Archive for the ‘High School Cross Country’ Category

Hello DASH families,

The DASH team took a road trip up to Eau Claire last Saturday to compete in the Homeschool Championship at the picturesque Hickory Hills Golf Course. The cool, not too windy, weather gave our 35 athletes on hand an ideal setting to post some fast end-of-season times, and a chance to see how we stack up against our homeschool rivals from across the state.

The national anthem was sung, and then the high school girls were rushed to the start line with little time to get ready. Abby Chu and Kayla Bruton went out fast and got in good position in the first loop, but it did not take long for the favored Homeschool Eagles to take control of the race. It was soon apparent that the home Chippewa Valley team would be the team we would need to hold off. Abby Chu settled into the 4th spot early and gave chase to the leaders through the course. She held her spot to the end, and raced in with a personal best 21:54. Well done. Kayla Bruton struggled through the middle of the course, but came on at the end to move up to 6th overall. We had our first two girls in, but then Chippewa Valley’s first two were seen passing an Eagle at the finish to move up into 9th and 10th. Stephanie Chu had a big day as our 3rd scorer coming in with a personal best 22:28 12th place finish, and two spots ahead of the next Chippewa girl. Then the 4th Chippewa Valley girl edged another Eagle to finish two spots ahead of our 4th runner. The race was staying close. Faith Caspers had her best race of the year by over a minute with her 23:31 time, and may have saved the day for us as she kept Chippewa’s 5th girl just behind her through the course. Now we just needed our 5th girl to hit the finish line without too big of a gap and that’s what we got. Eight seconds is all it took for Alivia Kempf to charge in with a 23:46 followed closely by Katie Gorectke’s personal record 23:49. The Chippewa Valley team gave us a great race, but our girls kept things in hand the whole way. The 2nd place plaque would be ours. Jessy Homa posted a season best 25:45. Jessy really finished the season strong despite running with ankle issues. Emma Taylor was the next runner in with a 26:04. Unfortunately I had to keep my attention on the racing ahead of her and couldn’t help push her along. Ella Johnson never really got going this time. Maybe she got stuck in the wrong hotel room. Junior Katrina Lipski finished up her best high school year, posting a season best 28:14. The girls met the coach’s high expectations, and they really needed to to place in the top-2.

Drake Hacker, Brian Durbin, and Caleb Schaber stayed close through the first mile of the high school boys race, but as it was in the girls race, it did not take long to see that we would be shooting for 2nd as the senior heavy NEWCHAA team was not going to let anyone beat them. Drake Hacker then tucked in two spots behind the Eagles first runner, but Caleb Schaber and Brian Durbin fell back behind the Eagles next two. That was not a good sign. Tim Kowalinski and Vincent Maurer were staying in good position ahead of the Eagles 4th and 5th runners keeping the race for 2nd very close. Drake Hacker never cracked and held down his 6th place spot to the finish. It took a season best 18:20 from Drake, but it also left us two points behind. The Eagles 2nd runner came in just seconds behind Drake. We would be playing catch up now. Caleb Schaber moved up the last mile to challenge the Eagles 3rd runner, but the Eagle refused to be passed. Caleb finished less than a second behind him with Brian coming in a few seconds later. Vincent and Tim both came in with personal records of 19:08 and 19:13 with only one runner between them and Brian. We had placed all of our 5 in the top-13, but the way the points were falling we were going to need some other teams to help us out and point the 4th and 5th Eagles. Vince and Tim finished a combined 51 seconds ahead of the last two Eagles, but it was not to be. Not one athlete came through to point the Eagles. We had beat them easily on time, yet finished two points behind. Remarkable. John Klaves placed 22nd with a 20:15, and he came in ahead of an Eagle. I liked that. Ben Hughes keeps improving. 20:35 is his new personal record. Joshua Schaber moved up at the end and placed 31st with a 21:12, and Theodore Flunker left a little too much out there, feeling great at the finish with a 23:09.

We rounded up a full middle school girls team just before the roster deadline and they were next. Julianna Caspers battled near the lead pack the whole way, and eventually moved ahead of all but one of the girls near her. She placed 6th overall with a nice 14:01 time over the 2 mile course, but the one Holy Family girl she couldn’t catch at the end would prove important. Joy Rasch had a big race and placed 16th overall with a 14:54 time. She has never looked better. Bedalia Radtke never slowed over the long course and posted an impressive 15:27 21st place finish. It was great to see Julia Kowalinski’s stride once again. This was her first face of the season because of a foot injury and she made it a good one. She faded a little at the end over the long course, but she gave us a much needed 26th place finish and broke 16 minutes. Hellena Hacker is slowly becoming one of our stars now. She was our 5th scorer and came in just ahead of a NEWCHAA girl. That would also end up being very important. Savanna Bruton started slow, but then came on and finished just 3 spots behind Hellena. The team scores were going to end up very tight, and Savanna’s strong finish would give us the tie-breaker if needed. Alexa Bruton held up well over the long course finishing in 17:43. Natalie Radtke showed flashes of great running once again. I am keeping her in my plans for next year. The race for the 2nd place plaque turned out to be a 3-team race between Holy Family, NEWCHAA, and us. NEWCHAA was declared the 4th place team with 81 points. We were called out next with 80 points. Julianna gave us a 3 point lead, and NEWCHAA beat our next 3 all by one point. The tie-breaker was Hellena finishing just one point ahead of their 5th. Then we found out that Holy Family had come in just two points ahead of us for 2nd. If Julianna could have moved into 5th we would have had it. The youth of our girls team has had me planning ahead for a big season next year. Being just two points away this year was definitely one of our highlights. Great job, girls.

