Archive for the ‘Middle School Cross Country’ Category

Hello DASH families,

The full DASH cross country team competed in the very competitive Waukesha Cross Country Festival last Saturday at Minooka Park. The high school team would be facing mostly Division 1 schools, and the middle school team went up against a couple of all-star teams running under the West Bend West and Wisconsin Lutheran names besides the usual good teams we face here. Overall, we would be up against our stiffest competition of the year with hopes that it would bring out our best, and toughen us up some for the last four big weeks of racing left on our schedule.

Katrina Lipski led the JV girls around the course in the first race of the day at 8:30. Katrina put together one of her best races ever as she hit the finish in 28:35. If I have to leave her on JV, she should be near the front in all our remaining races. Sandrelee Velez led Shariah Hyler up the big hill to the finish, but Shariah came in just ahead as they went down the short hill to the finish. The girls times were both in the 32’s, cutting off close to 4 minutes from their times last week. Very good progress, girls.

Jacob Parker got off to an amazing start in the boys JV race, running in about 3rd place at the half mile mark. But then, unfortunately, he would be slowed by an ankle sprain and hobble in with a 27:46. If Jacob can heal up and be ready for the next race, he will be running with the varsity squad. Matthew Schaber gave us another steady race, making it to the finish unscathed in 22:55. He looked pretty fresh at the end which means he is ready to push his times down much lower. John Shane was in his first cross country race, and handled the very tough Minooka Park course pretty well. He has some talent. He just needs more practice time.

The varsity girls took the next shot at conquering Minooka. Abby Chu proved up to the task as she flew through the course in just 21:46. That was good enough to get her a top-20 medal, the team’s first ever at this big meet. Wow! Stephanie Chu was 29th overall with a personal record 22:18. Those who set personal records at Minooka are ready for a big second half of the season. Keep your eyes on Stephanie. Alivia Kempf’s 23:07 time was faster than any of our girls ran last year, meaning the girls were having an epic day thus far, but the Minooka course bit back and it was Katie Gorectke who was the victim. Like Jacob before her, Katie rolled her ankle after a good start and never did make it to the finish. Emma Taylor toughed out a 26:23, and to her credit wouldn’t let Faith get by her, but the Minooka course did wear on Emma. Faith ran well for awhile, coming in just a fraction of a second under 27 minutes, but her best times of the season remain future. Ella Johnson was moving up on Faith near the end and settled for a 27:15. Now she can look forward to one of her favorite courses next. Naomi Zhou missed the JV race, but we found room for her in the varsity race. She was a little over matched, but did manage a season best time. When the points were counted the girls came in with a very respectable 11th place finish. I think I sense big things ahead for the girls.

Caleb Schaber led the varsity boys once again, finishing with a routine 18:44. We will need Caleb to come up even bigger in the weeks ahead, and I think he will prove up to the task. Drake Hacker looked confident while running to a 19:15 time. He is slowly working his way up close to Caleb now. I like that. Kaden Hacker is really turning heads each time out. He battled until the very end, and maybe even left the Minooka course a little humbled, moving up to finish just a split second behind Drake while setting a personal record in the process. As I said earlier, those who set personal records at Minooka are ready for a big second half of the season. Keep your eyes on Kaden. So far, so good, but at Minooka it rarely ends up all good. For the third race in a row, an ankle sprain would slow us down. Alex Taylor would be the latest victim. Alex would finish, but his 20:45 put him almost 2 minutes off his best. Joshua Schaber and Vincent Maurer both had descent races, but ended up in 100+ place running in such a tough field. They will stack up much better in our races ahead. If Alex can bounce back fast, the boys look to be ready to have a big second half.

