Archive for the ‘Cross Country’ Category

Hello DASH families,

On Wednesday, the DASH middle school cross country team was running up in Jackson again at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. This meet used to be small in the old days, but it has grown now to the point to where over 600 athletes would be crossing the finish line. Twenty of those athletes would be wearing DASH yellow. It would be the last meet of the season for half of our athletes, and they had a beautiful day to try to finish the season strong.

They changed the format this year into a varsity/JV format like we see at high school meets. The JV runners would be first and run the 2500 meter course. For the girls, Alexa Bruton started off conservatively, but she made her move in the loop around the track and was our first girl up the hill. She hit the finish in 14:06 and really impressed the DASH fans with her effort. Mary LeSac had a personal record this time on a course she has run many, many times. It was a good way to end the season for Mary. Hellena Hacker moved up to finish right behind Mary. Hellena always looks good at the end of a race. Jenna Walters improved her time from last week on the same course. Our JV girls ran well.

Our JV boys were next, and they were not as little. Daniel Caspers raced around the 2500 meter course in 11:54 for 32nd place. He looked to be just as fast in the fun run later. Joshua Lipski finished 46th this time out. Both times this year he has run very well on this course. Micah Chan cut off 41 seconds from his time last week. He stayed behind Noah until the final loop, and then surged ahead and broke 13 minutes. Noah Caspers keeps cutting off a minute from his time each race. He has turned out to be much better than advertised. Noah left 84 athletes behind him this time with his 64th place finish.

The varsity girls would be next. It would be the first time this season that Stephanie Chu would be running for more than just an individual medal. Stephanie still did add another medal to her collection with her 9th place finish as she raced around the 3200 meter course in 14:35, but this time she had five other girls backing her up looking to post a nice team score. Julianna Caspers enjoyed chasing after Stephanie, and gave us a second top-20 finish. Her 15:04 was good for 18th. Heidi Talbert slowed a little in the middle of the long course, but finished strong to catch Savanna Bruton just before the finish to be our 3rd scorer. Savanna had also been moving up near the end of the race, getting ahead of Heidi in the last loop, and really impressed everyone with her effort. Her 16:29 time was good for 52nd, two spots behind Heidi. Joy Rasch ran a very smart, steady race. The distance did not effect Joy, or the other girls, as much as I though it might. Joy gave us a 5th girl in the top-62. Grace Caspers had her best race of the season as she stayed close to our top-5, finishing in 72nd place. Our young girls team took 7th overall in the team scores. They are really peaking now at the end of the season.

We would be fielding a very strong boys varsity team. Our boys have been running very close this year, and it would be interesting to see their order of finish once again. Leif Kostrzewa went out really fast, but then fell in the woods through the first loop. He got up and ran with Nathanael Chu the rest of the way, but it was Nathanael who was first to the finish line. Nathanael just never slows down, and was able to work his way into a top-25 finish before he was done. Leif finished five seconds back of Nathanael with his fast 13:47 time, good for 29th place. Kaden Hacker ran another strong race and could be seen coming down the hill to the finish behind Nathanael and Leif. Kaden broke 14 minutes through the 3200 meter course and gave us a third runner in the top-34. Alexander Taylor was next, running hard to the finish in 14:25. A dirty Joshua LeSac was next with a disappointing 15:01. Joshua had taken a spill in the middle of the race, and had trouble the rest of the way. Seka Kostrzewa was needed to run with the big guys this time, and posted a nice 15:13 time. Only one 4th grade or under athlete came in ahead of Seka. When the team scores were tabulated, we ended up in 6th place, one point out of 5th. We will accept it and look ahead to next Friday’s Grade School Challenge.

It was great to see so many of our athletes finishing up their season on a high note. But ten of these athletes, plus Julia Kowalinski, have one more race left to prepare for. We are not done yet. One more week of training before the grand finale at Greenfield Park. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching, and then going out and taking 2nd overall in the fun run. Let’s hope some of these kids can run as fast as Mr. Beck when they are his age. Thanks to the DASH fans for lining the course and cheering the team on. I saw lots of yellow out there. Thanks to the camera lady, along with Jenna Walters and myself during the fun run, for getting the photos. We made it through our big 7 meets in 14 days swing. The end is near for this great DASH season. It is almost time to rest. Almost.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was in Delafield last Tuesday to run in their final meet of the season, the Lancer Invite, hosted by St John’s NW Military Academy. The temperature was in the upper 60’s and the sun was mostly out. We would be looking for some fast times running the golf course on such a nice day. However, the course when measured turned out to be a little short, so no one would be officially breaking their 5k personal records. That was a disappointment, but the race for the top-3 team trophies was still on. We would have to be at our best to leave with one, or maybe even two trophies, as we wrapped up another great DASH season.

