Armstrong Park course.

The girls lined up at 4:15, and after a couple of glitches, the gun finally went off. Surprising, Union Grove had not brought their varsity team, and it was soon apparent that our main rival would be the host Prairie School team. Kayla Bruton was the early leader with Abby Chu and the rest of the team all staying close together near the front, challenging the other teams to keep up.  As the girls passed the park, the Prairie girls had tightened up the race considerably with one of their girls getting ahead of Kayla and one running just in front of Abby, but as of yet they had no answer for the strong running from Stephanie Chu, Faith Caspers, and Alivia Kempf.  Past the two mile mark, Abby Chu had moved past the Prairie girl ahead of her and was looking strong, while Kayla was keeping them in her sights. Stephanie Chu was running well and taking care of things with no Prairie girls close to her, but the 3 and 4 Prairie girls were now moving up and getting closer to Alivia and Faith.  A Prairie girl won the race. Abby Chu’s 21:58 put her 3rd overall behind a Brookfield Academy girl who ran on an incomplete team, Fourth place went to the number 2 Prairie girl, with Kayla Bruton finishing just four seconds later with a personal record 22:09. Stephanie Chu moved up into 6th place in the last mile. Prairie had no one who could stay close to Stephanie, but Prairie’s next two girls were on the move, getting ahead of Faith and closing in on Alivia. If both girls could get by Alivia the race would tip in their favor, but all their efforts would be for naught as Alivia would not be passed. Faith finished comfortably ahead of the 5th Prairie girl. Victory was ours!  The girls had won the Prairie Invite for the first time. Of course we had plenty of hard running from our other girls. Our talent runs much deeper than just 5. Jessy Homa was chosen to run JV by the slightest of margins this time, but will be back with the varsity team next week. Jessy’s victory in the JV race by 23 seconds was impressive! Ella Johnson came in next with a 26:21. She has been practicing much better than that. Emma Taylor had the strongest finish among the girls and finished with a 26:30. She knows she’s capable of a little more. Katrina Lipski looked very good again, better than her 29:44 time reflects. She earned the 9th place JV medal. Naomi Zhou earned the 14th place JV medal with her personal best 34:05. With better starts Naomi could bring that time down considerably.

Just like the girls, the boys main competitor would be The Prairie School, the defending champion. Brian Durbin, Drake Hacker, and Caleb Schaber all got out to strong starts, but it did not take long to see that the Prairie boys would be unstoppable this time out. Coming around by the park past the mile mark, Prairie was holding down the top 4 spots, with their 5th also running strong. Near the end Prairie was gunning for a perfect score, but Brian Durbin moved up late to break that up.  Brian clocked in at 18:37 for 5th overall. Caleb Schaber was running ahead of Brian up until about the 2 1/2 mile mark. Caleb went on to take 8th overall with a 18:47 time and was top sophomore or freshman in the race. Drake Hacker made the medal stand with his 13th place finish. Vincent Maurer moved up through the last mile to come in right after Drake with a personal record 19:26. Vince keeps improving each race. We need that. Tim Kowalinski cracked to the top-20 with his 19:50. John Klaves moved up near the last hill to be our 6th runner in. His 20:54 time was a little off from his last few meets. Ben Hughes needed a strong finish to stay just ahead of Joshua Schaber with a season best 21:02. Joshua Schaber followed with his own season best 21:07 good for the 7th place JV medal. Seth Holter’s ankle held up to the end this time and got the 8th place JV medal. Theodore Flunker got out fast and looked great, but then he hit the wall and made it in with a 25:14. Look for his time to come way down next meet.  The boys took second overall, 37 points behind the impressive Prairie boys, and 40 points ahead of the third place team which must have made us look pretty impressive to them.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the DASH fans. We had a very nice contingent making it down to Racine. Thanks to The Prairie School for hosting and for the invitation to race. Thanks to the camera lady along with Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers for getting the photos.  We are now down to our last two meets. Everything is important this late in the year. It is sure to be exciting. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was time for the annual Trojan Invitational at Mitchell Park for the high school team, and for the first time the meet would be held on a Friday afternoon. The team would arrive to record-setting mid-90 degree temperatures. Because of the extreme heat it was decided to cut the JV course down to 2500 meters, and to have plenty of water available for the athletes on the course. The varsity athletes would have to work their way through the full 5k course in their attempt to capture the 1st place trophies once again.

