DASH High School Track 2019 St Joseph Lancer Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The 2019 DASH high school track and field team got its outdoor season started as planned at Kenosha Tremper high school yesterday in the Lancer Invite hosted by Kenosha St Joseph’s. The track does not show up on Google Maps. It is 9-lanes and brand new. This would be the first time it was ever used for a meet! And it felt so good to be able see our full team in action, and competing in nice weather, at such an early date this year. Finally the disastrous weather that left us with so few meets last year seems like a distant memory. We need an early meet like this with no roster limitations per event to get lots of times and marks for each athlete. We left having a much better feel for the abilities of each athlete. And now the coach has a better feel on how to meld everyone’s talents together to field our best team in the big meets ahead.

Now for a rundown on the running events. The boys 4×800 team of Liam Westhoff, Joshua LeSac, Vincent Maurer, and Caleb Schaber came through with our first win of the day, and they did it convincingly, hitting the finish 38 seconds ahead of second. The girls 4×800 team of Emma Taylor, Katrina Lipski, Alivia Kempf, and Abby Chu kept it close, but settled for 2nd, 9 seconds back. Then the 100 hurdles were out, and Grace Zinkgraf burst out of the blocks, took the lead, and was nearly flawless to the finish. Grace’s winning time of 19.89 breaks her own DASH record. For the boys in the 110 hurdles, freshman Noble Holmes proved to be as good as advertised, coming through with another DASH record with his 20.11 time. Joshua Below finished right behind Noble with a personal record 20.24 despite being elbowed by the hurdler next to him. In the 100 meters, Annika Lipski posted a pr time of 18.09. Mary Katherine Sanchez was just a half-step behind with a 18.25. Freshman star Terez Wycklendt was saved for the final heat and won the 3rd place medal with her fast 14.13. Now we will work on getting her to use a starting block. For the boys, Luke Smrecek ran about his same usual time as last year. I may push him out longer. We had four in the next heat with freshman Perryon Pierce coming out ahead with an impressive 12.72 for 8th overall. Kennard Taylor did well and posted a 13.58, just ahead of Nathan Forget. Jerimiah Maxie strided in next clocking in at 13.84. In the next heat, Jared Aguilar was in the high 12’s, with Ben Hughes following with a 13.32, followed by Parker Lentz’s 13.61. In the last heat Briel Holmes was one of five guys that separated themselves from everyone else. Just .17 seconds separated them all. Briel’s 12.17 put him 4th overall, just .01 behind 3rd. Freshman Alexander Taylor posted a nice 5:24 time over 1600 meters. Only in the Wisco Mile last year was he ever better. Matthew Schaber lowered his pr by 35 seconds with his 5:59. He is really coming on now. We had to put together a last-minute girls 4×200 team. Grace Zinkgraf, Emma Taylor, Alivia Kempf, and Stephanie Chu stayed close to 2nd, but settled for 4th. We had two boys 4×200 teams. The coach liked Ben Forget, Matthew Hein, Nathan Forget, and Joshua Below’s 1:50 time. Our ‘A’ team of Jared Aguilar, Kevin Egan, Joshua Schaber, and Briel Holmes did the two laps in 1:43 for the 3rd place medals, and also laid claim to the DASH record. In the 400, Katrina Lipski got the team 2 points with her 7th place finish. Abby Chu earned the 3rd place medal with her personal record 1:11. Terez Wycklendt was in a class by herself, coming in for a big victory in 1:08.18. Ben Hughes was our only guy who made the start. Ben had been sick the last week and missed the last meet, but he still found the energy to post a 58.15. I liked that. With the teams plethora of sprinters, the boys ran two 4×100 teams, although I purposely made them rather close. The team I labeled ‘B’ of Kennard Taylor, Jacarie Rucker, Jerimiah Maxie, and Perryon Pierce bested St Joseph’s ‘B’ team. The team I labeled ‘A’ of Noble Holmes, Nathan Forget, Parker Lentz, and Joshua Schaber ran very well, had good handoffs, and eked out another DASH record with a 50.23. With our team speed, I expect that record to come down much more before the season is done. In the 300 hurdles, Alivia Kempf breezed to an easy victory despite her first hurdle being set 3 inches high. We had 4 boys in the same 300 hurdle heat. Matthew Hein showed his natural jumping ability with a nice 57.68 time in his first try at the event. Ben Forget posted a 54.28, good for 4th overall in his first try at the event. Joshua Below got through the 8 hurdles in 51.49 to win the 3rd place medal. Kevin Egan was on pace to get that medal, but was DQ’d while trying to carry the last hurdle to the finish. Kevin will get another chance to improve his closing technique at the next meet.  We had 3 of the top 6 girls in the 800. Katrina had a great finish and was somewhat satisfied with her 6th place 3:36. Emma Taylor moved into top-3 medal position early and held off the girl behind her continuously to edge her by about half a second with a 2:55. Abby Chu got into the lead early and never let up to win by 1 1/2 seconds with a 2:51. The way the girls battled made it one of my favorite races of the day.  For the boys, Matthew Schaber was back setting personal records. His new standard for the 800 is 2:44. Vincent Maurer set his own pr with a 2:26. Vince is posting even better splits in the 4×800. He is really running well. Alexander Taylor did a 2:25. He has never been faster, and Caleb Schaber made it 4 for 4 for the boys in the personal record category. Caleb cruised to an 8 second victory with a 2:12. He is getting close to the DASH record now.  In the 200, Mary Katherine Sanchez jumped the gun and was DQ’d. Very unfortunate. Annika Lipski set a personal record 40.87. I will threaten her with a 3200 to help her break 40 soon. I am that mean. Stephanie Chu posted a 31.53. She did not get her usual great start, then she ran well.  For the boys, Matthew Hein’s 31.86 will have me keep him in the hurdles, his better event. In the next heat, Ben Forget got the win with a very nice 27.39. Jerimiah Maxie followed with a 28.56. In the next heat, Perryon Pierce pushed himself to a nice 26.19. Kennard Taylor looked good before coasting in with a 28.26. Then Joshua Schaber was pushed along to a personal record 26.37. I was liking those times, and then in the last heat, I had Briel Holmes’ time in the 24’s. And this time I actually got it right – 24.49 was Briel’s official DASH record setting time. Wow! Now I was loving our speed. Then we moved on to the slower, more methodical, but just as exciting 3200. Joshua LeSac was found in a battle for the 3rd place medal that stayed close until the very end. A Dominican kid would push ahead of Joshua early in a lap, and then Joshua would surge ahead. It went that way until about the 5th lap. Then Joshua controlled the pace, finally surging ahead of him in the last lap. It took 11:34 of hard work from Joshua to lay claim to that medal. That battle was super exciting to any true track aficionado. With no letup in excitement, we were on to the 4×400. We gave Terez Wycklendt with hopes of getting an early lead and she did not disappoint, but the Catholic Central team was staying close. Emma Taylor ran the second lap and gave us a pretty comfortable lead before getting the baton to Alivia Kempf. Alivia Kempf ran the same split as Emma, but Central’s 3rd runner was very good and the lead was now only a few seconds. Stephanie Chu ran the anchor lap and kept that 3-second lead to the finish. The girls posted a very nice early season time of 4:43. For the boys, Jared Aguilar ran the first lap in 58 seconds, but so did the St Joseph athlete. We were to have a race. Liam Westhoff got the baton to the half way point in 1:55, but that was not good enough for the lead. Kevin Egan took his turn, but the St Joseph boys were showing some mettle, and Kevin was not able to make any headway into their lead. Caleb Schaber was our last chance. As it turned out, St Joseph ran their weaker runner last. Caleb got the lead on the back stretch and cruised to victory. We won by over 6 seconds in the end, but it was way more interesting than that. It is always a great day when we can leave with girls and boys 4×400 victories, so a great day of running it was.

