Archive for the ‘High School Cross Country Meet Reports’ Category

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers


Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The 2019 DASH high school cross country team took the field at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School yesterday to kick off the DASH Team’s 15th cross country season. It would be the first high school race for 10 of our 19 athletes. Our promising high school newcomers would all be running JV this time out, but not until after they got a good look at how our veterans fared in the varsity races.

The varsity boys opened the day of racing. Sophomore Alexander Taylor became our leader after the mile mark and hit the medal stand for the second year in a row. His time of 19:28 held up for 16th overall, and it proved that the course was not running fast on the warm, blustery day. Kaden Hacker cut over a minute off his time from last year to join Alex on the medal stand placing 18th with a 19:45. Fast times from Alex and Kaden point to some promising results this year. Caleb Schaber came down with a cold the morning of the race, and that slowed him down considerably through the second half of the race. Caleb would settle for a 20:57. I don’t expect to be reporting any more times like that from our long-time star this year. Matthew Schaber ran a very smart and steady race and clocked in at 22:24. He is running well and is ready to take on varsity duties.. Jacob Parker started very well, maybe too well, but then hit the wall and cruised in with a 24:14. He has many good races ahead.

The varsity girls were a little short handed, so the coach decided to not worry about a team score this time and start only three. Terez Wycklendt and Stephanie Chu, after running so well in our team run last week, were told to expect to be running among the leaders from the start. They did just that, and were actually the early pacesetters through the first half of the race. About five girls in the chase pack caught up and ran with Terez and Stephanie over the last mile. In the end, Terez crossed the finish in 3rd place with a 23:06. Stephanie followed eight seconds later in 6th. A whole lot of coaches and spectators were talking about those fast DASH girls! Senior Emma Taylor also gave us her best ever early season race. She claimed the 24th place ribbon with a nice 25:43 time. Now we just need two more girls to step up and join these three in the meets ahead.

We ran 7 boys and 4 girls in the JV race with only Naomi Zhou having any high school racing experience. Freshman Abiah Radtke positioned himself well at the start and then surged ahead over the last mile to finish 16th overall in 21:56. Micah Chan kept a fast pace throughout and hit the finish line in 22:31 for 23rd. These two did what the coach thought they were capable of and should be seeing some varsity action in the weeks ahead. Nathan Forget is getting in shape fast and put in a well-run 24:32. Joshua Lipski has never looked better. His 24:49 on this tough course was a good start to the season. Andy Forget, with just a week of practice behind him, hit the finish in 25:21. The boys team looks to have some solid depth this year. Stephen Janes got through his first 5k in 29:26. He looked a little timid at times, and looked like a race at others. As he gains confidence and conditioning his time will come way down. Anthony Gotcher did a 32:25. Knowing his work ethic, I am looking forward to seeing his times getting better each time out. Joy Rasch was our first girl in with a respectable 30:07. She is probably going to be our number 5 varsity girl this year after a couple years of being one of our middle school stars. Jenna Walters made it through the course without walking. Now that she knows she can do it, she will start picking up the pace. Naomi Zhou struggled this time out. Hopefully we can get her back running like she did last year. Emily Janes got caught up in the moment and had trouble staying in a running rhythm. Experience gained. I know her time will come down a lot.

Overall it was a pretty typical first race with many highs and a few lows. The varsity girls were exceptional. The high school boys would have been fine if I had run a full seven. The JV runners showed us some depth and learned what it takes to run 3 miles over a hard course. The 15th edition of the DASH cross country team looks to be yet another one to look forward to. We have seven meets left on the schedule. I hope to see you there as we watch this team get better each week.

