Archive for September, 2019

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team arrived at St. John’s NW Military Academy yesterday ready to compete under cool and dry conditions for the first time this year. The course was mostly on the golf course behind the school, and it would be running fast with plenty of long straightaways involved. We would be one of seven teams on hand to enjoy the day of racing with the hope of posting some really nice times.

Our JV boys and girls lined up first at 4 PM. Joshua Lipski got into a fast pace early and never let up. His time of 22:07 shows you how good he is running, and he was rewarded with the 9th place medal. Cam Partenfelder also dipped into the 22’s for the first time. He is improving quickly each week and looked very good at the end. Stephen Janes cut over 3 minutes off of his pr. He ran with confidence and I am sure he was happy with his 24:12. Nolan Foster’s fan club, of which I am a member, helped keep him going and finish in 25:28. He also lowered his personal record by over 3 minutes. These boys were exceptional and are posting times much closer to our varsity runners now.

Naomi Zhou got off to a much better start and that helped her to a very nice season best 33:09. She will be showing off a nice 9th place medal. Jenna Walters was given the 11th place medal after her super close finish with a Messmer girl, but PTTiming had her taking 10th by .3 seconds. She knows which shoe to put her timing chip on!  Emily Janes had some good moments and some walking moments, but is making progress. Her new personal best is 41:17, a time asking to be lowered some more.

Our girls were the favorites in the girls varsity race, but surprisingly we ended up fielding the only full team. In such a small race, the girls would have to push themselves to fast times. Stephanie Chu and Terez Wycklendt did just that as they raced into the lead right at the start and paced side by side for over 2 miles before the healthier Stephanie pulled a bit ahead to win in 21:31. Terez cruised in right after with a personal record 21:42. Her legs felt good after that effort, so the coach could exhale and start getting excited about the races ahead. Joy Rasch found this course to her liking and took off during the first mile. Joy stayed strong all the way in and was clocked in just 24:17. She is peaking at the right time and was the topic of a lot of the conversations after the race. Emma Taylor was pushed along by Joy and was happy that she once again set a personal best time on another course. She did a 24:29 for 6th overall. Ella Johnson gave us 5 of the top 7 with her season best time of 25:27. She looks primed for a great finish to her senior season. I wanted a 6th girl on the varsity team to give us some insurance against any mishap, and Eva Foster answered the call. She did a personal record 30:39 and goes home with the 15th place medal. Nice.

The varsity boys would have much more competition as four full teams were lined up at the start. Caleb Schaber was seen pacing in 2nd place, well ahead of 3rd, for pretty much the whole way. Then Caleb took off down the home stretch to try to get the win, but came in just .1 second back. So, so close! Caleb’s time was his best yet – 17:41. We will need him to continue posting times like that. Kaden Hacker is running amazingly well right now. He always seems to be moving up during a race, and this time he moved up all the way to 5th place while logging a big personal record of 18:20. Wow! Alexander Taylor is still trying to shake a cold, but toughed out a much needed 11th place effort with a 19:09. Abiah Radtke had a breakout race and gave us a 4th runner under 20 minutes for the first time this year. Abiah was the top freshman and his 19:40 gave him claim to the 15th and last medal. The always steady Matthew Schaber noticeably got out faster and then kept up the quicker pace while posting a personal best 20:28 time. He was followed by Jacob Parker who raced in with a season best 20:31. The boys really had a big day. Micah Chan settled for his 5th straight time in the 22’s. He was our third runner in last week, so he was looking for a little better time on this fast course. Next week it may happen.