The JV race started at 4:15 with the heat still out in full force. The field would be a little larger than usual with a few teams choosing to run most of their athletes in the shorter 2500 meter race. Theodore Flunker did not let the heat slow him down as he raced through the course in just 9:56. That would be good for the 8th place ribbon. We will get to see Theodore racing with all our other boys next week. I am looking forward to that. Katie Gorectke was back running already after her ankle issues last race and proved to be the class of the JV girls field. Katie’s 10:39 time was way ahead of any of the other girls. The 1st place ribbon was hers. If Katie’s ankle is ready she will be holding down a varsity spot next week. Katrina Lipski posted a nice 13:03 to nab the 4th place ribbon. She may be ready to lower her personal record in the cooler races ahead. Naomi Zhou took a wrong turn at the end and was disqualified. She would have hit the finish in about 16 minutes.

The goal for our girls in the 4:45 varsity race was to not worry about times, to get in good position and hold down their spots, to bring home our fair share of the individual medals, and to make it two year in a row winning the team trophy. Our girls all got out well with only Jessy Homa holding back some at the start. Abby Chu led the girls through the first mile with Kayla Bruton and Stephanie Chu staying close behind. Alivia Kempf, Faith Caspers, Emma Taylor, Ella Johnson, and Jessy Homa were all staying in medal contention at this point. No other team was staying with us. It was now time to hold our spots as best we could in the extreme heat. Through the second mile, Abby, Stephanie, Kayla, and Alivia were all running in the top-6 with Faith, Ella, and Jessy giving us 7 of the top 13. We were overwhelming the field. In the last mile Stephanie Chu moved up into 2nd place overall to be our first runner in. Coming in a few steps behind was Abby Chu. Kayla Bruton struggled the last mile, but when she saw the finish line she kicked it in to give us 3 in the top 4. What a tough, quality effort from our top girls. Alivia Kempf stayed fast and steady the whole way and came in all by herself to claim the 6th place medal. I think she is ready for a break out race. We will try to help push her along next week. Faith Caspers held down the 8th spot over the last mile. She was challenged along the home stretch, but would let no one pass. Ella Johnson put in a quality race and earned the 11th place medal for her effort. She is peaking now. Jessy Homa never faltered in the heat, even overcoming a pre-race bee sting to claim our 7th individual medal with her 12th place finish. Emma Taylor coasted in to an 18th place finish and hopefully saved plenty for next week.

The varsity boys race got going about 5:20 with the sun not beating down quite as hard. Brian Durbin was our early leader, but it was Caleb Schaber who was the first to come down the hill after the mile mark. Brian and Drake Hacker followed right behind Caleb giving us three of the top runners. Vince Maurer, John Klaves, and Tim Kowalinski all came through still in top-15 medal contention. Ben Hughes and Joshua Schaber went down the hill soon after. We had all of our boys running very well. We were now the team to beat. Brian Durbin moved up into 3rd place through the second mile and he was putting some space between him and the 4th runner. Caleb Schaber stayed steady and was running 5th overall. Drake Hacker was staying in the top-10, and Vince Maurer had moved into 11th place with Tim Kowalinski keeping him in his sights. John Klaves had dropped back to 17th and was running in a much bigger crowd than the others, and really battling his way through. Ben Hughes had now moved up into about 20th position. He looked very good. Joshua Schaber was holding down his spot pretty well. Brian Durbin never faltered in the last mile and posted an impressive 18:40 time good for 3rd. Caleb Schaber showed his mettle at the finish as he sprinted in to claim the 5th place medal. Drake Hacker put together one of his best races and gave us 3 in the top 8. Vince Maurer was fired up at the finish and hit the line in 11th place. Tim Kowalinski came in two seconds behind Vince. Our top 5 scorers were all in the top-13 and on the medal stand. John Klaves stayed strong and held down his 17th spot. He is running very well now and giving us insurance as our 6th runner. Ben Hughes displayed the best finishing kick of the day to move up to the 19th spot. He is definitely peaking now. Joshua Schaber cruised in to a 27th place finish. He liked running varsity.