The boys varsity squad started the day off this time. Drake Hacker and Samuel Zinkgraf were ready to go for the first time since our second meet, and the decision was made that they would run with the varsity team. When the racing got going, Justin Chu raced out with the leaders as he usually does, and with an inspiring effort stayed in the top-4 the whole way. Justin clocked in at 16:17, and if we had not got an official measurement of the course, his time would have broken the DASH record by .2 seconds. It was great to see Justin finishing on such a high note in his last cross country race. Brian Durbin had his best race of the year. Brian got himself in good position early, stayed steady and strong in the middle, and was moving up before the finish to take 14th overall. So far, so good. Unfortunately, things started to unravel a bit after Brian. Drake Hacker was looking like he definitely was ready to be back running varsity through the first mile, but then someone stepped on the same foot that had the 19 stitches, and a sharp pain shot up his leg. Drake would be done for the day. Freshman Caleb Schaber had not had a bad race all year, but this time his legs felt heavy in the second mile, and he just could not maintain his pace. He fell back in the end to 37th place. We were looking for Joe Maurer and Tim Kowalinski to be running up near Brian as they usually do, but this time they fell off the pace and finished over a minute behind. Samuel Zinkgraf gave us all he had as he always does, and it was not bad as he finished right after Tim, but when the team scores were counted we had fallen to 4th place, just missing a top-3 trophy. It was one of those days for the varsity boys. I think on a good day we could have finished top-2. Next year we try again.

The varsity girls were next, and the team got out to the first flag fast. After the race settled down some, Abby Chu and Kayla Bruton paced together through the first half of the course. This time Abby moved ahead and was moving up in the last mile with thoughts of 8th place when she suddenly started limping on her way to the finish line. Abby showed how tough she is as she made it through the course, but she ended up just out of the medals in 11th place, and then she could hardly make it back to our base. She had pulled a tendon attached to her hip and her hip had dislocated. Imagine the pain she was in, and yet she still finished. We need to pray that Abby makes a complete recovery from a scary injury like that. Kayla Bruton ended up with another good race with her 21:50 time, good for 13th. Faith Caspers had another good race and was our third girl in. Kayla Walters kept Faith in her sights this time, and is just rounding into racing form now. Better late than never. Kayla finished three spots behind Faith in 24th place. Rebecca Dickman had a side ache this time, but made it through the course running right behind Kayla. Ella Johnson worked hard as usual and was the next runner in after Rebecca. It was a great first season of cross country for Ella. Jessy Homa had a cold, and it obviously affected her. She picked the right race to be sick, though, as the other girls all came through for us. We ended up with the 3rd place trophy as we should have. Good job, girls.

We fielded 12 for the boys JV race. We have never run this many before. Vincent Maurer was a last minute addition to the JV team, and he made sure the coach would never think of doing that again. Vincent got out in front early, and held off all challengers. It was a magnificent run from the freshman. His time of 17:42 would have looked good on our varsity team, but this time it was good for the 1st place JV medal. John Klaves was running 14th with about 2/3 of a mile to go. He then took off as he went by the coach and picked off one athlete after another until he was in 8th place at the finish. That gave us another JV medal. Joshua Schaber had another notable race as he came in 15th with a 19:10. Lucas Ebel brought his little brothers spikes. It did not help as he finished in 20th place, a little farther back than he would have liked. Seth Holter capped off a very impressive first cross country season with his 19:37. He has been very fast, steady, and predictable each time out. Ben Hughes followed closely behind Seth with another good effort. These boys should make it interesting next year as they push for varsity spots. Joshua Anumolu’s leg did not bother him and he ran well and posted a 20:24. Ben Bridge was on hand this time, and really moved up in the last mile to finish in 20:49. Zach Pape looked good for the first two miles, but then tailed off some. Freshman can do that. With work on that last mile, he could be really good next year. Cliff Yang edged Zachary Werner at the line. Both ran well, with the junior coming in ahead of the freshman. Seniority usually wins out in boys races. Miles Talbert got better with each race this year. This time he clocked in at 25:17 on the short course. The JV boys have been impressive all season. They ended up 2nd overall this time. Very nice.

It would be the first time in DASH history we would get a JV girls team score as we ran five. Zipporah Caspers had us picking out and counting the few girls ahead of her. She kept them in her sights on her way to a nice 4th place, medal winning finish. She even had time to spur a few of our JV boys along. It was a fun race from our long-time star, who has won her fair share of hardware in her 11 years with the team. Emma Taylor really looked fast the first half of the race. She tailed off some at the end, but gave us a nice 18th place finish. Alivia Kempf stayed close to Emma the whole way. She made the most of her short season. Katrina Lipski saved her best racing for this meet once again, finishing in 27:30. Alyssa Krug was back racing after being sick the last week. She paced herself easy, and then had a great finish. When the team scores were tabulated, we finished 3rd overall. That beats an incomplete every time.