It is always fun getting fast times on a fast course in nice weather. With all the beautiful days we’ve had the last month it is about time we had a meet on one of them. The small meet was refreshing coming off of a few big meets. The boys ended up 2nd in the team scores, and the girls dominated while winning by default. The scouting report shows us in some really tight team battles next week at Armstrong Park so we will need to be ready to run like this again. If we do, the pizza will taste all the better at the apres-race party. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Back for getting the mile splits to the athletes and his help with the coaching. Thanks to the camera lady, who was given a hand (alas, but one) by Julianna Caspers, for passing out the timing chips. Thanks to the SJNMA crew for inviting us and letting us run on their well-groomed course. Thanks to Grace Caspers and the camera lady for getting the photos. They got better as the meet went on. Now we move on to October excitement!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was warm and extremely humid, as it always seems to be, for the annual Waukesha Cross Country Festival at Minooka Park. Our full team would be on hand to participate in the six races. The high school team would have its stiffest competition of the season. The middle school team would be facing several all-star teams comprised of athletes that participated in summer running camps hosted by some of the high school teams on hand. The competition was top notch, the course one of our most difficult of the season. Add in the noisy, festive atmosphere and we were set for a thrilling and challenging day of racing.

Jenna Walters and Naomi Zhou arrived early to be ready for the 8:30 AM JV Girls race. Jenna got out to a good start, stayed pretty steady when the course got tough, and finished in 36:41. Jenna’s time was a sign that the times would not be too fast once again in the super-humid conditions. Naomi Zhou started out too slow down the hill, but then picked up her pace to finish just 9 seconds behind Jenna.

Andy Forget was our first JV boy in once again. Andy really looked good, and had a much better finish this time which added up to a personal record 22:56. Andy is running close to our varsity runners now. If we have an opening in the meets ahead he will get the call. Joshua Lipski had a great start, and held up well to the big hill at the end. He lowered his pr by 2 seconds, a time which could come down considerably in the races ahead. Nathan Forget was back with us after missing the last race and he also raced in with a personal record, 24:26, but that pr does not reflect Nathan’s talent. Keep an eye on him. Cam Partenfelder got his time down to 24:31 with some nice striding. We may see him having a breakout race soon. Anthony Gotcher gave us nice effort, as always, but missed breaking 30 minutes this time. Cooler conditions and a faster course should fix that. I was really looking forward to this race, and the JV boys only have me more excited now about their prospects in the meets, and even years ahead.

The varsity girls would be starting only 4 because Terez Wycklendt needed the day off to rest her legs. Stephanie Chu helped us forget about a team score with her exceptional effort. Stephanie ran so well down the first big hill that I was showing some of our middle school stars her perfect technique while going over the photos. Stephanie was then able to maintain a torrid pace, and come back up that same big hill with a top-20 medal assured. Her time would be a DASH Minooka Park record 21:39. I was so impressed! Senior Emma Taylor once again smashed her own course record, this time by 50 seconds. She conquered the big hill at the end which is never easy. I am going to remind her of this accomplishment to try to get her to go out a little harder in the weeks ahead. Joy Rasch was having a breakout race, pacing behind Emma to the half-way point, but then stopped to tie her shoe. When she got going again her side cramped up and she fell back. We will get her shoes tied properly next race, so expect her to be fast to the end. Ella Johnson ran to almost exactly the same time she had last year. And it was after this race last year, that her times came way down. She also has a camera shy sister who would look good in DASH yellow.

The varsity boys would be missing two of their stars this time out, so we would need everyone to have big days, which unfortunately rarely happens. Caleb Schaber ran well, but did not push it too hard and ended up with an 18:44. Alexander Taylor looked like he was doing a tempo run, which was OK for this race. Micah Chan stayed steady, and then made a big charge up the hill at the the end to finish in a personal record 22:00. Matthew Schaber followed Micah around the course, but didn’t charge the hill quite as hard and finished 20 seconds back. Abiah Radtke was our third runner at the half way point, but struggled with a side-ache at the end and finished in just under 23 minutes. but we were running short-handed, and we fielded an especially young team for a Division 1 type race, and we were running short-handed, so our team score is not to be worried about.