Our top seven girls all went up and received their medals, and we were announced the victors with a total of 23 points. Looking over the score sheets, the three girls ahead of our 5th scorer Faith were all on teams that had less than five finishers. That means the girls officially finished with a perfect score of 15! I predict that will never be beaten. In fact, our 7th girl Jessy would have been the number 2 girl on the teams behind us. Monumental!! Once the girls were done taking pictures with their trophy, our top-5 boys received their individual medals and we were then declared the team champion with 40 points. The boys winning streak at the Trojan Invitational now stands at four in a row! Well done, boys! We finished up by getting some great photos with both boys and girls displaying their hard won hardware. And lastly we started thinking and training for the big meets ahead. I hope to see you there.

I volunteered our team to pass out the water to help keep the athletes going. So thank you to Daniel Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, Noah Caspers, Jenna Walters, Silas Johnson, Julia Kowalinski, Mary LeSac, Hellena Hacker, Myra Johnson, Charlie Johnson, and later even Stephanie Chu and Abby Chu for doing all the hard, hot work that was so important. Thanks to Theodore Flunker, Katie Gorectke and Emma Taylor for their help in passing out water at the finish. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching and for being our official scorer. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting a great set of photos. It was truly a team effort. Well done, team!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was at Elkhorn Middle School last Wednesday. The conditions would be very warm once again for the dedicated athletes as they put their paces to the test against six big public school teams. The 1.5 mile course is relatively flat and fast, but it would be a little tougher for the athletes to make it through this year, especially for the athletes in the earlier 7th grade and under races. But we left with more than our fair share of awards. The hard work we have put in is paying off.

The first to run were our 7th and under girls, which is all of our girls this year. The 4 PM heat was beating down in full force as the gun went off. Long time DASH star Julianna Caspers would be looking for her fourth straight medal in this division. She proved early she would be a contender again as she went out fast staying close to the leaders. Julianna kept up her quick pace, and moved up into 6th place by the end. That was her best finish ever, but about 25 seconds slower than her p.r. on this course. The heat was having a big effect on the times today. Joy Rasch was in 15th place early and she was able to keep everyone behind her the rest of the way to get onto the medal stand for the second meet in a row. Very nice! Behind Joy a real battle of attrition was on display as the girls tried their best to make their way through the course. Savanna Bruton showed off her finishing kick again and finished just ahead of Grace Caspers. Savanna and Grace stayed steady and strong and edged into the top-30. Bedalia Radtke was running a little sick and struggled near the end, but still managed a respectable 32nd place finish. Angela Walters started strong, and then really had to push herself to keep running near the finish. Hellena Hacker had a good second half as she moved up and helped push Angela along at the end. Angela and Hellena ended up in 47th and 48th place. Jenna Walters had an impressive day as she moved up to be our 8th girl in. Jenna finished just ahead of Alexa Bruton who stayed pretty steady through the course on this tough day. Hannah Schaefer came in right after Alexa and looked good for most of the way, but had some troubles down the home stretch. Mary LeSac got out a little slower than the coach would like, but was able to hit the finish just after Hannah. Natalie Radtke looked really good at the start, but it turned out to be too good as the heat got to her and she barely made it in. Overall the girls had a good day with our top girls really running well, and the others staying very competitive through the very tough conditions.

