DASH Middle School Cross Country 2018 Elkhorn Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school team was back for its third meet in eight days last Wednesday, ready to compete in the 6th annual Elkhorn Invite. We have been coming to this meet since it started in 2013, and it has become one of our favorites, but this year we would be on a new course. Gone was the trail through the tall grass, in was the new loop around the pond. The course remained fast and 1.5 miles in length. Our relatively small team took home 8 of the 50 medals in some very warm conditions last year. Now it was time to see what the 2018 edition of the DASH middle school cross country team could do for an encore in some much cooler, and wetter weather.

Our 7th and under girls team got their race in before the rain started. Julianna Caspers got off to a decent start, and as she usually does, was able to move ahead late. This is the 5th consecutive year Julianna has been top-10 in this race, and the first time she has cracked the top-5. She will get one more try next year to move up even higher. Bedalia Radtke was able to keep Julianna in her sight, and stayed strong to the finish to give us a 2nd girl in the top-10. Julia Kowalinski was back to running like we know she can. Julia gave us three girls in the top-12, and upped our medal count to three after just the first race. Mary LeSac stayed steady through the course and finished with a nice 34th place finish. She is having a great year. Natalie Radtke had her best cross country race to date, staying in the top half of the competition. I doubt she has peaked yet. Grace Caspers did not have her best this time, but she toughed out a 13:30 for 50th place. Mary Claire Egan and Alexa Bruton kept each other company the whole way, with Mary Claire coming in just ahead of Alexa in 15:34.

The rain did start to fall for the 7th and under boys race. But it did not slow down Nathanael Chu. Nathanael got into a relentless stride early and never let up, finishing 3rd by a step, and well ahead of 4th. His 9:22 time was outstanding. Seka Kostrzewa was 9th last year, and he brought his best again. His 7th place finish keeps him moving up and near the top. Well done. Charlie Johnson really opened some eyes while showing off his talent. He stayed close to Seka and never slowed down, giving the boys a third top-15 finish. Amazingly that put our medal count up to 6. It was turning into another epic day. Josiah Chu raced through the course in 10:46 and placed 29th. Yes, we had three 5th graders finish in the top-29 in a 7th and under race with close to 100 runners. These boys have been special. Silas Johnson had his best race of the season, coming up with a nice 35th place finish. Silas was actually disappointed with 35th. The coach liked it. I let my really little boys run in this big public school meet, mostly because they are clearly ready. 2nd grade Ephraim Radtke showed he can run with anyone. It took him just 11:18 to get through the course, while 3rd grade Noah Caspers finished a step behind Ephraim in 44th. These two little guys left about 50 boys behind them. Every one of our boys came up big today.

Jenna Walters and Rebecca Anderson did not let the rain bother them. Jenna ran a smart, steady race and hit the finish with a nice time of 13:11. Rebecca ran very well through the first mile, but then had some doubts. She picked it up again as Jenna came by, and then ran close behind Jenna to the finish. She is getting very close to a breakout race. Joy Rasch missed the race with a sore shin. Hopefully she will be back at Greenfield Park so we can field a full 7th and 8th grade girls team.

We had four 8th grade boys line up, so we had enough to field a scoring team. It also meant all four boys would be counted. The boys positioned themselves well early, and held down their spots tenaciously through the first loop. Leif Kostrzewa then made a bold move and made it up all the way to 2nd place for awhile, before earning himself the 3rd place medal. Abiah Radtke really looked strong through the course, pushing the pace and showing off his nice stride to place 5th. That would be our 8th medal on the day matching last years total. Amazing! Micah Chan moved up late, and powered his way down the home stretch to place 14th. Joshua Lipski held down his spot well and came through for the team with a nice 27th place finish. Once again, all the boys ran exceptionally.

The rain was starting to let up for those who stayed for the award ceremony. Everyone crowded close to the Elkhorn tent to hear the results, and the first thing we heard is that the vendor that the medals were ordered from had only supplied 10 for the 7th and under races, rather than 15. That was disappointing to Julia and Charlie who missed out on the hardware, but I am still counting them as medal winners. The DASH team placed 3rd overall among the 8 teams. That is quite an accomplishment for a team fielding only 21 on the day. The team ahead of us had 38 girls in the first race alone as a comparison. It was another epic day of DASH racing for sure. The season is now half over, and we have a 10 day break before our next meet. That should give us a chance to practice hard and hit the second half of our schedule running even better. I will be there to see it all, and of course, I hope to see you there.

Thanks to everyone who made the drive to Elkhorn, and for those who brought their umbrellas. It also proved nice to have our team tent out to help keep things somewhat dry. Special thanks go out to Mr. Beck and Mrs. Chu who were our official scorers. They kept the clipboard dry, and got everyone’s time recorded. Thanks to Mrs. Chan and Daniel Caspers for getting the placement cards. Thanks to the camera lady, along with Julianna and Noah Caspers, Natalie Radtke, Jodi LeSac, and Rachel Kostrzewa, who helped hold the umbrella keeping the camera dry. Be sure to check out the photos. And thanks to the Elkhorn team who invites us every year and gives us the opportunity to race.

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.