DASH High School Cross Country 2017 St John’s NW Military Academy Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

Our award winning high school cross country team was back in action at St John’s NW Military Academy last Tuesday competing in the Lancer Invite. The athletes would have to run the full 5000 meters this year. The boys would be looking for their first team trophy at this meet, while the girls were shooting for their third straight trophy. On paper the meet looked to be more competitive this year, but because of injuries and varsity holdouts apparent before the start we found out our chances were better than we thought.

Kayla Bruton assumed leadership duties right from the start in the girls varsity race as she had the rest of the field giving chase through the first mile. It became a three girl race heading to the finish, but Kayla proved too strong in the end coming through with a big victory while giving the team a single point in the team scoring. Of the scoring teams, Kenosha St Joseph was finishing strong and had their first two girls come through next, but Abby Chu and Stephanie Chu answered them with their 6th and 7th place finishes ahead of the third St Joseph’s girl. All eyes were on the hill leading to the finishing loop.  A St Joseph girl came down first, but Alivia Kempf was not far behind. As they headed for the home stretch, Alivia’s kick was the better giving us a huge two point swing. The DASH fans nervously looked back to the hill and found Faith pacing behind St Joseph’s fifth girl, but more importantly she had also fallen behind the first three Watertown Luther Prep girls. Faith sped up in an attempt to pass, but the Watertown girls’ had all saved plenty for the end. The girls had a good day, but this time it would not be quite good enough, losing out to St Joseph’s by just two points. The 2nd place trophy was ours. We would have beaten St Joseph’s head to head, but this race was not a dual meet. Jessy Homa struggled through the course before finishing with a nice kick. Later we surprisingly learned her ankle problems were back. Hopefully she will be back healthy and ready to run next week. Katie Gorectke had problems with the heat on the relatively warm October day. She looked dazed at the end, but she had been running well in her last meet. She will get one more chance next week.

The boys race was much larger with two state ranked teams competing. The third place trophy was up for grabs, but our chances were not helped when our usual number 1 runner, Brian Durbin, was a late scratch because of some leg issues that he did not want to aggravate any more.  Caleb Schaber led the boys through the course for the first two miles, but Drake Hacker had a really strong finish to move up into the top 15 while posting a nice 18:46 time. That time was good for the 14th place medal. Caleb finished soon after but in 16th place, missing a medal by a little over 7 seconds.  Tim Kowalinski looked strong through the whole course and gave the team much needed third top-20 finish. Vincent Maurer was not at his best this time, but was able to keep Vincent close and place 22nd overall. Without Brian competing, John Klaves cracked our top 5, sprinting in with a 20:56 time with Ben Hughes finishing right behind with a season best 21:01. When the scores were added up the 3rd place trophy was ours! Very nice.

The boys and girls JV teams ran together. Seth Holter ran with the leaders early and looked like the varsity runner he really is, putting his ankle issues behind him and claiming the 4th place medal with a time of 20:44. Joshua Schaber showed that he would be running on varsity for most teams at this meet with his 6th place finish. Theodore Flunker has never looked better and lowered his personal record by over a minute with his 22:59. Let’s hope we see him again.  The girls also did very well. Ella Johnson was on a short sabbatical to JV as her 25:38 4th place finished shows.  Emma Taylor posted a 26:17 time and had her usual good finish while claiming the 6th place medal. Katrina Lipski thought she was struggling more than she really was. Katrina pushed herself to a season best 28:37 while impressing the DASH fans and the coach with her effort. Naomi Zhou still didn’t start fast enough for the coach’s liking, but she put together a very nice race and lowered her personal record by close to two minutes. Hopefully we will see her back running even faster next year.

The Homeschool Championship is all that is left now for our high school team. The girls team is peaking now and will be in the running for a top-2 trophy. The boys team is giving us mixed signals right now. We are down to 10 days to get ready. Hopefully that is enough time to have everybody energized and healthy and ready to run their best race of the season. The boys race should be a close 4-team battle that I am really looking forward to. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mr. Beck and Mr. Maurer for getting the mile splits and for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Kempf’s for ordering our much-wanted team tent that was on display for the first time. And thanks to the picture people which included the camera lady, Julianna Caspers, and Grace Caspers this time. They did very well with the photos. Now on we go to the big middle school meet this afternoon. Of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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