Julianna Caspers paced the girls through the 1.4 mile middle school course. Julianna ended up winning the 2nd place medal in her grade level for the second year in a row. Bedalia again went out very casually, but then made up some lost ground to also hit the medal stand with a 6th place 6th grade finish. Our third girl in was surprisingly Maryana Anderson. Maryana had a fabulous pond loop, and then humbled the big hill at the end. Maryana just missed out on a medal this time, but as she is only a 2nd grader, she has many years ahead of her to win some hardware. Angela Walters got out to a good start, and was just tough enough on the last hill to stay ahead of Grace Caspers, who was very good again this time out. We will need Angela and Grace to continue their good seasons as the races get longer. Mary LeSac also had another good day. She started out fast and saved just enough to make it up the hill at the end. Charline Radtke went out fast, but then a side ache had her drifting back. Many were very surprised where she ended up as she has never really had a sub-par day before. I had Josephine Wichgers and Mary Claire Egan start out side by side with hopes that they would help each other along. And it went as planned as they were seen coming up the hill together. Josephine had her arms pumping at the end, conquering the big hill in just her first race. Mary Claire finished just a second later with her best race of the year. That was nice to see, and really got me excited. Andrea Chu was very steady this time out, but probably should have gotten out faster. I think she still had a lot left at the end. Natalie Radtke was happy with her race. She is gaining some confidence now, and only needs to get in more practice time. This was the day Ilyana Mallegni got in her first race. She ran hard and enjoyed herself. It was good to see her in a race after so many practices.

Nathanael Chu followed the medal-winning plan of going out fast and then conquering the big hill at the end. He won the 4th place 8th grade medal for his stellar effort. Erik Anderson did not go out nearly as fast, but did everything else to plan. His timid start hurt as he ended up missing the medal stand by a minuscule .2 seconds. James Manley really impressed the coach in his first cross country race. He got himself in good position early and looked strong coming back up the hill. Well done. We will see him again in two weeks. Andrew Anderson, Ephraim Radtke, and Josiah Chu all paced together through the course, pushing each other to some nice sub-10 minute times. We were hoping they may have cracked the top-10 in the 6th grade division, but they ended up 12th, 13th, and 14th. So close again. Charlie Johnson donned DASH yellow for the first time this season and toughed out a descent race, but not fast enough for his own high standards. I expect him to be very good later this year if we can get him to the races. Noah Caspers could have pushed himself a little harder around the pond, but he looked good on the last hill. Martin Wichgers continues to run well, although a little under the radar with so many of our stars out in front of him. Keep an eye on him. George Wichgers finished in over 18 minutes, but the attentive coach may have figured out the way to get him to run faster.

The middle school competition was better than it has ever been this year. As good as we ran, we did not crack the top spot in any of the team scores. The 7th grade girls were an easy 2nd behind the Jefferson all-star team. The 6th grade girls took 3rd in a very close battle between the 2nd-4th place teams, and the 6th grade boys ended up a close 3rd. We ran well so we have no regrets.

Thanks to Jenna Walters, Jodi LeSac, and Ed Beck for their help passing out and collecting the timing chips. Thanks to Mr. Beck for his help with the coaching, and again thanks to Mr. Beck for his help in taking down the tent and getting everything back in my van. I did not get involved much in the above duties because I took on the task of running around the park getting the photos for all six races. My feet held up pretty well. Now the high school team turns its attention to the second half of its season, and the middle school team gets ready for its four October meets. There is still plenty of action to look forward to. Of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

P.S. Disaster struck yesterday in my home as I was sitting down writing the above report with my kids goofing off behind me while putting off their after dinner chores. Julianna took a spill and then gave out a scream after looking at her left arm. Two bones were broken. She came home last night with a cast up past her elbow. It is hard to believe. Later, we received an encouraging report from Terez on her health. Oh, the vicissitudes of a cross country season that later gives us such scintillating DASH conversation! Sigh.

