DASH High School Cross Country 2019 Prairie School Invite Meet Report

Hello DASH families,

The sun was out as the DASH high school cross country team arrived at Armstrong Park in Racine yesterday, but the heavy rains from earlier in the week had left the park very soggy. Eleven teams were on hand for this much awaited event and everything pointed to some very close team battles. With two months of preparation behind us, it was finally time to get on the spikes, run through some mud, splash through an overflowing river, and get over any other obstacles put into our path. It was time for some big October cross country racing!

Stephanie Chu and Terez Wycklendt were the early pacesetters for the girls, but about halfway through, on the top of the big hill, a Catholic Central girl took over the lead. Stephanie Chu was holding down second place with the home stretch ahead of her, but then took a wrong turn around a tree and fell back. Stephanie paced with the girls ahead the rest of the way, but settled for 5th place with a 22:29. Terez Wycklendt was definitely slowed by the wet conditions after her strong start, but held on to finish right behind Stephanie to put a claim on the 6th place medal. Joy Rasch was impressive again and almost equaled her time from last week despite the wetter conditions. She earned the 11th place medal with her 24:30 effort. Emma Taylor competed well and kept Joy in her sights. Emma’s 24:50 14th place finish also put her on the medal stand. Ella Johnson was not at her best, but she toughed out a nice 18th place finish with a 26:49. Eva Foster ran varsity again and came through with a big personal record 29:32 23rd place finish. She is improving fast. Emily Janes ran much more confidently this time out and her time came way down, like four minutes down. Emily’s new standard is 37:14 and she also won the 11th place JV medal. Nice.

Caleb Schaber settled into 4th place early, and then ran solo most of the way. His time was 18:42 and that was fast enough this time out. I am hoping he saved a little for the next race. Kaden Hacker moved up behind Caleb midway and let no one pass from there, giving us a much needed 5th place 19:05. Yet another great race from Kaden. Alexander Taylor is getting close to top form now. He fell back from Kaden midway, but gave us a third top 10 finish – 8th place in 19:35. No one had three in but us, but then the Prairie School team started coming through fast followed by the Union Grove boys. Brookfield Academy got their third runner in just ahead of Abiah Radtke, our fourth. Abiah struggled coming back from the river, but had a great finish to place 23rd with a 20:39. We had our 5th in at 20:47 as the steady Matthew Schaber crossed the finish. Matthew stepped up for us once again with another strong race. Micah Chan had a big day, smashing his pr by 47 seconds in the slow conditions and coming in ahead of Brookfield Academy’s 4th and 5th. Micah’s new standard is now 21:13. Jacob Parker faded some over the back half of the course, but finished in a respectable 21:39. We need to keep him healthy. Joshua Lipski was our first JV runner in once again. Joshua stayed close to his pr with a 22:28 and won the 6th place medal. His strong effort left him especially dirty at the end. Well done. Andy Forget got out super fast, but got a side cramp. He did pick it up at the end to finish just behind Joshua in 7th with a 23:10. Stephen Janes looked to be very comfortable in the mud. He cruised through the hilly course in just 23:31 while showing us some nice kick at the end. He was 9th. Campbell Partenfelder gave us four in the top-10. He overcame a slow start and then was seen moving up throughout. He hit the finish in 23:36. Nathan Forget was back after missing practice time and the last meet with injury. He ran well while posting a 24:31. Hopefully he can get in some good workouts the next two weeks. Nolan Foster lowered his pr by almost a minute with a 24:33. He is competing well out there now and is one to watch. All of our six JV boys were in the top half of the JV race. Outstanding.

The girls ended up 3rd in the team scores with The Prairie School edging ahead of us by 6 points for 2nd, and Catholic Central running away with it. We had our chances, but we ran up against two teams having very good days while ours was pretty average. We will need to be a little better and peaking in two weeks. The boys ran very well, but the way the points fell again this year, it was advantageous to have the strongest 4-7 runners. That was a big reason we won last year. This year our 4-7 were pretty good, but The Prairie School’s were even better and they came in 17 points ahead of us. It really hurt Brookfield Academy who despite having 2 of the top 3 overall, still ended up 18 points behind us in 3rd. The team scores were not as close as expected, but the race was still very exciting. Hats off to The Prairie School boys. I am liking our boys depth in the years ahead so I am already getting anxious for a rematch next year. But I must be patient as we have a Homeschool Championship next up on our schedule, another very big meet. The high school team will have two weeks to get ready.  Meanwhile, the middle school team will have three meets up first to keep the DASH fans busy. Stay healthy and stay fast!

Thanks to The Prairie School folks for getting the course set up despite the rain and for giving us the chance to race. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to Frank Wycklendt, Jarrett Janes, Patty Forget, and everyone else who helped set up the tent and take it down.  And thanks to the camera lady, who with a little help from Grace Caspers and myself, got us another set of nice photos to remember the days festivities where we got plenty dirty, competed well, and had fun.

Take care,
Jim Caspers




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