We had our positives this time out. We took home four individual medals, including Vincent’s big JV win, plus we won the 3rd place girls trophy. Unfortunately, they were balanced out by Drake and Abby’s injuries, and I know missing out on a boys team trophy will be bothering me until next year. Looking back on the whole year, it was undoubtedly another great, award winning DASH season. This was the hardest working team we have ever fielded. With the hard work came a few more injuries than we would have liked. The goal for next year will be to balance that out a little better. It is sad we will not have our seniors back, which includes long-time DASH stars Justin, Samuel, and Zipporah. But we were a young team, and have a chance to be even better when we ramp it up again next year.  I hope to see you there. That is, after an exciting track season this spring.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Pete Dickman, and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching, and measuring. Thanks to all the parents who stepped up to assist our injured athletes. Thanks to our hard-working athletes for putting in all the miles required to excel at a tough sport like cross country. It is time to rest. Thanks to the camera lady, plus Julianna Caspers, Daniel Caspers, Katrina Lipski, and myself for getting the photos. It takes a team effort on this course. Fortunately, we have a great team!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team ran hard and got dirty yesterday at Greenfield Park, competing in the Warrior Invite hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College. The course was wet, and the mud was flying with all the recent rain. We would get to see how our team handled the messy conditions, and how they stacked up against the other 25+ teams on hand. With all the grade levels running together, we would have to wait to the end to see how we did in the team scoring. It was time to run your best on the familiar course, and hope the points would fall favorably for us when we were done.

The girls were led out by Stephanie Chu. Stephanie got herself in good position near the lead pack before heading into the woods. Stephanie held up well all the way to the finish, and gave us yet another great result – 4th place in the 7th and 8th grade division. Julianna Caspers had her best race of the year. She had that extra spark that she has shown us so many times before, as she matched Stephanie with her own 4th place finish in the 6th grade and under division. Julia Kowalinski was back running fast for us. She gave us a nice 14th place finish. Heidi Talbert did not let the adverse conditions keep her from posting another impressive result as she finished in 22nd place. Joy Rasch has run well each time out, and this time she gave us a much-needed 32nd place finish as our 4th scorer. Savanna Bruton held up well in the slippery conditions, and finished with a nice 13:44 time. Grace Caspers looked very comfortable running fast this time out. She may be ready to push it up another notch next race. Hellena Hacker was able to move up near the end once again, and is putting together a very nice 3rd grade season. Mary LeSac looked strong, and kept up a very nice pace to the end. Alexa Bruton stayed with Mary the whole way in just her first race. Her potential is off the charts, and has the coach wanting to see more. Jenna Walters looked much better this time out. This girls team is very young, and very good.

Our top boys all went out fast, and stayed in a close pack, pushing each other and staying near the leaders as they headed into the woods.  When they came out of the woods, it was Kaden Hacker who led the way, racing his way to a 6th place medal with his time of 10:36.  Joshua LeSac came in right behind Kaden and gave us a second 7th and 8th grade athlete to cheer for at the awards ceremony. DASH yellow jerseys kept heading to the finish in waves as Nathanael Chu and Leif Kostrzewa raced in. Nathanael and Leif also earned 6th and 7th place medals, theirs in the 6th grade and under division. It was turning into an epic day. Alexander Taylor struggled some in the woods, but overall ran very well and finished 14th overall. Seka Kostrzewa was next.  He gave us a 6th athlete with a top-20 finish. Daniel Caspers was our fourth 8th grade scorer. He finished 39th overall with a good effort. Silas Johnson really stayed the course, finishing strong, and hit the finish line just 5 seconds behind Daniel as our fourth 6th grade scorer.  We would have to be patient now until after the race when the team scores would be announced to see how we ended up.  Joshua Lipski was slowed some by the conditions, but managed a respectable 13:23 time. Third grader Josiah Chu had another nice race, finishing 7 seconds behind Joshua. Fellow third grader, Charlie Johnson, made his DASH debut, and stayed close to Josiah the whole way to finish in 13:35. Seka, Josiah, and Charlie are an amazing 3rd grade trio that has the coach dreaming of big things in the years ahead. First grader Noah Caspers proved to be a true mudder. He got plenty dirty, yet looked great as he finished with a very nice 14:16 time. Bryant Farrell edged Micah Chan at the finish to complete an especially memorable day of DASH racing.