Our middle school boys were saved for last, and this is the one team where we were not able to bring along some of our key stars. We would have been overwhelming favorites with everyone, now we were just one of the favorites. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke pushed the pace early as usual and worked their way to a sizable lead. Only one Chippewa Valley boy ever came up to challenge them. He gave our boys a race, but Ethan moved up and took over in the second mile. He would go on for a big victory with a 12:00 time. Alexander paced a few seconds in back of Ethan and gave the Chippewa athlete no ideas of passing. It would be 1-2 finish for the DASH team. Kaden Hacker gave us another outstanding finish. He held down the 6th place spot and stayed ahead of the 2nd Chippewa Valley boy to the end. It took a 12:48 time from Kaden to give us 3 in the top 6. We had a big lead out of our top 3, but meanwhile Chippewa Valley was placing their first 5 all in the top 15. We would have to stay very strong to win. Nathanael Chu came in 17th overall with a 13:14 time. That was good, and it would have been plenty good if Nathanael was our 5th like he was last meet. Now the wait was on for Matthew Schaber or Abiah Radtke, but unlike in the high school race where no one would come through to point the Eagles and help us, Chippewa Valley had plenty of teams helping them. Matthew Schaber made it to the finish in 13:57. That was good for 25th place, When the points were counted Chippewa Valley had beaten us by three. So many close finishes with few of them going our way. Abiah Radtke had his best race to date with a 14:08 29th place finish. Josiah Chu posted a nice 14:57 time and was the top 4th grader in the race. Joshua Lipski came in with a 17:23. The boys were good. Chippewa Valley was a little better than the team we brought. They did have home field advantage on us. We should maybe invite them to Greenfield Park for round 2.

Our award winning team was able to pile on a couple more. And we were just two points away from team plaques in the other two races. That’s a good day of racing that no other team could match. I hope it was worth the time and expense of making it up to Eau Claire and back for everyone. Word has it that the Championship may be back near Madison next year.

Thanks to everyone who made the trip. We took enough to fill about 15 hotel rooms. I never thought we would get that many to the meet. It was truly a trip with some of the best times coming on Friday. The hiking was very scenic. The fellowship at the restaurant, hotel lobby, and poolside was definitely scintillating. You had a proud coach overseeing everything. Thanks to Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks for our volunteers at the meet, and thanks to the Schaber’s for bringing up all the paper products and water cooler in their van. Thanks to Grace Caspers who took a break from running and took most of the great photos. Faith Caspers and the coach took over for the middle school boys race. The end-of-the-year party is next. There will be plenty to hand out for the team this year. You will not want to miss it. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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Hello DASH families,

Our award winning high school cross country team was back in action at St John’s NW Military Academy last Tuesday competing in the Lancer Invite. The athletes would have to run the full 5000 meters this year. The boys would be looking for their first team trophy at this meet, while the girls were shooting for their third straight trophy. On paper the meet looked to be more competitive this year, but because of injuries and varsity holdouts apparent before the start we found out our chances were better than we thought.

Kayla Bruton assumed leadership duties right from the start in the girls varsity race as she had the rest of the field giving chase through the first mile. It became a three girl race heading to the finish, but Kayla proved too strong in the end coming through with a big victory while giving the team a single point in the team scoring. Of the scoring teams, Kenosha St Joseph was finishing strong and had their first two girls come through next, but Abby Chu and Stephanie Chu answered them with their 6th and 7th place finishes ahead of the third St Joseph’s girl. All eyes were on the hill leading to the finishing loop.  A St Joseph girl came down first, but Alivia Kempf was not far behind. As they headed for the home stretch, Alivia’s kick was the better giving us a huge two point swing. The DASH fans nervously looked back to the hill and found Faith pacing behind St Joseph’s fifth girl, but more importantly she had also fallen behind the first three Watertown Luther Prep girls. Faith sped up in an attempt to pass, but the Watertown girls’ had all saved plenty for the end. The girls had a good day, but this time it would not be quite good enough, losing out to St Joseph’s by just two points. The 2nd place trophy was ours. We would have beaten St Joseph’s head to head, but this race was not a dual meet. Jessy Homa struggled through the course before finishing with a nice kick. Later we surprisingly learned her ankle problems were back. Hopefully she will be back healthy and ready to run next week. Katie Gorectke had problems with the heat on the relatively warm October day. She looked dazed at the end, but she had been running well in her last meet. She will get one more chance next week.

The boys race was much larger with two state ranked teams competing. The third place trophy was up for grabs, but our chances were not helped when our usual number 1 runner, Brian Durbin, was a late scratch because of some leg issues that he did not want to aggravate any more.  Caleb Schaber led the boys through the course for the first two miles, but Drake Hacker had a really strong finish to move up into the top 15 while posting a nice 18:46 time. That time was good for the 14th place medal. Caleb finished soon after but in 16th place, missing a medal by a little over 7 seconds.  Tim Kowalinski looked strong through the whole course and gave the team much needed third top-20 finish. Vincent Maurer was not at his best this time, but was able to keep Vincent close and place 22nd overall. Without Brian competing, John Klaves cracked our top 5, sprinting in with a 20:56 time with Ben Hughes finishing right behind with a season best 21:01. When the scores were added up the 3rd place trophy was ours! Very nice.