Our promising 7th and under boys were next. Leif Kostrzewa was the early leader, and then stayed strong to the finish to place 4th overall. Nathanael Chu did not let the heat get to him as he stayed close to Leif the whole way and kept all but 5 behind him. Leif and Nathanael gave us a fantastic top-2. Seka Kostrzewa has never looked better. In his first race of the year, he relentlessly battled his way to his own top-9 finish. Better make that a fantastic top-3. Wow! Micah Chan methodically moved up in the second half of the race, passing a few key people down the stretch to place 23rd as our 4th scorer. That would prove big in the team scores. We needed someone to come up big for us as the 4th runner and Micah answered the call. Well done. Abiah Radtke put together a much better race this time to finish 32nd. He is one to watch in the weeks ahead. Josiah Chu stayed fast the whole way and hit the home stretch running with Abiah. That’s fast for a 4th grader. Noah Caspers, a 2nd grader, ended up 41st overall with an impressive 12:49. Our young guys know how to race. Joshua Lipski finished 50th overall and looked much healthier. The boys took 2nd place as a team. They worked hard and were impressive!

Our big guys were next, and fortunately it was starting to cool off some. All but one of our girls had to leave early, but the DASH fans who stayed were in for a treat. Ethan Blischke and Alexander Taylor were running 2-3 coming around the first turn, just behind an Elkhorn boy. Behind them was another big group from the home team ready to move up if Ethan and Alexander ever slowed. Heading into the last loop the top 5 had all stayed strong and held their spots. Then coming out of the tall grass trail near the finish, Alexander picked up the pace and pulled away from the Elkhorn boys behind him, and started closing in on Ethan. Ethan was just able to stay a couple steps ahead at the finish. The 2nd and 3rd place medals were ours with Ethan and Alex both crossing the line in under 9 minutes, smashing the old DASH course record in the process. Epic! Kaden Hacker was running 14th at the mile mark, and then he made his move. By the time he hit the last loop he was running in 10th and he hit the finish line in 9th. Three boys in the top-9 again. Oh, yeah! That is just what we needed from Kaden. Matthew Schaber stayed steady through the course and broke 11 minutes to place 30th. The boys are hitting their stride now. The coach is thinking ahead and liking our chances in next week’s race.

Thanks to Mary Beck for doing a flawless job as our official scorer. Thanks for Ed Beck for his assistance with the coaching and for assisting the official scorer. Thanks to the Chu’s for giving us a choice of tents to pick from on a windy, very sunny day. Thanks to Hellena Hacker for sticking around and accepting the girls medals. Thanks to the boys for sticking around and getting their own medals. Thanks to the camera lady for taking over from me and getting some much better photos. Now the team gets to prepare for some much cooler race conditions at Greenfield Park on the 30th. I can’t wait. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The full DASH cross country team was at Minooka Park yesterday competing in the Waukesha Cross Country Festival. We would be facing some of our toughest competition of the season in some very warm and steamy conditions. About 1000 athletes would toe the starting line in the six races. Not all would finish. It was also our first chance to get a look at our promising middle school team. It was a long day full of gritty efforts with a few casualties mixed in along the way. The sweaty details are below.

The JV girls got the racing started at 8:30. Katie Gorectke was getting her run in early so she could get back to dancing later in the day. Katie was in the top-10 early, but then sprained her ankle going up the big hill to the mile mark. She was carted back to the finish. Her day of racing and dancing was done. Katrina Lipski made it through the course and really handled the humid conditions well. She is primed to post some very nice times. Naomi Zhou made it to the start for the group photo this time, and finished well after a slow start.

We ran three boys in the JV race, but only two made it for the group photo.  Ben Hughes looked much better this time out. Ben moved up in the last mile to post a 21:52 time. Joshua Schaber ran well early on, but the heat did get to him by the last mile. Ben and Joshua will be moving up to the varsity team next race. Theodore Flunker made it to the start just before the gun went off and ran well for about half the race, but then he had to drop out. Fortunately, no long term issues to report on Theodore.