The girls results were posted before the award ceremony so the DASH fans were ready to cheer for Stephanie and Julianna as they went up to receive their 4th place medals. The 6th and under girls finished in 3rd place overall. They were great. Then the boys results were posted just as the boys awards started to be called out, I peaked at them quickly and saw that we had four boys that made the top-7, so I left and made sure the boys were ready to get their medals and did not get to see the team scores. Leif, Nathanael, Joshua, and Kaden all took their turns to the front to receive their medals. The DASH fans were kept plenty busy and could not have been happier. Then the 6th grade team scores were called out. We were kept in suspense as the teams were called out through third place. We were then told that only 4 points separated the two remaining teams, one of which was us. Alas, we were announced next. Our 49 points left us in 2nd, 19 points ahead of third. Oh, so close! Then the 7th and 8th grade team scores were announced, and we found ourselves in the top-3. The announcer stopped, told us that only 4 points separated the top-3 teams, and then we braced ourselves and hoped for the best. Whitman was called out 3rd with 45 points. Then the announcer told us that only 2 points separated the top-2 teams. We braced ourselves again, and were happy and disappointed at the same time as our DASH boys were declared the 2nd place team with 43 points, just behind Forest Park.  We did not get victory, but taking 2nd place in both boys divisions is an amazing feat that no DASH team has done before.  Add in the girls 3rd place finish, and six individual medals, and it truly was an epic performance from the team. What can the team do for an encore?  We will see next Wednesday. I hope to see you there. Who wouldn’t want to see them run again?

The DASH racing was finished, but then we got to see DASH legend Jacob Dickman race in his first 8k college race. Jacob has never looked stronger as he raced around the ever muddier trail in 28:44 for 13th place overall out of 179 athletes. His team finished in 2nd place. Our middle school boys could relate to that.

Thanks to the DASH fans that raced around the course to cheer the team on. Thanks to all the parents and athletes who were not scared of a little mud. Thanks to Ed Beck and Pete Dickman for their help with the coaching. Thanks to the camera lady for getting some good photos in tough conditions.  Our 7 meets in 14 day swing is coming to a close with just 2 meets remaining. Let’s keep the great results coming.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was in Racine yesterday to compete in one of their big late-season meets, the Prairie School Invite. This is one of the meets we have been gearing up for all season. It turned out to be a good day for a run on the meticulously groomed Armstrong Park course. It was a cool 60 degrees as we arrived, but then it took a turn for the worse as the rain came in for the boys race. We would not let that, or anything else, slow us down and interfere with our goal of finishing in the top-2 in the team scores.

The girls raced first at 4:15. They ran inspired at the start and got out fast. Kayla Bruton and Abby Chu led the way early, and this time it was Kayla Bruton who eventually moved up to be our leader. Kayla really looked great, and was able to keep up her fast pace to the finish to place 7th overall with a season best 22:55 time. Abby Chu stayed close to Kayla and gave us another top-10 finish with her 23:12 time. Meanwhile, Union Grove was placing their top-5 girls all in the top-10. They would have had a perfect score of 15 points if it were not for Kayla and Abby both getting ahead of their 5th runner. Faith Caspers backed up her good racing from last Saturday with an even better race. She landed a top-15 medal and broke 24 minutes for the first time this year. Rebecca Dickman got out a little slower, but moved up later to race with Faith at the end. Rebecca gave us a fourth top-15 varsity medal as she finished with a personal best 23:51. Jessy Homa came through again for us as our 5th runner. She gave us a second straight low-25 minute time to finish in 19th place. With five girls in the top-20, we laid claim to 2nd place in the team scoring. Ella Johnson had to work hard to stay close to Jessy, and she did. Her 22nd place finish as our 6th runner shows how good these girls were. Zipporah Caspers was really running well, but then had to stop for a short while with stomach problems. Once she got that out of the way, she finished strong. Her 26:16 time does not reflect how good she ran. Kayla Walters, it is hard to believe, ended up on the JV team this time. She finished in a respectable 25:26 time, and was our 5th runner to the finish. She will be back on the varsity team next meet. Her usual role as DASH star awaits her. Alivia Kempf got through her second race pretty much like her first. She broke 30 minutes again. Katrina Lipski is getting a little frustrated with her times. She finished in exactly 30 minutes this time. Fortunately, the course where she set her personal record is next.