Thanks to Jacob Dickman and Pete Dickman for their help with the coaching. Thanks to Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers for their work in passing out and collecting the timing chips. Thanks to Kaden Hacker who arrived early and helped us get the team tent up before it could blow away. Thanks to the big camera crew of Katrina Lipski, Natalie Radtke, Grace Caspers, and Julianna Caspers. Be sure to check out the photos. Thanks for everyone making it up to Jackson for the race. We get to do it all again this Tuesday at UW-Parkside.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The color in the trees, athletes seen scouting the course wearing jackets and sweats, along with the calendar showing mid-October was the setting once again for some Homeschool Championship cross country racing. This year the 2018 DASH cross country team made its way to Janesville to compete against seven other homeschool teams from Wisconsin and Illinois. All the weeks of training and the miles the athletes have logged have been done with this meet in the back of their minds. The weather was ideal for some fast running, and the course was in great shape considering all the rain we have had. It was time to see how our team stacked up against the other homeschool teams from hundreds of miles around.

The middle school boys were first on the schedule. The founder of the DASH team, Drew Heiss, was the starter for the day, and with the lower numbered boxes, including our own box 2, marked out incorrectly, he quickly reset the starting flags and had the boys lined up for a fair race. Well done, Drew! Unfortunately for us, our boys would not be at their best this time out, but we would be beaten fair and square. Nathanael Chu was our first runner to the finish, but his 18th place over the 3000 meter course would be out of the top-15 medals. Micah Chan had a descent day ending up 26th overall. He came in just ahead of Abiah Radtke who was definitely not feeling 100% this time out. Josiah Chu competed well and was the second fastest 5th and under runner in, coming in just a second behind the first. After Josiah we had four of our athletes hit the finish in succession. Charlie Johnson placed 40th overall. He was followed by Noah Caspers, who was the top 3rd grade and under boy in. Silas Johnson was next finishing just ahead of Joshua Lipski. Ephraim Radtke had been practicing so well the last week, but for the first time he did not have it for a race. None of the boys came through with a really big day, and we had several that were well off of their best. It would be reflected in the team scores.

Julianna Caspers led the middle school girls out as usual, but she banged her knee on a post and was hurting the rest of the way. She did hit the medal stand, but she was hoping to do much better than 10th place. Bedalia Radtke did have a big day, staying close to Julianna. Bedalia was one of three 5th and under girls to get a top-15 medal with her 13th place finish. Julia Kowalinski looked to be struggling through the course. She gave great effort, but finished a full minute behind Bedalia in 26th. A good day from Julia would have been much closer to top-15. Mary LeSac was our 4th runner in for the first time this year. We needed her to be near her best, and she gave us a solid result. Joy Rasch ended up in 35th place. Joy has been so good for us the last couple years, but this was a disappointing result. Grace Caspers toughed out another race and was our sixth runner in. We need to get her healthier over the winter months. Jenna Walters had a slow start, but a nice finish. She has been running well. Mary Claire Egan had her best race of the year, showing off her potential. If she comes back next year she could be one to watch. Natalie Radtke did not have her usual good start, and never seemed to get going. She finished just ahead of Rebecca Anderson who was seen leaving some of her breakfast on the course. Rebecca is another one who could be very good if she sticks with it another year or two. Overall the girls could not come up with a big day this time out, but they were close.

We were now on to the high school races.  Our boys have had mixed results the last couple times out. The scouting report had a very good Eagles team as the team to beat, but we also had a good Lightning Bolts team to contend with. Our boys would have to bring their best to stay in the running for a top-2 trophy. The boys got out fast and looked to be running very well at the start. The goal from there would be to hold our spots and work on moving up. Caleb Schaber had another big day for us. He locked into the 3rd spot and stayed strong to the finish while posting a solid 18:10 time. Alexander Taylor gave us a personal record 18:27 effort. He battled Eagles the whole way and held his ground to the end for a 5th place finish. There were four freshman in the top-11, but Alex came in ahead of them all by 30 seconds or more. Senior Drake Hacker ran inspired, and gave us his best race of the year to place 7th overall with a season best 18:45. Drake came up big for us one last time. Kaden Hacker was back running his best and gave us 4 in the top-10 while breaking 19 minutes for the first time. Kaden finished right behind the Chippewa Valley Lightning Bolts 1st runner, but also behind the Eagles 5th. The Eagles proved unbeatable this time, but we had turned the race for the 2nd place trophy into a route. Joshua Schaber sealed it for us with a solid 20:40 effort for 26th place. Vincent Maurer stayed close to Joshua and gave us some insurance as our 6th runner in. He finished in 21:02 for 31st. Jacob Parker and Matthew Schaber paced together most of the way. Jacob posted a 21:16, and Matthew followed with a 21:21. It was their first taste of championship racing at the high school level and they did very well. They may be counted on next year to be more of a factor in the team scoring.