It was now 10 am and the heat index continued to increase. The varsity girls were led by Kayla Bruton early, but the Chu sisters caught up to her through the second mile.  Then a determined Kayla refused to let the heat slow her down. She charged up the last hill like she has done so often in practice and was our first runner in with a 23:11. Abby Chu ran a very steady 23:20. She is primed for a great second half of the season. Stephanie Chu struggled a little the last mile, but still posted a 23:45. Our star freshman is going to like the next couple races where she will be racing near the front.  Alivia Kempf  was our 4th runner once again. Her current pacing is looking routine. She may be due for a breakout race. Faith Caspers was running close behind Alivia, but the heat got to her running around the pond and she needed to be carted to the finish. The heat had claimed another victim. Emma Taylor moved up to be our 5th varsity scorer for the first time. The coach is liking her effort and results. Jessy Homa ran inspired and was one of the few athletes who finished strong despite the hot, sunny conditions going up the big hill. Ella Johnson used this race more as a practice. This is not her favorite course. The next meet’s course is.

The varsity boys warmed up in the shade. It was hard to be anywhere else at 10:45. This was not going to be a race for personal records. Brian Durbin and Caleb Schaber stayed together the first half of the race. Brian made it to the finish first, but both ran very well in keeping their times in the 19’s. Vincent Maurer did not let the heat slow him down much and was our 3rd runner in. Very nice! We need Vince to come up big for us the next four meets. Tim Kowalinski looked good for awhile, but the sunny last mile slowed him down into the 21’s. Drake Hacker really struggled late with his breathing, but he did make it to the finish. I am not too worried about Tim and Drake bouncing back and having good races for us down the stretch. John Klaves also survived and came in soon after Drake. Seth Holter was seen limping at the half way point and he did not finish. Seth may need to take some time off and get back to 100%.

The middle school girls were next. The heat on the shorter 1.4 mile course would not play as big a role as it did in the high school races. Julianna Caspers started out conservatively, but moved up some around the pond. Then Julianna gave us an inspiring finish going up the hill to move up to 8th overall with a 10:37. Joy Rasch got her season off to a great start with a steady, medal-winning 24th place finish with her 11:37.  Bedalia Radtke showed off her nice stride to the DASH fans for the first time. She was our third runner in. Yes, she really is already that good. Grace Caspers worked hard the second half of the race to be our 4th runner in. Hopefully we can count on her to post some great times this year. Savanna Bruton looked inspired going up the hill and hit the finish line right behind Grace. Angela Walters felt the heat at the end, but persevered. Hopefully Angela has a couple big races in her this year. Talia Kostrzewa, just 5 years old, is no longer a future star. She made an instant impact as our 7th runner in her debut race. It is going to be hard not to compare her to a certain young DASH star with initials JC who was also very good at that age. Mary LeSac had a respectable race. She has been practicing well and looks ready to have a nice season. Natalie Radtke did very well in her first attempt at racing. She has a lot of talent and should only get better in the weeks ahead. Hannah Schaefer stayed steady and never faltered. She has been improving each week. Alexa Bruton showed good effort. With a little more practicing she will be very good. Hellena Hacker ran a steady race. With a little more inspiration she could have a big season ahead. Jenna Walters posted a decent 15:13 time. The coach was very impressed with this young and talented group of girls.

The middle school boys needed little inspiration from the coach. They just wanted to race. Ethan Blischke got out fast and never let up. He was the 2nd boy to the finish line and was clocked at 8:19. That’s racing! Alexander Taylor stayed near the leaders the whole way and placed 4th overall. Alex is exuding running confidence and is primed for a big year. Nathanael Chu always goes all out. This time that put him in 19th place with a 9:34. Leif Kostrzewa finished a step behind Nathanael. That gave us four boys in the top-20 and four medal winners. Nice! Kaden Hacker posted a respectable 10:17 time for 39th place. We will need him to keep improving in the weeks ahead. We could be trophy contenders. Matthew Schaber fell back some at the end, but made it in as our 6th runner. He is much improved since track season. Silas Johnson showed off his strength with a great charge up the hill. Micah Chan has never run better, and he is making it look easy. He will be one to watch. Josiah Chu, Charlie Johnson, and Noah Caspers gave us a great trio of 4th and under runners. They pushed each other to some great times. The coach and the DASH fans were very impressed with their efforts. Veteran Joshua Lipski had a descent first race. He is bouncing back from some sort of sickness. Abiah Radtke got out fast, but had some problems going around the pond. He will be posting some much better results later in the year. You can trust me on that. The boys were announced as the 2nd place team, finishing just 3 points our of 1st. Well done, guys!