The boys race promised to be quite a battle among the top-4 teams. We would have to be at our best if we wanted to score well. Justin Chu complained of some soreness in his legs before the race, but then charged out of the start and put himself among the leaders through the first half of the race. He started falling back some after the two mile mark, but then reached back for something extra to move back up into 7th place at the end. Joe Maurer looked fast from the start this time, and with a relentless effort found himself with a top-15 medal at the finish. Brian Durbin, running close to home, stayed close to Joe the whole way to give us three varsity medal winners. Caleb Schaber was impressive as always. His 19:45 time was a personal record. Tim Kowalinski edged Vincent Maurer at the finish as both boys broke 20 minutes, Vincent for the first time. That gave us six boys in, while no other team but Prairie had more than three. Lucas Ebel posted his best time of the year with his 20:16. He moved up at the end and will keep his varsity spot. Joshua Schaber made Lucas really work to keep it as he went out fast, and methodically posted great mile splits. Joshua’s 20:23 personal best time gave him claim to the 1st place JV medal. It will be difficult to keep Joshua off the varsity team next year with the hard work he is putting in, and the great results he is posting. John Klaves gave us a second JV runner in the top 4 with his respectable 20:36 time. He really showed off his finishing kick on his way to the finish. Seth Holter ran without a lot of DASH yellow around him for the first time. It did not stop him from racing to a personal record and a top-10 JV medal. Ben Hughes posted a descent time of 21:46. I know he was hoping for better after his inspired effort from last Saturday. He will get another chance this Tuesday. Joshua Anumolu also struggled more this time out and his leg tightened up on him after the race. Hopefully he can bounce back strong Tuesday. Zach Pape finished in under 23 minutes for the second time in a row. He is starting to run with more confidence now. Cliff Yang finally got another chance to race, and looked pretty good with his personal record 25:40 time. Zachary Werner was a little off this time out. He has been practicing hard, and will bounce back. Miles Talbert finished faster than he ever has once again. He was only 10 seconds behind Zachary this time. The boys varsity and JV both finished in 2nd place behind The Prairie School’s impressive team. Staying ahead of St. Anthony and Union Grove was not easy, but we did it. Good job, boys!

The team is meeting its goals, and really running well right now. The boys are not as healthy as I would like, so let’s hope they can stay strong one more time next Tuesday. The girls are really peaking now. I have a feeling they are saving their very best for next Tuesday. I hope to see you there. You will not want to miss it.

Thanks to all the coaching help we got from Ed Beck, Pete Dickman, Chuck Maurer, and Steven Chu. It was great seeing so many fathers able to help out and make the race. Thanks to the DASH fans for being lined up in so many spots to spur the athletes on. Thanks to everyone who stayed for the pizza after the meet. We eventually ended up finding an accommodating place to eat, and eventually we almost had enough pizza. Thanks to the camera lady for getting all the photos that captured the moment. One week to go. Can you believe it? Let’s do it!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team ran in its first meet up at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School on Monday, participating in a meet hosted by our friends at WCHSA. It was a blustery, cool day, and the course was soft. We would also be running a bit shorthanded, but in the end the team proved once again that it is very good this year.

The 6th and under girls went first. Julianna Caspers ran better this time out and stayed in the top-10 the whole way to finish 8th with a time of 11:52 over the 2500 meter course. Heidi Talbert ran the whole way really fast once again to finish in 15th place. We have really found a runner in Heidi.  Savanna Bruton really toughed out a great run and gave us a third girl in the top-20.  Joy Rasch finished just a couple places behind Savanna and earned our 4th top-25 ribbon. When the team scores came in, the girls were listed in 2nd place. Very nice, but the great results hardly ended there. Grace Caspers just missed a top-25 ribbon with her 27th place run. Hellena Hacker ran strong, and moved up near the end to finish 33rd overall, and Mary LeSac had her best run of the season to place 36th.  That gave us seven in the top half, and has the coach excited already for next year. Jenna Walters was not 100% healthy, but made it through in 17:43. Daelyn Allen came to the meet with the Talbert’s, and  was talked into donning DASH yellow for the first time. She has potential to be good with some practice.

Nathanael Chu led the 6th and under boys through the 2500 meters. Nathanael sprinted his way to a fabulous 10:39 time to place 7th overall. Seka Kostrzewa kept Nathanael in his sights the whole way and gave us a second runner in the top-10. Seka has been running fast for us for years, so I would not call it a breakout race, but he clearly pushed himself up to the next level. Joshua Lipski finished in the top third and has never looked better. Joshua was closely followed by Josiah Chu who was running in his first race. Josiah’s 12:27 time shows his talent, and his 44th place finish really helped the team. Micah Chan ran to a respectable 63rd place finish. I think he has an even better race coming up for us. First grader Noah Caspers has been waiting to race all year. He made the most of it as he left 36 athletes behind him.  The boys finished 6th out of the 15 teams, and that was without Leif Kostrzewa who chose to be a DASH fan this time.