The high school girls race was saved for last. In this one, we would be the favorites, but the Homeschool Eagles and Lightning Bolts teams were both running very well lately, so we would have to keep tabs on them while doing our best at keeping them behind us. Two Eagles girls were the early pacesetters, but Abby Chu reeled them in slowly, passing them just before the trail narrowed heading into the woods. From there a Tri-State Flamingo and our own Stephanie Chu broke away from the pack to chase down Abby, but Abby would not be denied victory, coming in with a new DASH record 21:06 time. It was a spectacular and special day for Abby! Stephanie Chu blazed through the 22 minute barrier for the first time, putting a stamp on the 3rd place medal with her 21:25. That is the 3rd fastest time in DASH history. The girls were running like champions. Keeping Terez Wycklendt healthy enough to make it through the second half of the season has had us a bit nervous these last few weeks, but Terez was on the course coming through with yet another personal record effort. It would be a 7th place 22:29 for Terez. Alivia Kempf paced a few steps back of Terez for most of the race, but then she came up with a big finish, pushing Terez all the way in and getting her own identical 22:29 time. Alivia has been solid as a rock for us all year, and with her 8th place finish the race was all but over because we had our next four girls all staying near each other, and close enough to the 5th Eagle to have us winning big. Emma Taylor did not have her best race of the year, but her solid 24:34 effort was plenty good to clinch the team race in our favor. Ella Johnson was ready to be our 5th if needed, running to a personal record 24:40 while pushing Emma along. Katie Gorectke was our 5th for awhile, but was a bit sporadic the second half of the race. She ended up with a nice 25:11. She has run very well under championship conditions. We will need her to do it again next year. Faith Caspers ended her long DASH cross country career with a season best 25:23. It is hard to believe our long-time star was never really needed to come up big for us this year. Her teammates were running that good. Katrina Lipski lowered her personal best by 23 seconds with her 27:11. It has been such an impressive senior year from Katrina. Sandrelee Velez was very happy with her day as she cut off over a minute from her best time with a 31:24. Nice. Shariah Hyler was not feeling well and coasted in with a 32:29. This year Ella Johnson was rewarded for her hard work, winning the most improved runner medal after cutting off over 2 minutes from her time. If Sandrelee and Shariah keep practicing, they will be in contention for the most improved award next year for sure.

2018 will go down as one of the DASH team’s most successful season. What the high school girls did was the stuff of legend, winning big in each of their last four meets. The high school boys had two big wins, were 2nd at the championship, and placed 3rd at KML. The middle school boys got a win in Hartland, 5th at the big KML meet, and were very good at Elkhorn. The middle school girls got a trophy in Hartland, won the 6th and under race at Minooka by over 30 points, took 4th at KML, and were also very good at Elkhorn. This team practiced hard, and have been rewarded for their efforts with some exceptional results. Well done, everyone!

Thanks to the Homeschool Eagles for hosting this year. Almost everything was planned well, and the few things that slipped through were identified and corrected quickly. Thanks to everyone for making the drive out to Janesville. Thanks to Ed Beck, Chuck Maurer, and Dawn Kempf for their help with the coaching. Special thanks to Ed Beck, Steven Chu, and Nancy Chu for passing out and collecting the timing chips and bibs. Thanks to the camera lady, Julianna Caspers, and Laura Gorectke for helping with the photos. I ended up taking the majority of the photos myself this time, so they could be better. We were late in getting back to the finish in time for the high school races, and I had trouble keeping the camera ready while trying to cheer the team on as they went by. Sigh. Coaching and taking photos at the same time is never a good mix. Now we get to reminisce about the great season we’ve had while passing out awards this Tuesday at the end-of-the-year party. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH high school cross country team was in Delafield on Tuesday for their final regular season meet. With all the rain we have had, St. John’s NW Military Academy was forced to alter their course this year. The course would remain fast, but the warm, humid weather would slow things down some. With the meet being pushed back a week and into the same week as conference meets, it was little smaller this year. But the competition from the seven other teams proved to be pretty good.

