DASH Middle School Cross Country 2018 Peace Lutheran Panther Prowl Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The 2018 DASH middle school cross country team was in action for the first time this season last Wednesday in Hartford, competing in the 3rd annual Peace Lutheran Panther Prowl. It was a new meet for us that looked to be a good fit. The competition would be 12 medium to small schools, with one girls and one boys race over a challenging course. And we would have chip timing courtesy of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. With a month of practicing behind them, it was finally time to see how our middle school team would fare against some good teams from up north.

Ninety-four girls took the field at 4 PM. Our girls got out fast, but not too fast. Julianna Caspers made her big move to the front in the second half of the race. As she hit the finish line in 11:24, she had moved all the way up to 3rd place overall. A very good start for our long-time star. Bedalia Radtke also moved up throughout and glided in with a 12th place finish and a 12:22. Very impressive as usual from Bedalia. Joy Rasch was struggling in practice a few weeks ago, but she has now found her great running form from last year, giving us a big 15th place finish. Our team score was looking promising. Mary LeSac had her best cross country race ever, coming through for us with a 25th place finish in 13:25. Having Mary continue to run her potential will be important for us. Talia Kostrzewa ended the race with one less tooth than she started with. That is the definition of running hard in my book. She also was our 5th runner in, and her 43rd place finish would help make the day special. The rest of the girls all came in quickly from here. Rebecca Anderson had a memorable first race, cracking the top-50 and the 15 minute mark with a 14:56. She is only going to get better. Grace Caspers finished one second ahead of Jenna Walters with a 15:16. Grace and Jenna are a little under-trained right now, but we can fix that. Alexa Bruton had an exciting first mile, but faded a little in the tough back stretch. She should put together a complete race soon. Natalie Radtke decided to run without practicing much. She showed us all how talented she is, finishing a solid 62nd overall. She also showed us how important practicing is. Good job, Natalie.

Eight of the 128 athletes were wearing DASH yellow in the boys race. We would not be one of the big teams, but all our boys on the starting line can really run. Leif Kostrzewa went out with the lead pack, but eventually dropped back to run with Abiah Radtke. Leif and Abiah jockeyed back and forth, both staying in the top-10 the rest of the way with Leif coming in one second ahead of Abiah with a 10:02. Leif’s 7th place finish, and Abiah’s 8th place finish left us as one of the teams to beat. Nathanael Chu kept up a fast, relentless pace, keeping Leif and Abiah in his sights and giving us 3 boys in top-12. It was hard to count the points with teams wearing similar t-shirts, but we were obviously doing very well. Seka Kostrzewa held down a top-25 spot through the course and finished in 11:02 for 23rd place. 5th grade Seka has been a star now for years despite his age, so another great finish by Seka was welcomed and expected. Seka was shadowed by new cross country star Micah Chan who gave us a fifth top-25 finish. Micah cut off over a minute from his previous best 2500 meter time. Outstanding! We would have to wait to see where we ended up in the team scores, but I was liking our chances. Noah Caspers got knocked down and run over early, but he recovered to finish 45th in 12:06. Looking over the standings, Noah was the top 3rd grade and under runner in the field. He was fast! Josiah Chu came in two spots behind Noah with a 12:13. He ran well, and will run even better in the races ahead. Joshua Lipski finished 66th overall in 12:48. To have all the boys done in 12:48 is amazing. There were still over 60 runners out on the field when our day was done.

Before the team scores were announced, we won our share of the individual medals. Julianna Caspers was 2nd in the 5th/6th grade division. Talia Kostrzewa was 3rd in the 2nd grade division, and Joy Rasch won the 4th place 7th/8th grade medal. Noah Caspers was announced as the 3rd place 3rd/4th grader, and Seka Kostrzewa got the 5th place medal in the 5th/6th grade division. Leif, Abiah, and Bedalia ended up just a few spots away. Then the tension started to build as the boys teams scores were called out in reverse order. When the 3rd place team was announced and it wasn’t us, we knew a trophy would be ours. To our relief and excitement, Hartland Central was called out next leaving the 1st place trophy for our boys. We had won by a comfortable 11 points. What an impressive showing!  The girls team scores were called out next, and to everyone’s surprise the DASH girls were announced as the 2nd place trophy winners. We edged the 3rd and 4th place teams by just 4 and 7 points. What a day for our young girls team! Oh, what a day of DASH racing!

Thanks go out for all the DASH families that made it up to Hartland. I hope the well run meet, along with our good results made it worth the drive. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to everyone for getting the chip timers out of your shoes and ready to return. Thanks to the camera lady for catching the exciting action in photos. And thanks to Peace Lutheran for inviting us, setting up the course, and giving us a chance to race. We get to see this team plenty more in the weeks ahead, including this Saturday.  You’ve got to see this team run. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers


  • 2018 Cross Country

  • 2017 Cross Country

  • Track 2017

  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 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.