DASH High School Cross Country 2017 Trojan Invite Meet Report

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


  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 2013

  • Cross Country 2012

  • Track 2012

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

  • Cross Country 2004

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