The boys and girls JV teams ran together. Seth Holter ran with the leaders early and looked like the varsity runner he really is, putting his ankle issues behind him and claiming the 4th place medal with a time of 20:44. Joshua Schaber showed that he would be running on varsity for most teams at this meet with his 6th place finish. Theodore Flunker has never looked better and lowered his personal record by over a minute with his 22:59. Let’s hope we see him again.  The girls also did very well. Ella Johnson was on a short sabbatical to JV as her 25:38 4th place finished shows.  Emma Taylor posted a 26:17 time and had her usual good finish while claiming the 6th place medal. Katrina Lipski thought she was struggling more than she really was. Katrina pushed herself to a season best 28:37 while impressing the DASH fans and the coach with her effort. Naomi Zhou still didn’t start fast enough for the coach’s liking, but she put together a very nice race and lowered her personal record by close to two minutes. Hopefully we will see her back running even faster next year.

The Homeschool Championship is all that is left now for our high school team. The girls team is peaking now and will be in the running for a top-2 trophy. The boys team is giving us mixed signals right now. We are down to 10 days to get ready. Hopefully that is enough time to have everybody energized and healthy and ready to run their best race of the season. The boys race should be a close 4-team battle that I am really looking forward to. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Mr. Beck and Mr. Maurer for getting the mile splits and for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Kempf’s for ordering our much-wanted team tent that was on display for the first time. And thanks to the picture people which included the camera lady, Julianna Caspers, and Grace Caspers this time. They did very well with the photos. Now on we go to the big middle school meet this afternoon. Of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Thursday was the day for the annual Prairie Invitational, the meet the coach always looks forward to the most. There were 11 teams on hand, and the scouting report would have us as one of three teams in contention for the team trophies. The weather was a sunny 70 degrees with low humidity, making it a perfect setting for the athletes and for the fans to watch some exciting racing on the beautiful and hilly Armstrong Park course.

The girls lined up at 4:15, and after a couple of glitches, the gun finally went off. Surprising, Union Grove had not brought their varsity team, and it was soon apparent that our main rival would be the host Prairie School team. Kayla Bruton was the early leader with Abby Chu and the rest of the team all staying close together near the front, challenging the other teams to keep up.  As the girls passed the park, the Prairie girls had tightened up the race considerably with one of their girls getting ahead of Kayla and one running just in front of Abby, but as of yet they had no answer for the strong running from Stephanie Chu, Faith Caspers, and Alivia Kempf.  Past the two mile mark, Abby Chu had moved past the Prairie girl ahead of her and was looking strong, while Kayla was keeping them in her sights. Stephanie Chu was running well and taking care of things with no Prairie girls close to her, but the 3 and 4 Prairie girls were now moving up and getting closer to Alivia and Faith.  A Prairie girl won the race. Abby Chu’s 21:58 put her 3rd overall behind a Brookfield Academy girl who ran on an incomplete team, Fourth place went to the number 2 Prairie girl, with Kayla Bruton finishing just four seconds later with a personal record 22:09. Stephanie Chu moved up into 6th place in the last mile. Prairie had no one who could stay close to Stephanie, but Prairie’s next two girls were on the move, getting ahead of Faith and closing in on Alivia. If both girls could get by Alivia the race would tip in their favor, but all their efforts would be for naught as Alivia would not be passed. Faith finished comfortably ahead of the 5th Prairie girl. Victory was ours!  The girls had won the Prairie Invite for the first time. Of course we had plenty of hard running from our other girls. Our talent runs much deeper than just 5. Jessy Homa was chosen to run JV by the slightest of margins this time, but will be back with the varsity team next week. Jessy’s victory in the JV race by 23 seconds was impressive! Ella Johnson came in next with a 26:21. She has been practicing much better than that. Emma Taylor had the strongest finish among the girls and finished with a 26:30. She knows she’s capable of a little more. Katrina Lipski looked very good again, better than her 29:44 time reflects. She earned the 9th place JV medal. Naomi Zhou earned the 14th place JV medal with her personal best 34:05. With better starts Naomi could bring that time down considerably.

Just like the girls, the boys main competitor would be The Prairie School, the defending champion. Brian Durbin, Drake Hacker, and Caleb Schaber all got out to strong starts, but it did not take long to see that the Prairie boys would be unstoppable this time out. Coming around by the park past the mile mark, Prairie was holding down the top 4 spots, with their 5th also running strong. Near the end Prairie was gunning for a perfect score, but Brian Durbin moved up late to break that up.  Brian clocked in at 18:37 for 5th overall. Caleb Schaber was running ahead of Brian up until about the 2 1/2 mile mark. Caleb went on to take 8th overall with a 18:47 time and was top sophomore or freshman in the race. Drake Hacker made the medal stand with his 13th place finish. Vincent Maurer moved up through the last mile to come in right after Drake with a personal record 19:26. Vince keeps improving each race. We need that. Tim Kowalinski cracked to the top-20 with his 19:50. John Klaves moved up near the last hill to be our 6th runner in. His 20:54 time was a little off from his last few meets. Ben Hughes needed a strong finish to stay just ahead of Joshua Schaber with a season best 21:02. Joshua Schaber followed with his own season best 21:07 good for the 7th place JV medal. Seth Holter’s ankle held up to the end this time and got the 8th place JV medal. Theodore Flunker got out fast and looked great, but then he hit the wall and made it in with a 25:14. Look for his time to come way down next meet.  The boys took second overall, 37 points behind the impressive Prairie boys, and 40 points ahead of the third place team which must have made us look pretty impressive to them.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to all the DASH fans. We had a very nice contingent making it down to Racine. Thanks to The Prairie School for hosting and for the invitation to race. Thanks to the camera lady along with Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers for getting the photos.  We are now down to our last two meets. Everything is important this late in the year. It is sure to be exciting. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was time for the annual Trojan Invitational at Mitchell Park for the high school team, and for the first time the meet would be held on a Friday afternoon. The team would arrive to record-setting mid-90 degree temperatures. Because of the extreme heat it was decided to cut the JV course down to 2500 meters, and to have plenty of water available for the athletes on the course. The varsity athletes would have to work their way through the full 5k course in their attempt to capture the 1st place trophies once again.