The high school team now needs to keep its attention on the big races ahead. They are running better than today’s times show. We will be one of the favorites in our next two races. It is time to start peaking. The middle schoolers have gotten everyone excited with their showing. They have a much flatter, faster course coming up.  It should lead to some exciting racing. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to all who helped pass out and collect the timing chips. I know my wife, Julianna and Grace Caspers, Mrs. Chu and Mrs. Walters all helped out. I am sure there were more. No more chips this year. Thanks to Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Ed Beck, Dawn Kempf, and former DASH star Matthew Hughes for helping get splits for the high school races. I was the photographer again which means something went wrong. My camera was somehow on the wrong setting so the photos are a bit sparse. Fortunately Mike Childers, Emma and Alexander Taylor’s grandfather, sent me some of his photos. They were very good. Thank you, Mr. Childers. And thanks to Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Kempf for helping take care of some of our running casualties. Hopefully we will see everyone back running again soon at full speed. Can you believe we our down to our last four weeks now. Enjoy it while you can.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was another unseasonably cool day for our DASH high school cross country team last Thursday at the Whitnall Invitational. The cooler conditions, along with a potentially fast Hales Corners Park course, looked like an ideal setting to get some lower, mid-season type times. We would also be looking to do well in the team standings. We had plenty of DASH fans on hand to catch the action as the team lined up in box 14 to compete against 16 other teams.

The JV races went first. Jessy Homa was back after missing some time with an ankle sprain. Jessy paced herself through the course in a season best 27:17. She looks to be ready to go much lower. Katrina Lipski’s good season continues as she raced in with another sub-30 minute time. Naomi Zhou made it to the start just in time again, I think. I didn’t see her start, but I know she finished with a personal best 35:00. Joshua Schaber posted a much lower 21:33 and is making a push for the varsity team now as we expected.

The varsity girls were next. There were six other good teams in the race. It would take our best effort of the season to beat any of them. Abby Chu got out fast and stayed near the leaders throughout, clocking in at an amazing 21:56 and placing 12th overall. I think that was her best racing ever and Abby has had a lot of good races. Kayla Bruton cut off a minute from her time last race with her 22:26. She is having quite a senior season. It was a short wait for Stephanie Chu as she finished just 12 seconds behind Kayla in 23rd place. Stephanie always looks focused and in control. Out top-3 girls had positioned us very well for a great team score. Alivia Kempf broke 24 minutes for the first time. Alivia’s has improved each race, but her best times are still ahead of her. Faith Caspers got off to a great start before coasting in with a 24:25. That is a 100+ second improvement from last race, leaving her with just 90 seconds of improvement to go. That’s what the coaching staff is thinking. Emma Taylor has never run anywhere near this level before. Her 25:03 is a huge personal record, but I know the talented sophomore has not peaked yet. Ella Johnson stayed close to Emma the whole way once again. Ella is running about as well as last year now. I am excited to see what comes next. The girl’s effort put us in 5th place overall in the team scores. I liked that.