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team made the drive to Elkhorn last Wednesday to compete in the 7th annual Elkhorn Invitational. We have never missed a meet here, but the last two years we have found ourselves getting familiar with some modified courses because of construction. This years course had to be shortened down to 1.4 miles because of recent heavy rain. The athletes were warned before hand that the short, flat course would be running lightning quick, and that they would have to get out near the front early to have a chance at a top-10 medal. We would be racing only 7 other teams, but many would be arriving on multiple buses because of their size. In all, almost 350 athletes would cross the finish line, making this the biggest meet we have ever run in Elkhorn.

Our very good 7th and under girls would be the first to set up in box 5. Julianna Caspers stayed out of traffic at the start and then really moved up over the final loop to place 6th overall. Julianna has run all seven races here, and she made the medal stand for an amazing sixth consecutive time. Bedalia Radtke did not get out well and had me worried, but then she put the burners on just in time to move up to 8th at the finish. Bedalia’s medal run had the coach feeling much better about our team score. We had a little over 20 second wait, and then DASH yellow was seen heading to the finish in waves. Angela Walters, despite no practice the last week, took advantage of the short course, showing off her stride for her dad, and racing in as our 3rd scorer in 16th place. Julia Kowalinski got off to a fantastic start and was running near the leaders through the first loop. She fell back some through the second loop, but hung on to come in right after Angela in 17th place. Having your first 4 finish in the top-17 is exceptional in a race with 100+ athletes, but the good results were just hardly over. Charline Radtke strode in right after Julia with another great effort. We now had five in when no one else had four, so Charline’s 18th place finish pushed up the score on every other team. That would prove important. With a great second loop, Grace Caspers finished 10 seconds behind Charline for 21st place. She is running well and may like the longer races ahead. Mary LeSac was very good this time out, and gave us a seventh girl in the top-24. Hellena Hacker was next, hitting the finish in 26th place. I think Hellena may have been even better on a tougher course. Next was 2nd grader Maryana Anderson. She ran a pretty steady, very fast race to finish 29th. That gave us 9 of the first 29. With that kind of depth you would have thought we were one of the teams that came on two buses. Andrea Chu showed us some competitive fire as she finished in the top half in just her second race. Mary Claire Egan also had a very good day leaving over 50 athletes behind her. Compare that to last year here and you will know how much she has improved. Talia Kostrzewa was the only one not posting a good time. The coach and her mom both failed to make sure her shoes were tied properly, and she ended up finishing with just one. I am not sure how I missed her as I did have several of her teammates get their shoes retied. Expect to see her bounce back next race running fast as usual.

Seka Kostrzewa paced the 7th and under boys from the start. Seka ran up with the lead pack the whole way and hit the medal stand for the third year in a row, this time capturing the 6th place medal. Andrew Anderson went out more conservatively, but picked it up late and finished strong before being handed the 21st place card. Josiah Chu ran a very steady race, and gave the team a nice 27th place effort. Third grader Ephraim Radtke looked a little timid running with the big 6th and 7th grade boys at first, but when the finish line drew near he was seen coming in ahead of all but the first 33. Noah Caspers ran a strong, evenly paced race to place 48th. I think a tougher course would have moved him up some. Martin Wichgers ran well and finished exactly a minute behind fellow 4th grader Noah. George Wichgers was not hounded enough in the open course and finished in 15:45.

Natalie Radtke ran by herself in the 8th grade girls race, so the DASH fans were able to keep her moving fast. Natalie liked the short course and finished in an encouraging 37th place.

Nathanael Chu and Erik Anderson both had great starts in the 8th grade boys which kept them in contention for top-10 medals throughout. Nathanael ended up in a breakout pack of four boys the last half of the race, and gave us thoughts about a win, before settling for the 4th place medal. Erik was pressured from behind for most of the way, but that just had him going a little faster as he would not be denied the medal stand, earning the 9th place medal in impressive fashion. Nathanael and Erik really had big days.