The JV race started at 4:15 with the heat still out in full force. The field would be a little larger than usual with a few teams choosing to run most of their athletes in the shorter 2500 meter race. Theodore Flunker did not let the heat slow him down as he raced through the course in just 9:56. That would be good for the 8th place ribbon. We will get to see Theodore racing with all our other boys next week. I am looking forward to that. Katie Gorectke was back running already after her ankle issues last race and proved to be the class of the JV girls field. Katie’s 10:39 time was way ahead of any of the other girls. The 1st place ribbon was hers. If Katie’s ankle is ready she will be holding down a varsity spot next week. Katrina Lipski posted a nice 13:03 to nab the 4th place ribbon. She may be ready to lower her personal record in the cooler races ahead. Naomi Zhou took a wrong turn at the end and was disqualified. She would have hit the finish in about 16 minutes.

The goal for our girls in the 4:45 varsity race was to not worry about times, to get in good position and hold down their spots, to bring home our fair share of the individual medals, and to make it two year in a row winning the team trophy. Our girls all got out well with only Jessy Homa holding back some at the start. Abby Chu led the girls through the first mile with Kayla Bruton and Stephanie Chu staying close behind. Alivia Kempf, Faith Caspers, Emma Taylor, Ella Johnson, and Jessy Homa were all staying in medal contention at this point. No other team was staying with us. It was now time to hold our spots as best we could in the extreme heat. Through the second mile, Abby, Stephanie, Kayla, and Alivia were all running in the top-6 with Faith, Ella, and Jessy giving us 7 of the top 13. We were overwhelming the field. In the last mile Stephanie Chu moved up into 2nd place overall to be our first runner in. Coming in a few steps behind was Abby Chu. Kayla Bruton struggled the last mile, but when she saw the finish line she kicked it in to give us 3 in the top 4. What a tough, quality effort from our top girls. Alivia Kempf stayed fast and steady the whole way and came in all by herself to claim the 6th place medal. I think she is ready for a break out race. We will try to help push her along next week. Faith Caspers held down the 8th spot over the last mile. She was challenged along the home stretch, but would let no one pass. Ella Johnson put in a quality race and earned the 11th place medal for her effort. She is peaking now. Jessy Homa never faltered in the heat, even overcoming a pre-race bee sting to claim our 7th individual medal with her 12th place finish. Emma Taylor coasted in to an 18th place finish and hopefully saved plenty for next week.

The varsity boys race got going about 5:20 with the sun not beating down quite as hard. Brian Durbin was our early leader, but it was Caleb Schaber who was the first to come down the hill after the mile mark. Brian and Drake Hacker followed right behind Caleb giving us three of the top runners. Vince Maurer, John Klaves, and Tim Kowalinski all came through still in top-15 medal contention. Ben Hughes and Joshua Schaber went down the hill soon after. We had all of our boys running very well. We were now the team to beat. Brian Durbin moved up into 3rd place through the second mile and he was putting some space between him and the 4th runner. Caleb Schaber stayed steady and was running 5th overall. Drake Hacker was staying in the top-10, and Vince Maurer had moved into 11th place with Tim Kowalinski keeping him in his sights. John Klaves had dropped back to 17th and was running in a much bigger crowd than the others, and really battling his way through. Ben Hughes had now moved up into about 20th position. He looked very good. Joshua Schaber was holding down his spot pretty well. Brian Durbin never faltered in the last mile and posted an impressive 18:40 time good for 3rd. Caleb Schaber showed his mettle at the finish as he sprinted in to claim the 5th place medal. Drake Hacker put together one of his best races and gave us 3 in the top 8. Vince Maurer was fired up at the finish and hit the line in 11th place. Tim Kowalinski came in two seconds behind Vince. Our top 5 scorers were all in the top-13 and on the medal stand. John Klaves stayed strong and held down his 17th spot. He is running very well now and giving us insurance as our 6th runner. Ben Hughes displayed the best finishing kick of the day to move up to the 19th spot. He is definitely peaking now. Joshua Schaber cruised in to a 27th place finish. He liked running varsity.

Our top seven girls all went up and received their medals, and we were announced the victors with a total of 23 points. Looking over the score sheets, the three girls ahead of our 5th scorer Faith were all on teams that had less than five finishers. That means the girls officially finished with a perfect score of 15! I predict that will never be beaten. In fact, our 7th girl Jessy would have been the number 2 girl on the teams behind us. Monumental!! Once the girls were done taking pictures with their trophy, our top-5 boys received their individual medals and we were then declared the team champion with 40 points. The boys winning streak at the Trojan Invitational now stands at four in a row! Well done, boys! We finished up by getting some great photos with both boys and girls displaying their hard won hardware. And lastly we started thinking and training for the big meets ahead. I hope to see you there.