Field events were also held, but the quick pace of the meet gave the athletes trouble squeezing them in, and left me with seeing almost none of them. In the high jump, Emma Taylor got over 3’8″, and Alivia Kempf made 4’0″. In discus, Mary Katherine Sanchez threw 28′ in her first try at the event. Katrina Lipski hit 40′, Grace Zinkgraf threw it past 62′ for 4th place, and Lake Holmes won the 3rd place medal with a 75′ throw.  Luke Smrecek had a nice 50′ throw, Alexander Taylor went past 60′, Jacarie Rucker’s was measured at 67’11”, and Noble Holmes now holds the DASH high school discus record as well as the middle school record. The new high school standard is 84’3″. Noble is amazing. In the shot put, Mary Katherine Sanchez got a new personal record. Katrina Lipski gave the team another 3 points with her 18′ throw.  Annika Lipski hit 20’8″, and Lake Holmes hit the medal stand, breaking her own DASH record, with a 29’02.75″ effort. The photos of Lake throwing turned out very good.  Luke Smrecek threw the 12 lb. shot 18′, Nathan Forget hit 24’9″. Ben Forget finally got to throw and did well hitting 26′. Jacarie Rucker was our best at 28′. In the long jump, Grace Zinkgraf and Stephanie Chu landed just short of 12′. Joshua Schaber did a 15’4″ jumping off the wrong foot. Noble Holmes launched himself 15’10”, and Briel Holmes tied the outdoor DASH record with an 18’02”, winning the meet by .75 inch. Nice. In triple jump, Joshua Below struggled to a 27’9″. Kennard Taylor hit 28’3″ in his first try at the event. I really like Freshman Matthew Hein in this event, and he did well with a 29’6″. Alexander Taylor was measured at an inch past Matthew. Liam Westhoff hopped, skipped, and jumped 35’01.5″. That’s more than a foot better than his old personal record. Liam will take home the 3rd place medal for his memorable jump, and get his name posted as the DASH record holder in the event. I was expressing my need for triple jumpers last year. Liam answered the call. The rest is history. That makes 8 DASH records total in the meet report, in case you weren’t counting.

It was nice having a meet where everyone could participate if they were available, although that does make the meet reports a little long. The next three meets we will be breaking the team down into varsity/JV.  With so many boys this year, and so many good ones, it is going to be hard to leave some worthy athletes off the varsity team, but on the other hand those are the kind of problems that you hope to have.  The biggest negative for me was missing out witnessing most of the DASH records set in the field events. I hope asking the athletes to break them again with the camera on hand is not too much to ask.

Thanks to Ed Beck who helped out running the jumping pits, and helped our athletes get their starting marks. Thanks to Chuck Mauer and Greg Kempf for their coaching assistance as well. Thanks to Kenosha St Joseph folks for hosting, and for letting us in on running on the brand new track. Thanks to all those that made the trek down to Kenosha to compete and to be DASH fans. Nobody had our numbers outside of the host team.  I brought three photographers with me, but Faith Caspers ended up taking all the photos at the meet, with Grace Caspers finally getting camera duties at Culver’s. You can thank the photographers for getting some very nice photos once again. Now we turn our attention to the varsity meet at Sussex Hamilton, another new meet for us. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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