The co-ed JV race was first on the schedule. Matthew Schaber moved up as the race went along and earned the team’s first top-15 medal with an 11th place finish. Jacarie Rucker looked strong while cutting over a minute off his time from his last race despite the much warmer conditions. John Shane looked good in spurts, but was not able to maintain his best form over the course and finished with a 27:49. Faith Caspers ended up 4th this time out, coming in behind three girls on teams that ran only JV. That is practically a win. Katrina Lipski really pushed herself again and got a very nice 28:11 time in the high humidity. That time held up for the 7th place medal. Shariah Hyler had her best race yet and won the 11th place medal. Very nice. Naomi Zhou continues to run well. She is having her best cross country season, but unfortunately this time she finished just out of the medals in 16th place. Sandrelee Velez was off to a great start, but was then slowed by some issues in her upper leg.

Four full teams started out in the girls varsity race, but it did not take long for our DASH girls to move into the position as the team to beat. Stephanie Chu paced in 3rd place most of the way, but eventually moved up ahead of her sister. It was really a routine 22:12 effort for Stephanie – if you can call 2nd place routine. She is has put up great times each race. Abby Chu was feeling some tightness in her hamstrings, so she ended up having more of a tempo run than a race. Abby finished 3rd overall with a 22:26. I would have loved to see her go for the win, but we need to keep her healthy through the weekend. Terez Wycklendt stayed close to Abby and Stephanie this time as she continues to improve. Her new personal best 22:47 helped us put 3 girls in the top 4. Wow! Fifteen seconds later Alivia Kempf strided in giving us 4 in the top 6. The girls were having a very big day once again. Emma Taylor made it 5 girls in the top 10 with her 24:40 effort. Emma emergence as as strong number 5 has been so important to our success. Ella Johnson gave us a sixth varsity top-15 medal and came in ahead of the other scoring teams 3rd runner. Wow! Katie Gorectke had some hip issues, but did make it to the finish. Hopefully she will be ready to race on Saturday.

The boys varsity race was a little bigger with six full teams. Alexander Taylor got ahead of Caleb Schaber at around the mile mark and never looked back. He would be the 3rd athlete to cross the finish line with his 18:55. So far, so good, but unfortunately their would be little good left to report. Caleb Schaber had a side cramp that had him falling back all the way to 13th place. Drake Hacker got off to a sluggish start, but then was able to move ahead of some key athletes for us before settling for 19th. Joshua Schaber looked really good at the start, but was not able to maintain it in the humid conditions and fell back to 28th. Kaden Hacker was not healthy this time out and it showed. He pushed himself as usual, but this time it was only good for 29th. Vincent Maurer made it in 14 seconds after Kaden, and Jacob Parker struggled the second half of the race and finished in 22:10. It was the kind of disappointing day we have not seen this year from the boys, and coming off their big day at Armstrong Park made it more surprising. But the weather will be much cooler Saturday. If the boys can get healthy, expect them to bounce back strong.

We had some thunder at the very end of the boys race, and the teams rushed off before the heavy rains came. There would be no formal award ceremony, but we did take home the 1st place girls team plaque. The girls won with just 22 points. The boys ended up behind all but one team. We do need to make amends this weekend. Individually we came away with 12 top-15 medals. Not a bad day.

Thanks to Mr. Beck, Mrs. Kempf, and Mr. Maurer for their help with the coaching. Thanks to the folks at SJNMA for getting a course ready just in time and keeping the athletes out of the mud despite all the rain we have had. Thanks to the camera crew of Julianna Caspers, Grace Caspers, Abby Taylor, and Emma Taylor. The lighting was not ideal, but the photos I kept turned out pretty good. Now we turn are attention to Saturday’s championship racing. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

  • 2018 Cross Country

  • 2017 Cross Country

  • Track 2017

  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Cross Country 2012

  • Track 2012

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

  • Cross Country 2004

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