I volunteered our team to pass out the water to help keep the athletes going. So thank you to Daniel Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, Noah Caspers, Jenna Walters, Silas Johnson, Julia Kowalinski, Mary LeSac, Hellena Hacker, Myra Johnson, Charlie Johnson, and later even Stephanie Chu and Abby Chu for doing all the hard, hot work that was so important. Thanks to Theodore Flunker, Katie Gorectke and Emma Taylor for their help in passing out water at the finish. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching and for being our official scorer. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting a great set of photos. It was truly a team effort. Well done, team!

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The full DASH cross country team was at Minooka Park yesterday competing in the Waukesha Cross Country Festival. We would be facing some of our toughest competition of the season in some very warm and steamy conditions. About 1000 athletes would toe the starting line in the six races. Not all would finish. It was also our first chance to get a look at our promising middle school team. It was a long day full of gritty efforts with a few casualties mixed in along the way. The sweaty details are below.

The JV girls got the racing started at 8:30. Katie Gorectke was getting her run in early so she could get back to dancing later in the day. Katie was in the top-10 early, but then sprained her ankle going up the big hill to the mile mark. She was carted back to the finish. Her day of racing and dancing was done. Katrina Lipski made it through the course and really handled the humid conditions well. She is primed to post some very nice times. Naomi Zhou made it to the start for the group photo this time, and finished well after a slow start.

We ran three boys in the JV race, but only two made it for the group photo.  Ben Hughes looked much better this time out. Ben moved up in the last mile to post a 21:52 time. Joshua Schaber ran well early on, but the heat did get to him by the last mile. Ben and Joshua will be moving up to the varsity team next race. Theodore Flunker made it to the start just before the gun went off and ran well for about half the race, but then he had to drop out. Fortunately, no long term issues to report on Theodore.

It was now 10 am and the heat index continued to increase. The varsity girls were led by Kayla Bruton early, but the Chu sisters caught up to her through the second mile.  Then a determined Kayla refused to let the heat slow her down. She charged up the last hill like she has done so often in practice and was our first runner in with a 23:11. Abby Chu ran a very steady 23:20. She is primed for a great second half of the season. Stephanie Chu struggled a little the last mile, but still posted a 23:45. Our star freshman is going to like the next couple races where she will be racing near the front.  Alivia Kempf  was our 4th runner once again. Her current pacing is looking routine. She may be due for a breakout race. Faith Caspers was running close behind Alivia, but the heat got to her running around the pond and she needed to be carted to the finish. The heat had claimed another victim. Emma Taylor moved up to be our 5th varsity scorer for the first time. The coach is liking her effort and results. Jessy Homa ran inspired and was one of the few athletes who finished strong despite the hot, sunny conditions going up the big hill. Ella Johnson used this race more as a practice. This is not her favorite course. The next meet’s course is.

The varsity boys warmed up in the shade. It was hard to be anywhere else at 10:45. This was not going to be a race for personal records. Brian Durbin and Caleb Schaber stayed together the first half of the race. Brian made it to the finish first, but both ran very well in keeping their times in the 19’s. Vincent Maurer did not let the heat slow him down much and was our 3rd runner in. Very nice! We need Vince to come up big for us the next four meets. Tim Kowalinski looked good for awhile, but the sunny last mile slowed him down into the 21’s. Drake Hacker really struggled late with his breathing, but he did make it to the finish. I am not too worried about Tim and Drake bouncing back and having good races for us down the stretch. John Klaves also survived and came in soon after Drake. Seth Holter was seen limping at the half way point and he did not finish. Seth may need to take some time off and get back to 100%.

The middle school girls were next. The heat on the shorter 1.4 mile course would not play as big a role as it did in the high school races. Julianna Caspers started out conservatively, but moved up some around the pond. Then Julianna gave us an inspiring finish going up the hill to move up to 8th overall with a 10:37. Joy Rasch got her season off to a great start with a steady, medal-winning 24th place finish with her 11:37.  Bedalia Radtke showed off her nice stride to the DASH fans for the first time. She was our third runner in. Yes, she really is already that good. Grace Caspers worked hard the second half of the race to be our 4th runner in. Hopefully we can count on her to post some great times this year. Savanna Bruton looked inspired going up the hill and hit the finish line right behind Grace. Angela Walters felt the heat at the end, but persevered. Hopefully Angela has a couple big races in her this year. Talia Kostrzewa, just 5 years old, is no longer a future star. She made an instant impact as our 7th runner in her debut race. It is going to be hard not to compare her to a certain young DASH star with initials JC who was also very good at that age. Mary LeSac had a respectable race. She has been practicing well and looks ready to have a nice season. Natalie Radtke did very well in her first attempt at racing. She has a lot of talent and should only get better in the weeks ahead. Hannah Schaefer stayed steady and never faltered. She has been improving each week. Alexa Bruton showed good effort. With a little more practicing she will be very good. Hellena Hacker ran a steady race. With a little more inspiration she could have a big season ahead. Jenna Walters posted a decent 15:13 time. The coach was very impressed with this young and talented group of girls.

