DASH Middle School Cross Country 2018 WLC Warrior Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

Our middle school cross country team competed on the familiar grounds of Greenfield Park today in the annual Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invite. We were one of 24 middle school teams on hand to race, with college races held afterwards. The weather was cool and sunny with almost no wind. The course was in great shape, although the tree that fell across the trail in August would still have to be jumped. It was the latest big test for this team that so far has been grading out very well.

At 9:30 the gun went off, and the girls sprinted out of our box 4. Julianna Caspers got behind the leaders in the first half mile, but then she worked on getting ahead of one runner at a time the rest of the way. Before she was done she had moved up to 5th overall in the 6th and under race. She would be back on the medal stand this year after a years absence. Julianna has been very dependable this year. Bedalia Radtke was also able to move up the second half of the race finishing 12th. She is making running look easy which means she may be ready to take it up another notch in the races ahead. Julia Kowalinski did not look her best this time out, but she held her ground well through the woods and gave us a 22nd place finish with a time of 12:18. Joy Rasch was back racing after missing the last two races. She is not in top shape yet, but is getting there. She was our first 7th and 8th grade girl to the finish, placing 23rd with a 12:52. Mary LeSac came in very soon after Joy. Mary has become one of most important runners now, and she did well as our 4th scorer in the 6th and under race. We had over a minute wait after Mary for our next girl to finish which is something we need to improve on. Grace Caspers had a very poor start, but then really moved up the rest of the way and finished in 14:21. If she can stay healthy she may help us yet this season. Rebecca Anderson had a good start, and was almost able to maintain it through the woods. She is really close to having a big race. Natalie Radtke was much more steady this time out, coming in just a few seconds behind Rebecca. Hopefully she is slowly gaining confidence as the talent is obviously there. Alexa Bruton gave much better effort this time out and posted a respectable 14:52. Mary Claire Egan is still struggling through a 1.6 mile race like this. It will only take more practice to get her times down.

The boys would be running a little short-handed, but all our boys can really run so hopefully we would have enough to be up near the top of the team standings. Daniel Torresin was running with us for the first time, and he really showed off his talent. He was found moving up throughout, and ended up 5th overall among the 7th and 8th grade boys. He was rewarded with a medal stand appearance. Well done, Daniel. Nathanael Chu got off to a blazing start, but then struggled. Afterwards he told me he could not feel his feet in his wet shoes. Nathanael would not be on the medal stand this time, but he was able to tough out a 14th place finish. Abiah Radtke was not at his best for the first time this season, and ended up a disappointing, for him, 18th place with a 10:25. He is putting in the work so the coach is not worried. Micah Chan has been counted on and dependable all season, and he came through again. His 11:03 put him in 27th. A good run on his birthday. Charlie Johnson posted an 11:18 and was our first 6th and under runner in, and he really just had an average day. He is running that good now. Josiah Chu seemed to get caught in traffic some, and posted a respectable 11:45. Silas Johnson hit the finish in 12:05 which was also nothing special for him. The boys just were not showing that spark that has been getting everyone so excited. Ephraim Radtke was an exception. He got off to a great start and maintained his level until the finish. 12:08 from a 2nd grader is top notch. Joshua Lipski got his time down over 30 seconds from last year. Well done.  Noah Caspers was solid and finished 65th out of the 128 athletes.  We had everyone in with just about half the field still out racing once again. I liked to see that.

The 6th grade girls were a solid 4th overall. We were one of the good teams as we should have been. The 6th grade boys ended up 9th, a little lower than I expected, but not too bad. They are a year away with all of them being 5th grade and under. The 8th grade boys were close, placing 2nd, 7 points out of first. I like that result, but it is hard to not think about ‘if only we could have…’ type of thoughts. The team has been so good the first three meets, that maybe they were due to come down a little this time. It didn’t help that the rain on Tuesday kept the attendance at practice low, and the high school meet got in the way of the Thursday practice. Now we have to keep our thoughts ahead to the big meet on Wednesday at Kettle Moraine Lutheran. That’s the meet with the fun run at the end, so everyone, including parents, need to start getting ready. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mr. Beck as usual for his help with coaching. Thanks to Wisconsin Lutheran College for hosting both the middle school meet, and the college meet afterwards. Those that stayed got to see former DASH stars Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa, Justin Chu, and Siobhan Heiss in action in the college race. They all ran well. Thanks to Faith Caspers who got the team photos at the start on her phone after I left the camera chip in the computer. My apologies for the lack of photos. We are down to two weeks in the season now. Everyone stay healthy and stay ready.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

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    Legendary race - Maitland Park This is where it all began.