The average team our size, 22 athletes, would have come away with about 2 1/2 medals. We ended up with 5. The average team of 22 would have put about 7 in the top third. We had 15 that can make that claim. We ran well, but that is not always reflected in the team scores at this meet because of the big, multiple bus, teams we face. This time our 7th and under girls came in ahead of the big Parkview and Elkhorn teams, getting ahead of Parkview on our tie-breaking 5th runner. (Thank you, Charline). It is hard to believe that the girls only came in 2nd. The East Troy team went 1-2-3-25 to come out ahead. They were impressive. The 7th and under boys finished 4th out of the 7 scoring teams, missing 3rd by just 1 point. It was definitely a fun, competitive day of racing.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for being our flawless official scorer. Thanks to Jodi LeSac for collecting the place cards, also without a flaw, thus making it an easy day for the coach. Thanks to all the DASH families for making the drive down to Elkhorn. Thanks to the DASH fans, which included DASH athletes when they were not racing, for lining the course cheering on our stars. Thanks to the camera lady, who had help from Julianna Caspers and Mrs. Chu for getting the photos. And thanks to Philip Caspers for holding the umbrella for the camera lady. Now our thoughts turn to Saturday’s race at Minooka Park, the race with the big hill at the end. I hope to see you there on that big hill cheering our middle school stars on.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was one of 21 teams on hand at Hales Corners Park yesterday to compete in the Whitnall Invitational. This is usually one of our faster courses, but this year fog had settled in after heavy rain had soaked the course, leaving us with slow, wet, and humid conditions to contend with. We were warned that a tree had fallen down across the course which delayed the start of the first of the four races by 15 minutes while work was done to clear the tree from our path. Thankfully, the meet was still a go. We would get the chance to cheer on 20 of our high school athletes through the very fan friendly course.

The JV girls were first up. Senior Eva Foster donned DASH colors for the first time, and impressed us with her easy, natural running form. Eva left the course after 32:01, a time which could drop considerably in the weeks ahead giving the team some much needed depth. Jenna Walters cut off over 2 minutes from her personal best. Her new standard is 35:04. Jenna was pushed continuously by Naomi Zhou who came in 3 seconds after Jenna with a nice seasonal best. The girls times showed some nice improvement. Maybe the course wasn’t running so slow after all. I was also surprised at how competitive the JV girls race was. The competition was proving to be especially strong this year.

Andy Forget got off to a very strong start in the JV boys race. About midway through the course Joshua Lipski came up and kept pace with Andy and it stayed that way to the finish. Both of these freshman dipped into the 23 minute range for the first time. And they both looked good at the end which should give them the confidence needed to run even faster in the meets ahead. Our third runner in was a new freshman who joined us just two days before, Cam Partenfelder. Cam ran cross country in middle school and has a lot of potential. He slogged through the wet course in 25:05, a time that has the potential to drop considerably as Cam rounds into running shape. Yet another athlete running in his first DASH race was Nolan Foster. Nolan looked impressive through the first mile, but then struggled some to finish in 28:39. The talent is there. Anthony Gotcher cut off over a minute from his best time with a 30:43. Progress is being made each time out. Our JV boys finished 8th in the team scoring with three of the teams ahead of us not fielding a varsity team.

Varsity girls racing was next. Stephanie Chu won the 10th place medal last year in this race, but despite finishing four seconds faster this year she ended up just out of the medals in 12th. Her 22:16 early season time was encouraging and her finish looked strong. Terez Wycklendt paced with the leaders early, but then fell back to run with Stephanie most of the way. She was definitely struggling at the finish, but her time ended up being a personal best 22:25, good for 13th place. Emma Taylor had a big day, cutting 49 seconds off her time from last year to place 30th with a 24:28. Joy Rasch has rounded into form quickly for us this year as she adjusts to the high school distance. Joy cut over 2 minutes off her time from last meet to finish in 26:24. Joy also helped push Ella Johnson along when she started falling back, with Ella finishing just a second behind Joy. When the team standings came out we placed 5th, one point ahead of a strong Whitnall team. The difference was Joy and Ella coming in well ahead of Whitnall’s 4th and 5th runners. Very nice teamwork, girls!