The middle school boys needed little inspiration from the coach. They just wanted to race. Ethan Blischke got out fast and never let up. He was the 2nd boy to the finish line and was clocked at 8:19. That’s racing! Alexander Taylor stayed near the leaders the whole way and placed 4th overall. Alex is exuding running confidence and is primed for a big year. Nathanael Chu always goes all out. This time that put him in 19th place with a 9:34. Leif Kostrzewa finished a step behind Nathanael. That gave us four boys in the top-20 and four medal winners. Nice! Kaden Hacker posted a respectable 10:17 time for 39th place. We will need him to keep improving in the weeks ahead. We could be trophy contenders. Matthew Schaber fell back some at the end, but made it in as our 6th runner. He is much improved since track season. Silas Johnson showed off his strength with a great charge up the hill. Micah Chan has never run better, and he is making it look easy. He will be one to watch. Josiah Chu, Charlie Johnson, and Noah Caspers gave us a great trio of 4th and under runners. They pushed each other to some great times. The coach and the DASH fans were very impressed with their efforts. Veteran Joshua Lipski had a descent first race. He is bouncing back from some sort of sickness. Abiah Radtke got out fast, but had some problems going around the pond. He will be posting some much better results later in the year. You can trust me on that. The boys were announced as the 2nd place team, finishing just 3 points our of 1st. Well done, guys!

The high school team now needs to keep its attention on the big races ahead. They are running better than today’s times show. We will be one of the favorites in our next two races. It is time to start peaking. The middle schoolers have gotten everyone excited with their showing. They have a much flatter, faster course coming up.  It should lead to some exciting racing. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to all who helped pass out and collect the timing chips. I know my wife, Julianna and Grace Caspers, Mrs. Chu and Mrs. Walters all helped out. I am sure there were more. No more chips this year. Thanks to Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Ed Beck, Dawn Kempf, and former DASH star Matthew Hughes for helping get splits for the high school races. I was the photographer again which means something went wrong. My camera was somehow on the wrong setting so the photos are a bit sparse. Fortunately Mike Childers, Emma and Alexander Taylor’s grandfather, sent me some of his photos. They were very good. Thank you, Mr. Childers. And thanks to Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Kempf for helping take care of some of our running casualties. Hopefully we will see everyone back running again soon at full speed. Can you believe we our down to our last four weeks now. Enjoy it while you can.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

It was another unseasonably cool day for our DASH high school cross country team last Thursday at the Whitnall Invitational. The cooler conditions, along with a potentially fast Hales Corners Park course, looked like an ideal setting to get some lower, mid-season type times. We would also be looking to do well in the team standings. We had plenty of DASH fans on hand to catch the action as the team lined up in box 14 to compete against 16 other teams.

The JV races went first. Jessy Homa was back after missing some time with an ankle sprain. Jessy paced herself through the course in a season best 27:17. She looks to be ready to go much lower. Katrina Lipski’s good season continues as she raced in with another sub-30 minute time. Naomi Zhou made it to the start just in time again, I think. I didn’t see her start, but I know she finished with a personal best 35:00. Joshua Schaber posted a much lower 21:33 and is making a push for the varsity team now as we expected.

The varsity girls were next. There were six other good teams in the race. It would take our best effort of the season to beat any of them. Abby Chu got out fast and stayed near the leaders throughout, clocking in at an amazing 21:56 and placing 12th overall. I think that was her best racing ever and Abby has had a lot of good races. Kayla Bruton cut off a minute from her time last race with her 22:26. She is having quite a senior season. It was a short wait for Stephanie Chu as she finished just 12 seconds behind Kayla in 23rd place. Stephanie always looks focused and in control. Out top-3 girls had positioned us very well for a great team score. Alivia Kempf broke 24 minutes for the first time. Alivia’s has improved each race, but her best times are still ahead of her. Faith Caspers got off to a great start before coasting in with a 24:25. That is a 100+ second improvement from last race, leaving her with just 90 seconds of improvement to go. That’s what the coaching staff is thinking. Emma Taylor has never run anywhere near this level before. Her 25:03 is a huge personal record, but I know the talented sophomore has not peaked yet. Ella Johnson stayed close to Emma the whole way once again. Ella is running about as well as last year now. I am excited to see what comes next. The girl’s effort put us in 5th place overall in the team scores. I liked that.

The varsity boys took the field next and they looked ready for a breakout race. Brian Durbin went out aggressively with the goal of staying in top-10 medal contention. Brian never faltered while keeping up his sub-6 minute mile pace. His massive 18:08 personal record put him in 12th place overall, less than a second out of 10th. Well done. Caleb Schaber took off after Brian and looked comfortable with the sub-6 minute pace. Caleb gave us a second top-15 finish with his 18:20. Caleb is so talented he made running that fast look easy. Drake Hacker gave is a 3rd athlete in the top-20 with his 18:44. Having our top-3 all finish in under 19 minutes is what we have been waiting for from the boys. Vincent Maurer raced to a personal best 19:33. That is a good launching pad for the next five races. Tim Kowalinski went out fast and finished right behind Vince with a 19:34. That is Tim’s best time of the year so far. John Klaves is close to breaking 20 minutes now in just his second race. He is getting into mid-season form quickly. Ben Hughes tailed off at the end with a side-ache, and Seth Holter sprained his ankle warming up and only made it to about the mile mark. They should be back running better soon. The boys finished 4th overall and were very close to 3rd. I was impressed.

