DASH Middle School Cross Country 2017 Kettle Moraine Lutheran Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was up in Jackson last Wednesday to compete in the very big Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School Grade School meet. It would be our stiffest competition of the season. We would get to see if all the hard work the athletes had put in over the last 8 weeks was enough to get them ready for a meet such as this. The new DASH tent was up. The weather wsa perfect. It was time to race.

The open 2500 meter girls race was first. Alexa Bruton, using some inside information from a certain DASH race winner from the day before, showed some star power of her own and was our first runner in. Hannah Schaefer came in soon after, putting together a very well executed race where she stayed fast and steady the whole way. Angela Walters got out fast and coasted in to finish right behind Hannah. Mary LeSac ran pretty well and placed 61st overall. Jenna Walters showed some good effort throughout the race. Talia Kostrzewa was a crowd favorite and left many bigger girls behind her. Natalie Radtke always looked good when I saw her. Next time I am going to watch her more.

Josiah Chu got out fast and never looked back as he cruised through the 2500 meter course to a 15th place finish. That was impressive! Micah Chan was back with us and ran pretty well, but was not quite all the way back to where he was before he got sick. Joshua Lipski has never looked better as he pushed himself to a 40th place finish. Noah Caspers capped off another good year on a course he likes, and Elijah Pape showed good effort once again to place 53rd.

The varsity 3200 meter races were next, and unlike last year, the races had many more athletes competing than in the earlier races. Julianna Caspers got caught in some unavoidable traffic early, but then methodically worked her way up into 12th place by the finish. Julianna brought her ‘A’ game this time. It was impressive. Joy Rasch ran great as usual, and as expected. Joy placed a much needed 46th overall as our second runner in the big field. Bedalia Radtke never let the longer 2 mile course slow her down. I could watch her run all day, and I did catch her finish where she placed 62nd. Savanna Bruton and Grace Caspers paced together for a good portion of the race with Hellena Hacker just a few steps behind. At the end, Savanna’s natural speed helped get her to the finish first in 92nd place. Hellena had a great last loop, eventually moving up into 96th place. Grace Caspers came in soon after in 99th place. I picked the right girls to run varsity. They ran well.

The varsity boys finally got to run at about 5:30. Over 200 athletes lined up. The race would be too big for the coach to keep track of team scores throughout. The boys would have to run their best and hope the points landed in our favor. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke got out in front very fast, leaving the heavy traffic behind them. Alexander was our first runner in this time, with Ethan following right behind in 6th place. Alex and Ethan had done their job, and earned top-10 medals for their efforts. Their legendary seasons continue. Kaden Hacker got out slow, but did an amazing job working his way through the pack. He has never run better, and gave the team a much needed third athlete in the top-25. With the athletes coming in fast now, it seemed like a long wait until we saw Leif and Nathanael coming down to the finish. Leif would get the 42nd place card, and Nathanael the 48th. No other team looked to have put together a clear winning race, but we I didn’t feel that we necessarily did either. We would have to wait for the award ceremony to see how things turned out. Matthew Schaber finally showed us in a race what he has been showing us in practice. We will need him to do it again next week in Eau Claire. Seka Kostrzewa seemed to struggle in the heavy traffic more than usual. He finished 86th overall, right where the traffic was thickest. Abiah Radtke got a taste of some varsity running. The coach threw him in with this group because of his work ethic and talent. He ran pretty well for his first 2 mile race.

While we waited for the results, and before it got any darker, the fun run was started. The DASH team always has the largest contingent of fun run athletes and this year was no exception. Julianna Caspers took off and led the DASH team through the course finishing the 3200 course in well under 14 minutes. That was faster than her 12th place finish time from earlier, showing how much the heavy traffic can effect times. Leif and Matthew hit the finish next despite having little rest. The coach showed off his running talents, executing a flawless race with practically perfect running form up and down the hills and through the flats. He used Julianna, Leif, and Matthew as his rabbits to finish in 14:03. He won the bald guy division this year in a rout. Mrs. Chan was our top mom, but the coach did catch her walking. Some future DASH stars such as Philip Caspers and Rhapsody Kostrzesa showed off their talents. All who participated definitely had fun proving once again that it is fun to run.

It was finally time for the award ceremony. Ethan Blischke was cheered as he received the 6th place medal. Kaden Hacker went up to receive Alex Taylor’s 5th place medal, and then the rundown started on the boys teams scores. The 3rd place team was revealed and it wasn’t us. The 2nd place team had earned 109 points, and then the DASH name was called out. It would be 2nd place for us this time. Then we found out the big Badger public school team had won with 105 points. Oh, so close! Our top-7 boys did get team medals for their showing making it yet another award winning day for the DASH team.

Thanks to Ed Beck for collecting the place cards at the end of the chute. Thanks to those who helped the athletes get their bib numbers pinned on. Thanks to all the parents who made the trek up to Jackson. Thanks to the camera lady who got some pretty good photos while fighting the sun, and then the lack of light. Now we have a week to prepare for some Championship racing next week. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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