Stephanie Chu ran near the front with the leaders in the 3200 meter 8th grade race. She stayed in the top-5 the whole way. Her 14:40 time gave her claim to the 4th place ribbon.  She will be running with her teammates the rest of the way.

Joshua LeSac led the 8th grade boys for most of the way. On the last loop Kaden Hacker caught up to Joshua, and then the boys gave us quite a show battling each other to a photo finish. The timing equipment showed Joshua finishing just .22 seconds ahead, but more importantly, the boys gave us a strong tandem at the top, finishing 17th and 18th overall with 14:04 times. Tikvah Schlissel ran strong again in his second race of the season. His 15:35 time was good for 34th. Daniel Caspers ran fast enough as our 4th runner to help the boys to a close 4th place finish in the team scores. Bryant Farrell struggled this time at the longer distance. He should like our next race at Greenfield Park.

This team is really peaking now at just the right time. Now we have to get everyone together for our final two regular season meets. We were a little short-handed this time, yet still scored very well. We have two more chances to try to do even better. It should be fun to watch.  And, of course, I hope to see you there.

Thanks to all the parents who got the dedicated athletes to the meet up north in Jackson. Thanks to our fellow homeschoolers at WCHSA for hosting another great meet. Thanks to Ed Beck for his usual help with the coaching. Thanks to Judy Chan for helping pass out the race numbers, and for lots of DASH moms for helping pin them on. And thanks to the picture people, Faith Caspers, the camera lady, and the coach himself for getting another good batch of photos. Now to prepare for the next meet. They keep coming up fast.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was at Mitchell Park in Milwaukee yesterday to compete in its first small meet of the season, the Trojan Invitational. With the Domes in the background, and the weather cloudy and somewhat cool, the setting was set for some faster times. The competition included none of the big Division 1 teams we have been racing in our previous meets. It would be time to see how our team would handle the pressure of running near the front, and of being one of the favorites to take home the team trophies.

The JV race started at 9:30. Our JV boys have been impressive all season and they would not disappoint. Ben Hughes led the way with a personal record 20:47. Ben is running inspired right now and his times are coming down fast. Joshua Schaber looked to be struggling, but fought through it to finish in 21 minutes flat as he earned the 6th place JV ribbon. Seth Holter followed with his best race of the season and clocked in at 21:15. Joshua Anumolu looked very strong and had a great start. He was then pulled along by his teammates to post a personal best 21:19. Zachariah Pape finished in under 23 minutes for the first time as he continues to improve. Zachary Werner kept up a very nice pace to finish with a personal record 25:20. Miles Talbert made it a clean sweep of personal bests by the JV boys with his 28:23. Well done, boys!

The JV girls were led by Alivia Kempf who was wearing DASH yellow for the first time in three years. Alivia has not had much practice time, but ran a steady first race and finished in 29:19. Katrina Lipski finished right behind Alivia with her usual great effort. Alyssa Krug fell off the pace of Alivia and Katrina as the race went on, but hung on for a 30:48 time. Naomi Zhou ran especially fast when she saw the camera and finished in 35:24, a personal best.

The varsity girls lined up next, and once the gun went off, it did not take Abby Chu long to start leading the girls around the course. Abby was never threatened and finished in 22:28, exactly the time that Andrea Beck had last year when she also won. Kayla Bruton looked to be having trouble breathing early, but showed us her determination as she stayed fast and finished 3rd overall with a time of 23:07. Faith Caspers finally looks to be back to where we need her to be, as the long-time DASH star put together a nice 24:05 race, good for 5th place. Ella Johnson had the breakout race the coach knew she had in her. She had a strong finish to place 8th overall, and broke 27 minutes for the first time, (and also 26 and 25 minutes), with her 24:56. Rebecca Dickman was not at her best, but did what she had to do to keep our team score low by finishing 9th overall. Jessy Homa gave us an amazing 6 girls in the top 10 with her strong 25:17 effort. Zipporah Caspers earned the last top-15 medal with her season best 26:28 time. We also had Emma Taylor running varsity for the first time. She showed her speed at the finish, and posted her third straight low 29 minute time.

For the varsity boys, Justin Chu went out with the lead pack of five. The racing was strong up there and Justin ended up 4th overall despite his fast 17:38 time.  St. Anthony put two athletes in the top three, and we found ourselves in a very close race. Brian Durbin looked good and stayed ahead of the pack behind him to give us an 8th place finish. Joe Maurer moved up into the top 10 before he was through to keep us in contention. We would need our 4th and 5th runners to finish ahead of the St. Anthony boys to come out on top, and that is what we got. Timothy Kowalinski finished 11th overall and gave us a much needed personal record of 19:33. Caleb Schaber was really hurting the last mile, but refused to fade and finished right after Timothy. St. Anthony’s 3-4-5 runners came in soon after, and when the points were counted we would come out on top by just two points!  Vincent Maurer hit the finish line at 20:17 as he continues to put together a great freshman season. Lucas Ebel edged John Klaves in a sprint to the finish, with each getting a 20:30 time to complete an impressive day for our varsity team.

