DASH High School Cross Country 2018 Whitnall Invitational Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was back at Hales Corners Park for the second year in a row to race in the Whitnall Invitational. The warm, humid, rainy weather from earlier in the week was gone, but the course was left very soft and muddy in spots. The fast course would not be running especially fast this time out. This was already the team’s third meet on the schedule, so we would be looking to start running some good mid-season times, with hopes of being near the top when listening for the team scores to be called out at the end of the meet. Below is a rundown of the four races.

The JV girls took the field first at 4 PM. Katrina Lipski got out fast and cruised to a nice 18th place finish with a season best 28:41 time. Naomi Zhou looked good at times and hit the finish in just over 35 minutes. We also had two cross country rookies compete with only two practices behind them. Shariah Hyler and Sandrelee Velez both struggled at times over the 5k course, but they also showed some great running in spurts. They have a lot of potential, and with a couple more weeks of practice, Shariah and Sandrelee should be posting some much lower times. Stay tuned.

The JV boys all had good days. Jacob Parker looked smooth and fast over the whole course and clocked in with a nice 21:50, good for 13th place. Matthew Schaber had his best race of the season with a 24th place 22:48. Jacarie Rucker lowered his time by over 4 minutes to place 44th overall out of the 88 finishers. We will be filling out the varsity roster in the meets ahead. These boys look ready.

The varsity girls were next. Abby Chu just missed a top-10 medal last year, but this time she moved up into the top-10 halfway through the first mile, and held her ground the rest of the way to finish 8th overall with a 22:04. Stephanie Chu stayed up close to Abby and battled her way onto the medal stand by the finish. It would be 22:20 and 10th place for Stephanie. Very well earned. Alivia Kempf showed off her nice stride as she kept up a fast, steady pace throughout to post a 23:00 and give us three among the top 17. None of the teams behind us were close to having as good a 3rd runner as Alivia. We were able to get our 4th and 5th runners in much sooner this time which was one of our goals. Katie Gorectke is rounding into form now. She lowered her season best time by close to 3 minutes with a 25:01. That’s what we were hoping for out of Katie, and I doubt she has peaked yet. Emma Taylor ran close to Katie the whole way and also lowered her time into the low 25’s. We have counted on Emma to come up big for us and she has not disappointed. Ella Johnson kept the good results coming as she broke 26 minutes for the first time this year. Faith Caspers looked much better this time out, but was slowed some as she was not wearing spikes. She is close to a breakout meet.

The varsity boys race started out fast with our boys running in the pack, but as the race went on the DASH fans were treated to seeing DASH yellow moving up. Caleb Schaber made an 18:23 time look easy as he made the medal stand with an impressive 8th place. Alexander Taylor had an incredible last half of the race, moving all the way up to 12th place by the finish. Alex sets big goals for himself, and he hit it this time with his 18:46. Drake Hacker is getting faster each week and he gave us three in the top-18 with a nice 19:11 time. Moments later, Kaden Hacker charged in with a personal best 19:29. That gave us four in the top-22. These boys were having a big day.  Joshua Schaber never faltered as he continues to get his times down by almost a minute each meet. His season best now stands at 20:55. Vincent Maurer moved up in the last mile to get a 21:41. He is rounding into form now and has his best meets in front of him.

It was a big day for us individually with three top-10 medals. We also impressed with our team showing. The girls finished 4th again, but ahead of a team that beat us earlier in the season. The boys were 3rd, six points out of 2nd. If the out of place Division 1 Waukesha North team had not been a late edition, we could say the boys just missed out on a win. Next up is the tough Minooka Park course with mostly Division 1 competition. That should toughen us up some, and help us get ready to peak for our smaller meets after that. I can hardly wait.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Whitnall for putting on a great meet after all the rain we have had. Other meets are getting cancelled. Thanks to the camera crew of Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers. We got plenty of good photos that caught the action. Now we get to put in a few good practices before we do it again. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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