The clock had struck six before the varsity boys got started. Caleb Schaber got out to a top-10 start and held it through the first two miles, but then in the last mile he started fading back. Just when we started thinking his top-10 medal chances were done, Caleb found his second wind and started gaining ground, finally moving back into the top 10 just steps from the finish. We would have someone to cheer for at the awards ceremony after all. Kaden Hacker methodically moved up throughout the race until his 18:58 clocking left him in 17th place. Kaden’s time shows up as a personal record on athletic.net. He was exceptional. Alexander Taylor went out very fast, maybe too fast, as he did look a little gassed through the last mile. Alex still toughed out a much needed 21st place finish with a 19:26. Behind Alex, Jacob Parker and Abiah Radtke were both seen jockeying back and forth and pushing themselves to big season bests. Jacob came in just ahead to finish in 21:04 with Abiah just two seconds behind him. I really liked those times and their effort. Micah Chan and Matthew Schaber paced close throughout and put up solid times in the 22’s. The boys placed 5th overall with just 128 points against some very strong competition. I know of 16 other teams that would trade places with us.

Thanks to Coach Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to the officials and the Whitnall team for getting the course ready to race just in time after the bad weather. Some of our newcomers were surprised to see so many people cheering for them. Thanks to the DASH fans for helping them get used to all the attention. Thanks to the camera crew of Natalie Radtke, Julianna Caspers, and Grace Caspers. The foggy, poorly lit conditions, along with a demanding coach, made it especially tough for them, but they took well over 1000 photos in all for me to peruse through, crop, and touch up. These photos made the cut. Be sure to check them out and make all the work that was put in to them worth it. Hopefully this team will see some better weather soon. They still have plenty to accomplish in the meets ahead. I hope to see you there as we see how it all plays out.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Yesterday, the DASH middle school cross country team made its way up to Peace Lutheran in Hartford on a very warm and humid, mostly sunny day. There were thunderstorms in the forecast at times, but as the day went on the forecast looked more promising. When we arrived we found out that the plan was to run only one race, girls and boys combined, at 4 PM to get things finished before the potential rain. Chips were being tied to shoes, the course was being scouted, all while some ominous looking dark clouds swirled in unpredictable patterns above our heads. Then about 3:45 PM lightning was seen. Soon after, we were sitting in our vehicles getting out of a heavy downpour. The rain stopped for a few minutes, only to come back once again even harder. Finally at about 4:15 PM things cleared up, but we came out hearing about rumors that the race had been cancelled. The coach went into lobbying mode, scrambling around and making it known that the DASH team was ready to race. To our relief, the cancel rumors turned out to be just that – rumors. The race was on! And the weather was much cooler. We would get to see our very promising middle school athletes in action after all. (Exhale from the coach as he wrote that.)

All 23 of out athletes had plenty of time to warm up and pose for a nice team picture while they waited for the race to eventually start at 4:45 PM. As the horn went off, we saw Nathanael Chu race out to the front as the team headed down the hill to the sidewalk around the back neighborhood. It was a welcome sign that the boys, along with our powerhouse girls team, were going for some wins.