The varsity boys took the field next and they looked ready for a breakout race. Brian Durbin went out aggressively with the goal of staying in top-10 medal contention. Brian never faltered while keeping up his sub-6 minute mile pace. His massive 18:08 personal record put him in 12th place overall, less than a second out of 10th. Well done. Caleb Schaber took off after Brian and looked comfortable with the sub-6 minute pace. Caleb gave us a second top-15 finish with his 18:20. Caleb is so talented he made running that fast look easy. Drake Hacker gave is a 3rd athlete in the top-20 with his 18:44. Having our top-3 all finish in under 19 minutes is what we have been waiting for from the boys. Vincent Maurer raced to a personal best 19:33. That is a good launching pad for the next five races. Tim Kowalinski went out fast and finished right behind Vince with a 19:34. That is Tim’s best time of the year so far. John Klaves is close to breaking 20 minutes now in just his second race. He is getting into mid-season form quickly. Ben Hughes tailed off at the end with a side-ache, and Seth Holter sprained his ankle warming up and only made it to about the mile mark. They should be back running better soon. The boys finished 4th overall and were very close to 3rd. I was impressed.

The team took a big step forward. The athletes are looking better each time out, and it looks like we will have enough depth to make up for issues that come up such as Seth’s ankle sprain today. Of course the goal is to stay healthy and peak at the big meets in the second half of the season.  I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. Thanks again to Ed Beck for help in collecting the timing chips after the races. Thanks to our young camera crew, Julianna and Grace Caspers, for getting a descent batch of photos. Thanks to the staff at Whitnall for letting us compete at their meet. We will be back. Thanks to all the DASH fans who helped keep the athletes pushing forward. Now we get nine days to practice and prepare for the next meet.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was at Minooka Park last Saturday, competing in the Blackshirt Challenge hosted by Waukesha South high school. The weather was again unseasonably cool as the athletes looked to improve on their times from their first meet. Eighteen teams were on hand, including several that we will be seeing many more times in the weeks ahead. It would be a great early season test on a tough course.

Kayla Bruton was again the pacesetter for the girls. The talented senior has never started out this well. Abby Chu finished just six seconds behind Kayla with her 23:32. Abby is getting very close to her form from last year now. Stephanie Chu cut off almost a minute from her time last race giving us a third girl in the 23’s. Alivia Kempf ran well again and was our 4th runner in. She has been a welcome addition to the varsity. Katie Gorectke got out fast, faded a little in the middle, and then looked strong at the finish as she continues to learn the proper pacing. Her time of 24:35 was just 1:09 behind Kayla. We have never had such a tight top-5. Faith Caspers cut off over a minute from her first race. We will need her to stay close to our top-5. Emma Taylor has a new personal best of 27:12 which kept her just ahead of Ella Johnson who was racing for the first time this season. Look for them to continue pushing each other and getting their times down even more. Katrina Lipski cut off almost two minutes from her time. She stayed competitive right to the end this time. Very nice. Naomi Zhou made it to the starting line just in time and finished in 38:14.

Brian Durbin was ready to run this time out. He has never run faster and was our first runner in, breaking 19 minutes for the first time with an 18:45. Caleb Schaber paced through the course in a personal record 19:00. He can go faster. Drake Hacker cut 22 seconds off his time. He is making progress as he works himself into running shape. Tim Kowalinski looked strong throughout and has his time down to 20:19. Vincent Maurer moved up the last mile as usual to finish just seven seconds behind Tim. The spread among our top-5 was just 1:41, and our 6 and 7 runners were within 25 seconds of them. Seth Holter set a personal record 20:43. I don’t think that p.r. will last long. John Klaves made his season debut. He ran a 20:51 and had a lot left on the last hill. He will be pushing the runners ahead of him which is what we need. Ben Hughes cut off 1:28 off his time with his 21:21. That’s progress. Joshua Schaber is back to health and had a descent 22:58 season debut.

The team is making great progress as the above paragraphs show. Almost everyone lowered their times on a tough course. But the times we are posting now won’t look so good a few weeks down the road. Continued improvement from meet to meet will be the key to making this a great season. We have six weeks of workouts ahead of us. I am looking forward to it.

Thanks to Chuck Maurer, Stave Chu, and Greg and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. It was also nice to have Justin Chu available to help out. I put it upon myself to run around and get the photos. It was my first time using this camera, and they are not top notch, but at least we got a few. The athletes will be back racing again on a new course this Thursday. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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  • Track 2012

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

  • Cross Country 2004

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