The team took a big step forward. The athletes are looking better each time out, and it looks like we will have enough depth to make up for issues that come up such as Seth’s ankle sprain today. Of course the goal is to stay healthy and peak at the big meets in the second half of the season.  I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. Thanks again to Ed Beck for help in collecting the timing chips after the races. Thanks to our young camera crew, Julianna and Grace Caspers, for getting a descent batch of photos. Thanks to the staff at Whitnall for letting us compete at their meet. We will be back. Thanks to all the DASH fans who helped keep the athletes pushing forward. Now we get nine days to practice and prepare for the next meet.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was at Minooka Park last Saturday, competing in the Blackshirt Challenge hosted by Waukesha South high school. The weather was again unseasonably cool as the athletes looked to improve on their times from their first meet. Eighteen teams were on hand, including several that we will be seeing many more times in the weeks ahead. It would be a great early season test on a tough course.

Kayla Bruton was again the pacesetter for the girls. The talented senior has never started out this well. Abby Chu finished just six seconds behind Kayla with her 23:32. Abby is getting very close to her form from last year now. Stephanie Chu cut off almost a minute from her time last race giving us a third girl in the 23’s. Alivia Kempf ran well again and was our 4th runner in. She has been a welcome addition to the varsity. Katie Gorectke got out fast, faded a little in the middle, and then looked strong at the finish as she continues to learn the proper pacing. Her time of 24:35 was just 1:09 behind Kayla. We have never had such a tight top-5. Faith Caspers cut off over a minute from her first race. We will need her to stay close to our top-5. Emma Taylor has a new personal best of 27:12 which kept her just ahead of Ella Johnson who was racing for the first time this season. Look for them to continue pushing each other and getting their times down even more. Katrina Lipski cut off almost two minutes from her time. She stayed competitive right to the end this time. Very nice. Naomi Zhou made it to the starting line just in time and finished in 38:14.

Brian Durbin was ready to run this time out. He has never run faster and was our first runner in, breaking 19 minutes for the first time with an 18:45. Caleb Schaber paced through the course in a personal record 19:00. He can go faster. Drake Hacker cut 22 seconds off his time. He is making progress as he works himself into running shape. Tim Kowalinski looked strong throughout and has his time down to 20:19. Vincent Maurer moved up the last mile as usual to finish just seven seconds behind Tim. The spread among our top-5 was just 1:41, and our 6 and 7 runners were within 25 seconds of them. Seth Holter set a personal record 20:43. I don’t think that p.r. will last long. John Klaves made his season debut. He ran a 20:51 and had a lot left on the last hill. He will be pushing the runners ahead of him which is what we need. Ben Hughes cut off 1:28 off his time with his 21:21. That’s progress. Joshua Schaber is back to health and had a descent 22:58 season debut.

The team is making great progress as the above paragraphs show. Almost everyone lowered their times on a tough course. But the times we are posting now won’t look so good a few weeks down the road. Continued improvement from meet to meet will be the key to making this a great season. We have six weeks of workouts ahead of us. I am looking forward to it.

Thanks to Chuck Maurer, Stave Chu, and Greg and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. It was also nice to have Justin Chu available to help out. I put it upon myself to run around and get the photos. It was my first time using this camera, and they are not top notch, but at least we got a few. The athletes will be back racing again on a new course this Thursday. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The 2017 DASH high school cross country season got underway Thursday at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School, and the weather was perfect for this early August meet. This year’s team looks pretty good on paper. Now we would get to see how close the athletes are to meeting this season’s high expectations.

The varsity boys got the day’s racing started. Caleb Schaber and Drake Hacker were our early pacesetters followed closely by Brian Durbin and Tim Kowalinski, with Vince Maurer, Seth Holter, and Ben Hughes a little farther back. Coming back from the loop down by the track, Caleb Schaber had raced ahead of his teammates and finished with a personal best 19:23. Drake Hacker also broke 20 minutes with his 19:55. Brian Durbin had been running third for us, but started cramping and pulled up at the hill by the track. His day was done. Tim Kowalinski stayed steady through the last half of the race to finish in 20:49. Vince Maurer moved up in the last half and posted a 21:06. Seth Holter and Ben Hughes were both running with the varsity for the first time. They were our 5th and 6th scorers with times in the 22’s. It was a solid, conservative effort from the boys.

The varsity girls got out very fast before settling into a more steady pace. Kayla Bruton pushed herself early, and again at the end to be our first girl to the finish. Her 23:43 was good for the 17th place medal. Abby Chu is starting to find her form from last season now. Abby stayed close to Kayla the whole way and finished 22nd. Stephanie Chu had a very encouraging first high school race. She conquered the 5k distance with a 24:41 on the tough course. Alivia Kempf gave us four girls under 25 minutes. She is really going to help us this year. Faith Caspers stayed close to Alivia through the first mile, but then fell back. Hopefully some new shoes will help. Emma Taylor paced through with a personal record 27:23, a time which should be lowered considerably before the season is over. Senior Jessy Homa ran the second half of the race with a sprained ankle, yet still was able to make it in with a 27:39. The girls are going to be pretty good this year especially if we do a little better in the 5th spot.

Our JV runners had to wait until the last race of the day. Theodore Flunker did very well in his first cross country race. He paced himself to an easy 24:21. With a little more experience his times will be going down. Katie Gorectke has figured out how to race cross country in just the last few days. She is one of our most talented runners and it showed as she powered her way to a 7th place finish with a 25:08. The varsity team awaits her. Katrina Lipski looked very good through two miles. She is close to posting some nice times for us. Naomi Zhou is starting out this season several minutes better than last year as she continues to improve.