In the boys race, Nathanael stayed up with a breakout pack of four 8th grade boys to the finish. Nathanael would put his claim on the 4th place medal with a super fast 9:45 clocking. Seka Kostrzewa got out to a great start and held on for 9th place in the end. Seka’s 10:24 time gave him rights to the 1st place 5th/6th grade medal. Erik Anderson was amazing in his first cross country race, eventually working his way up to finish a step behind Seka all while giving us a third top-10 runner. The only team that seemed to be a threat at this point was the Richfield team wearing red. Josiah Chu really looked fast and cracked the top-20 with an impressive 11:09 time. He will be counted on to come through for us a lot this season. Ephraim Radtke gave us a fifth runner in the top-25 and was the top 3rd/4th grader by almost a minute. He is a special talent. Andrew Anderson moved up close to Ephraim in the end, taking 29th with an 11:23. Andrew never faded in his first race which bodes well for my prediction of future stardom for him. Noah Caspers put in a solid effort which won him the 3rd place medal in the 3rd/4th grade division. Martin Wichgers also looked good in his first race, adding his name to our impressive 4th and under contingent. Also add Philip Caspers name to the list as he toughed out a nice win in the 2nd grade division, once he found the finish line. George Wichgers got through his first race. He will only get faster.

The girls race was particularly tough to keep track of with all the boys in the way, but it looked early on like we would be the team to beat. Julianna Caspers led the way as usual, but then she rolled her ankle midway through. Bedalia Radtke kept Julianna in her sights and then moved up with a great finish to place 4th overall, which got her the 3rd place medal in the always tough 5th/6th grade division. Julianna toughed it out at the end to place 5th overall, 2nd among the 7th/8th graders. An inspired Charline Radtke was our next girl in and she finished just 32 seconds behind Julianna, all while winning the 1st place 3rd/4th place medal. Charline also gave us a third girl in the top-8. Did I mention that this was Charline’s first race? I knew Charline had the talent to post a result like this, but I did not expect it so early this season. Our girls team has become a little more scary good now. Julia Kowalinski picked up where she left off last season with a nice 13th place finish. Angela Walters faded a little at the end, but still gave us a fifth girl in the top-15. And I know Julia and Angela will be even better in the meets ahead. Grace Caspers is back running fast after struggling last year. Grace moved up in the last half of the race all the way up to 16th overall. Hellena Hacker showed off her much taller stride for us after a year off. I was impressed. Hellena came in just before Maryana Anderson who placed 20th. That gave us 8 of the top-20. Wow! Maryana is only a 2nd grader. Three minutes later the next 2nd grader from another team came through. Really. I am not making this stuff up. Mary LeSac did not get out fast enough for me, but she had a great finish to place 24th. She will be good this year. Mary Claire Egan was running near Mary early, but had a rough finish. A few more weeks of practice will fix that. She joined us late. Andrea Chu did well in her first race, proving she is more than just a dancer. I knew it all along. Talia Kostrzewa was our 5th runner in last year. Our team has improved so much that this year she was our 12th, coming in with about the same time, although the course ran slower this year. Talia earned the 2nd place 2nd grade medal for her nice effort. Natalie Radkte was the top 8th grader while placing 43rd, proving my point about 8th grade girls not participating as much. Hopefully that point will not harm us next year as we have so many very good 7th graders.

It took a while before the official results were ready, but it was worth the wait. The countdown of the boys teams scores left us in the top-2, but we were called out as the 2nd place trophy winners. We missed first by just five points. Our boys teams have been very good the last few years, and this year’s edition is reloaded and still top notch. The girls race was not very close with our girls coming out on top, winning the 1st place trophy with just 40 points, 21 points ahead of second. I have been waiting a long time for my little girls to get bigger and this is that year. And we are turning out to be as good as I ever hoped. We still have six meets ahead of us and I am really looking forward to each one. Tune in next Wednesday for the next chapter of the DASH 2019 middle school cross country team to be written. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mrs. Walters, the camera lady, and Mrs. Beck for passing out and collecting the timing chips. It went very smooth. Thanks to all the parents who made the drive to Hartland and waited patiently for the race. Thanks to Mr. Beck for his help with the coaching. Special thank to the Peace Lutheran folks and official starter and timer Tim Kuehl for squashing all the cancel rumors, not being afraid of a little rain, and giving the athletes a chance to race. When the rain did stop the camera came out allowing the camera lady to catch some of the days action in photos. The day was not lost after all. What a relief. (Another exhale from the coach as he wrote that, too.)