After a tough first half to our schedule, we were hoping to be ready to score well starting with this meet. After getting 12 top-15 medals, and both 1st place team trophies, we definitely met our goals. The boys remain a little banged up, but our depth is getting us through. In our next two meets, the boys races will be wide open with about five teams having a chance to win. We will have to be even better the rest of the way. The girls look to be peaking now, and the competition will be a little weaker for them. If they run to their potential, we should do very well. This is the time of year we have been working hard for the last few months. It is going to be exciting for sure. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed and Mary Beck for their help with the timing. Thanks to all the DASH fans who lined the course to cheer our athletes on to some memorable results. Thanks to the Grace Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Daniel Caspers, and the camera lady for sharing the camera and, catching the action in photos.  Now to get ready for the really big meets ahead. It is not time to exhale yet.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team ended up in Elkhorn on Thursday after the original Wednesday meet date was washed out because of rain. Fortunately, we were able to field most of our stars on the cloudy, warm day. The meet is smaller, only six teams total, but the teams that compete are very good. We would have to be fast to get our fair share of medals at the awards ceremony.

Julianna Caspers led the way for the DASH team in the 7th grade and under race, but she had company. Julia Kowalinski and Heidi Talbert stayed close behind Julianna all the way to the finish as the girls pushed each other to medal winning races. It would be a 9-10-11 place finish for our stars. Seeing Heidi get a medal in just her third race was especially exciting. Joy Rasch raced to a nice 25th place finish as our 4th scorer. Grace Caspers got out a little slow, but then kept a nice pace to finish in 12:54. Hellena Hacker raced for the first time this year. She looked fast, especially at the finish. Mary LeSac forgot her shorts and struggled through the course. She will be better next time when in proper racing attire.

Nathaniel Chu blazed through the 1.5 mile course in just 9:57 to the lead the DASH 7th and under boys. Nathanael put a claim in on the 13th place medal with his strong effort. Leif Kostrzewa finished just a second behind Nathanael to give us a second boy to cheer for at the award ceremony. As Leif finished, Kaden Hacker was running to the finish line. Kaden’s strong race gave us three boys in the top-18. Seka Kostrzewa had an especially good day, finishing the course in just 10:42. Joshua Lipski cut his time down considerably from last year and continues to run well for us. Bryant Farrell ran to an easy 13:24. He showed good finishing kick, and I think is capable of really pushing his times down considerably in the meets ahead. Micah Chan did not look as good as he has earlier in the season. He is practicing well and should be back closer to Joshua next time out.

Stephanie Chu went out with the leaders in the 8th grade girls race as she should have. She ran in third place for almost the whole way, before sneaking into second heading into the home stretch, and then settling for third. Her time of 10:21 was faster than any DASH girl has every run on a 1.5 mile course. She has truly been a star for us this year.

Joshua LeSac went out fast in his attempt to make the medal stand. He was running with a cold, however, which really affected his finish. It would be 23rd overall for Joshua. Daniel Caspers had a great start before settling into a nice pace the rest of the way. He place 32nd overall with his 10:48 time.

We ran 17 athletes, and took home 6 medals. This team is really running well right now, and should be very competitive in the big races ahead. The next two weeks are going to be very exciting. I am really looking forward to seeing this team run again on Monday. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mary Beck for again being our official scorer. Thanks to Ed Beck and Joshua Lipski for their help collecting the place cards, filling them out, and turning them in. Thanks to the camera lady for the photos. With all that help, I just ran around the course being a DASH fan. I must admit, it was fun. We only have a few days between meets the rest of the way.  This is the time of year we have been waiting for. Let’s finish up strong.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH cross country team, both high school and middle school, competed in the very big, and very competitive Waukesha Cross Country Festival at Minooka Park this past Saturday. This meet was added to our schedule just last week after the Mayville meet was cancelled. The humidity was over 90% when we started, and our times were definitely slowed by the muggy weather, but overall we held our own against some of the best teams in the area.

Emma Taylor and Naomi Zhou got the day started at 8:30 in the Girls JV race. Emma ran very well overall, but her time still came in over 29 minutes. I knew then it would be a struggle for any of the athletes to get a season best in these conditions. Naomi Zhou did accomplish the feat by cutting off over 2 minutes from her time two weeks ago on the same course.