The team ran well enough to keep our hopes high for the big races ahead. The girls may be a little ahead of the boys at this stage for once, although a good Brian Durbin effort should close that gap. The team has a meet a week for each of the next seven weeks. It is going to be exciting. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to coaches Ed Beck and Chuck Maurer for being on hand to help keep things organized. Thanks to Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, and Savanna Bruton for taking the photos. Thanks to everyone for making the trek up to Jackson to cheer the team on. We get to do it again next week at Minooka Park. But now we need to get back to practicing.

Take care,
Jim Caspers




  • Cross Country 2016

    The 2016 DASH girls cross country team: Zipporah Caspers, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa, Abby Chu, Rebecca Dickman, Katrina Lipski, Kayla Walters, Ella Johnson, Faith Caspers, Alivia Kempf.

  • The 2016 DASH boys cross country team. Front: Cliff Yang, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Brian Durbin, Caleb Schaber, Justin Chu. Back: Ben Hughes, Joshua Schaber, John Klaves, Joshua Anumolu, Zachary Werner, Zach Pape, Miles Talbert, Seth Holter, Vincent Maurer, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • The 2016 DASH MS girls cross country team. Grace Caspers, Stephanie Chu, Savanna Bruton, Hellena Hacker, Mary LeSac, Heidi Talbert, Julia Kowalinski, Joy Rasch, Julianna Caspers, Jenna Walters, Alexa Bruton.

  • The 2016 DASH MS boys cross country team. Front: Josiah Chu, Seka Kostrzewa, Nathanael Chu, Micah Chan, Silas Johnson, Noah Caspers, Charlie Johnson. Back: Alexander Taylor, Joshua Lipski, Joshua LeSac, Kaden Hacker, Bryant Farrell, Leif Kostrzewa, Daniel Caspers.

  • Track 2016

    DASH HS 4x1600 Relay Winners. Boys: Drake Hacker, Justin Chu, Briton Kostrzewa, Jacob Dickman. Girls: Zipporah Caspers, Faith Caspers, Kayla Walters, Andrea Beck.

  • Rebecca Dickman, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Stephanie Chu.

  • Cross Country 2015

    2015 Bradley Tech Cross Country Champions: The 1st place DASH boys: Lucas Ebel, John Klaves, John LaBonte, Joshua Schaber, John Sherman, Joshua Anumolu, Ben Hughes, Tim Kowalinski, Joe Maurer, Drake Hacker, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes, Jacob Dickman, John Kowalinski, Will Farrell. the 2nd place DASH girls: Margaret Serchen, Kayla Walters, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck, Faith Caspers, Renee Walters, Kayla Bruton, Jessy Homa.

  • The DASH girls middle school team. Front: Mary LeSac, Grace Caspers, Hellena Hacker, Julianna Caspers, Zaela Schlissel. Middle: Julia Kowalinski, Anabel Fisher, Savanna Bruton, Stephanie Chu, Angela Walters. Back: Naomi Zhou, Emma Taylor, Katie Gorectke, Makenna Fisher, Jenna Walters.

  • The DASH middle school boys team. Front: Vince Maurer, Jeffrey Breiling, Leif Kostrzewa, Caleb Schaber, Seka Kostrzewa, Alexander Taylor, Noah LaBonte. Middle: Ethan Lindberg, Micah Chan, Jose Rosario, Joshua LeSac, Adam Loustaunau, Salim Lubbad, Kaden Hacker, Nathanael Chu, Jacob LaBonte, Ben Breitbach. Back: Daniel Caspers, Joshua Lipski, Tikvah Schlissel, Bryant Farrell, Christian Loustaunau, Ed Sherman, Peter Chan, Matthew Kowalinski.

  • Track 2015

    2015 High School Track. Front: Andrea Coulter, Stefanie Klaves, Renee Walters, Jessy Homa, Bekka Homa, Nina Smrecek, Johannah Lee, Kayla Bruton, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Beck. Back: Jacob Dickman, Jeremy Marek, Justin Chu, Nicholas Funk, Noah Evans, Samuel Lee, Danny Wickman. Missing: Tommy Ebert, Joe Hughes, Samuel Zinkgraf.

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 2013

    Front : Abigail Larkin, Sophia Zyzo, Grace Caspers, Julianna Caspers, Grace Zinkgraf, Elijah Anumolu, Daniel Caspers, Leif Kostrzewa, Wesley Evans, Mary LeSac, Andre Coulter, Abby Chu, Grace Dupar, Gulla Kemmann. Back: Danny Wickman, Lucretia Nyhart, Mia Wickman, Faith Caspers, Toria Schein, Zipporah Caspers, Andrea Guidone, Olivia Zyzo, Toria Schein, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joshua LeSac, Joshua Anumolu, Kayla Walters, John Klaves, Christopher Fossell, Joe Hughes, Glenn Kaboskey. Missing: Stephanie Chu. Simran Khunger, Foster Todd, Briton Kostrzewa, Alex Navin.

  • Cross Country 2012

    Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invite 7th-8th grade champions: Briton Kostrzewa, Christian LeSac, Samuel Zinkgraf, Joe Hughes.

  • Track 2012

    Amelie Kemmann, Andrea Kempf, Andrea Beck, Sarah Klapak

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

    Andrea Beck, Lucreitia Nyhart, Faith Caspers, Zipporah Caspers. Coach Jim Caspers and Ed Beck in back.

  • Cross Country 2004

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