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Eighteen of our high school cross country athletes made their way to the famed Wayne Dannehl cross country course at UW-Parkside yesterday to compete in the Kenosha St Joseph Lancer Invitational. The conditions were warm and blustery once again for our team as they took the field to show off their paces against 14 other teams, including two from Division 1.

The girls got the earlier 4:30 PM start this year, and Terez Wycklendt and Stephanie Chu went out with the leaders from the gun. It took Terez 23:03 to make it through the hilly course. That time held up for an impressive 5th overall among the 100+ girls, but Terez’ time also showed that the course was not running very fast in the warm, humid conditions. Getting some really fast times would have to be put off until later in the season. Stephanie Chu ran through the finishing chute in 7th place with a 23:21, and this time Terez and Stephanie’s great finishes would help us to a nice team score. Emma Taylor cut almost a minute off her time from last year and placed 25th overall. We need to keep her healthy and running like this. Ella Johnson made her season debut and held up well with a 27:56 for 39th. She is picking up where she left off with very little practice. Very nice. It was then a very short wait for Joy Rasch to complete our team scoring. Joy got through the tough course in 28:26 and really looks to be hitting her stride already this season. Jenna Walters got to the race just in time and lowered her personal best with a 37:27. She will like the cooler conditions coming up. Emily Janes still had trouble resisting the urge to walk, but she did come in ahead of one girl this time. We will be hounding her around a more open course soon.

I was looking forward to having all our boys running together this time and have them push each other along. Caleb Schaber was our leader throughout this time. He had a great first mile, a rough second mile, and then a great finish which saw him move up to 12th overall with an 18:51. An inspired Kaden Hacker was next, racing in with a fast 19:19 to claim 17th place. Alexander Taylor came in just four seconds later in 20th place. Kaden and Alex were the 3rd and 4th fastest underclassmen in the race out of 78. They are both running so well right now! Then the wait was on for our 4th runner to come in, the wait that may determine just how good the boys team will end up this year. The wait ended up being about three minutes this time, but the DASH fans were happy to see not just our 4th, but also our 5th and 6th runners all coming in together. Freshman Micah Chan led the way, but junior Jacob Parker showed off his speed and put things back in order as he edged Micah at the line by .3 seconds. One second later freshman Abiah Radtke made it in with a 22:23. The boys had come through for us just in time. Matthew Schaber struggled some this time in the heat, battling to a 23 flat. The coach was super-impressed with Joshua Lipski’s 24:14 effort. Joshua’s running form has been top notch. Nathan Forget left a little more than just great effort on the course this time as he finished in 25:58. Stephen Janes got his time down by 1:40 and had another great finish. Keep an eye on him. Anthony Gotcher also had a personal best. I think he will like our faster course in Hales Corners next up.

I thought overall we had a descent day, but not spectacular. Then the team scores were posted and we ended up 4th overall in both the girls and boys races. That was as good as I had hoped for with so many good teams on hand, so maybe the rough conditions skewed my analysis and we really did have a very good day. I do know that I can’t wait to see this team run in Hales Corners Park next week. Our times should be faster and the course is one our best to watch a race. I hope to see you there, but not until we put in the work of another eight days of practice.

Thanks to Coach Ed Beck, and Coach Chuck Maurer for being on hand to help with the coaching and cheering. Thanks to all the parents for getting around the construction and getting the athletes to the race. Thanks to the folks at Kenosha St Joseph’s for hosting, and for the invitation to compete. Thanks to Ella Johnson, Mr. Beck, Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, and a few more who helped get up and take down the tent. Of course, thanks to the camera crew of Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers for getting another great batch of photos.  I will get to write more about them and their teammates next week at the first middle school meet.  You will find out they are pretty good, too.

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.