In the boys JV race, Joshua Schaber, Ben Hughes, and Seth Holter pushed each other to some season best times. Joshua raced through the course in 21:31, with Ben and Seth just seconds behind. These boys are running great, and giving us some much needed depth. Joshua Anumolu posted a nice time in the 22’s. Look for him to go even lower in the meets ahead. Zachary Pape got off to a great start, but slowed up bit toward the end. With some cooler weather his times will be coming down. Ben Bridge got through his first cross country race and broke 24 minutes. He could be pretty good for us the last two meets. Zachary Werner definitely felt the effects of the heat this time out. He will enjoy the cooler meets coming up. Miles Talbert broke 30 minutes as he continues to improve. It was a very impressive showing from the JV boys.

Abby Chu led the varsity girls once again, this time with a routine 23:12. She is running with confidence, and did not push herself too hard this time. Kayla Bruton looks to be ready for a big second half of the season. She gave us a season best 24:01. Rebecca Dickman has never looked better. She has been practicing well and her times are falling fast. 24:30 is her new standard, but it will be much lower than that soon. Faith Caspers is getting up to be speed, slowly. We will need her to be running at her best the rest of the way. Jessy Homa has been coming through for us as our 5th runner each time out. Hopefully her times will be pushed lower and lower for her to stay there. Zipporah Caspers struggled a little in the last mile, but is running pretty good right now. She may be ready to have a big finish to her senior season. Ella Johnson paced behind Zipporah the whole way. I have her running varsity because I know there is a chance she will have a breakout race before the season is out. Kayla Walters has never struggled like this before. She will be one of our stars. Let’s hope it is this season.

Justin Chu led the boys varsity with an 18:13 time. Justin looks to be staying healthy, and should be ready to run near the lead pack in our smaller meets ahead. Joe Maurer moved up as the race went along to be our second runner in. His time of 20:03 was not stellar, but should be better when he can chase Drake and Brian around. Tim Kowalinski gave us his best race of the year. He was the one varsity athlete that improved his time from two weeks ago. Caleb Schaber has not had a bad race yet and has stayed in our top-5 each time out. Well done from the freshman. Vincent Maurer gave us a second freshman in our top-5. Vincent is always able to move up in the last mile. That is a good skill to have. Lucas Ebel and John Klaves stayed together the whole way. They are two of our most talented runners, and we will need them to keep improving in the weeks ahead.

We ran six boys in the middle school race. Alexander Taylor raced to a 4th place medal in the 7th grade division with a time of 9:18 over the 1.4 mile course. Alex has been our top middle school boy thus far, but we have plenty of others staying close behind him. One of those is Nathanael Chu. Nathanael also made the medal stand with his 5th place effort among the 6th graders. Joshua LeSac, coming back from a toe injury, ran well. He broke 10 minutes and should only get better each race. Daniel Caspers did not have a great start, but he pushed hard at the end to give us a good race. Silas Johnson donned DASH yellow for the first time. He went out conservatively, and charged up the hill for a good finish. He could be very good if we can keep him racing. Micah Chan finished in 12:10 as all of our boys ran well.

Stephanie Chu blazed to a 9:46 time to place 10th in the very competitive 8th grade race. That effort got her called up to the medal stand once again. Julianna Caspers moved up as the race went along and ended up 5th overall among the 6th graders. Julia Kowalinski got off to great start down the hill and then maintained a fast pace to the finish to earn the 6th place medal. Savanna Bruton put together a very impressive race. She broke 12 minutes and was our third 6th grader in. Heidi Talbert out-kicked Grace Caspers and Joy Rasch at the finish as all three girls posted some nice low 12 minute times. Mary LeSac gave us one more great run as our little girls really impressed. We also had a late addition to our roster as 2nd grade Abby Taylor decided to run for the first time. With some coaxing, especially up the hill at the end, she made it to the finish and showed us all the potential to be very good soon.

When the long day of racing was over, we could look back and take away plenty of positives. Despite missing Drake Hacker, Brian Durbin, and Samuel Zinkgraf, three of pre-season top-5, the boys held up very well. We still have plenty of JV boys waiting to step up in case we run into any more catastrophes. The high school girls are very close now to putting together a great race. I am confident it will happen in our big meets ahead. The middle school team has turned out to be very good, and really capped the day off on a high note for me. They just need to stay healthy as the team does not have the depth that the high school team has. The next three weeks will provide plenty of theatrics and exciting results. It is going to be a whirlwind of action. Hopefully everything will fall into place. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mary Beck for keeping tabs on the chip timers. That is always hectic work. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to the athletes for running hard in the humid conditions. The photos are never easy to get at Minooka, but the camera lady and I did our best. Be sure to check them out. Now to start thinking about our next practice and the meets ahead.

Take care,
Jim Caspers




  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 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.