Our long day continued. We were on to the middle school girls. Julianna Caspers stayed near the leaders and broke 10 minutes over the 1.4 mile course. That effort earned Julianna the 2nd place 6th grade medal. Bedalia Radtke really picked it up after a conservative start, and was the next 6th and under girl to hit the finish line. A 10:54 from Bedalia won her the 3rd place medal. Very nice. Mary LeSac proved her great result from her first race was no fluke. She followed it up with an 11:44 12th place finish. Our 6th grade team score was looking good. And our next girl in was another 6th grader. Julia Kowalinski made her season debut with an 11:50. Not too bad, but long-time star Julia should be even better in the meets ahead. Julia was followed by yet another 6th grader, Grace Caspers. Grace is getting fast now and hopefully putting her knee issues behind her. Just like that, we had our first five 6th grade division athletes in. Our team score was complete. When the results were posted, the girls had overwhelmed the competition, winning the 6th grade race by 30 points with a team score of just 40 points. Our young girls are living up to their potential so far this year. Rebecca Anderson and Jenna Walters ran close through the course with Rebecca coming out just ahead. Both girls posted 13:38 times. These two 8th graders are very close and should push each other all season. Alexa Bruton posted a 14:08 and remains close to really pushing her time down. Natalie Radtke went out really, really fast down the big hill, and then really fast up the big hill on the way back. Once she gets better at the middle part of a race she will be a star. Mary Claire Egan picked a tough course for her first cross country race. She showed us some potential and posted a nice 16:25 time.

The middle school boys were saved for last and they did not disappoint. Abiah Radtke had a fantastic finish, edging Zackery Meyer at the line with both boys posting identical 8:49 times. This was Zackery’s first DASH race, and he was impressive. Zackery can make it to the Saturday races, so hopefully we will see more from him in the weeks ahead. But as good as Abiah and Zachery ran, they just missed out on the medal stand. The 8th grade division was amazingly tough this year with the top 15 boys all being in that division. Nathanael Chu on the other hand posted a routine, for him, 9:07. That time ended up getting the 1st place 7th grade medal, and he won it by 16 seconds! Oh, yeah! Micah Chan impressed the DASH fans once again. His charge up the hill moved him up to 19th place in that overly tough 8th grade division. Our really good little boys started coming in next. Josiah Chu was the first to hit the finish this time. His 10:35 kept him ahead of Charlie Johnson and Noah Caspers. Charlie recovered from a slow start to place right behind Josiah in the 6th grade race. Noah really pushed Josiah and Charlie along, with our star 3rd grader posting a very nice 10:54 time. I would say some more nice things about these three, but they were really four, as 2nd grade Ephraim Radtke made his DASH debut in style. Ephraim showed off his immense talent, moving up considerably as the race went along and hitting the finish in 11:18. Compare these four boys times to the award-winning girls times and you will see how fast these guys were going. So impressive! Silas Johnson powered his way to a nice 11:27 time. He looked pretty good for a first race of the season. Joshua Lipski was our last runner in again, and yet he is running so well. Our boys this year are all running in the top half of the race, and that has me bragging a lot. Well done, guys.

In such a big meet we were bound to have a few disappointments mixed in, but after finally getting through writing about all the six races above, I am a little overanxious to get on to our next meets. This is turning out to be one of my hardest working teams, and the fruits of their labor is becoming more apparent each time out. Wednesday middle school, and Friday high school meets are next up. I hope to see you there.

There is too much running around at this meet for me to do it all myself, so thanks go out to Mr. Beck and even Mrs. Kempf for their help with the coaching. I saw a lot of great pictures of DASH fans cheering the athletes on, many of who were even wearing DASH yellow. Thanks to all of you. Getting photos at Minooka is a truly big task. I always have to run around and take many myself, but I had Grace Caspers and Julianna Caspers helping out in the JV races, and Zipporah Caspers saved my day by taking the majority of the photos in the other four races. Special thanks to them. The photos turned out mostly good, so be sure to check them out.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

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Hello DASH families,

The 2018 DASH middle school cross country team was in action for the first time this season last Wednesday in Hartford, competing in the 3rd annual Peace Lutheran Panther Prowl. It was a new meet for us that looked to be a good fit. The competition would be 12 medium to small schools, with one girls and one boys race over a challenging course. And we would have chip timing courtesy of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. With a month of practicing behind them, it was finally time to see how our middle school team would fare against some good teams from up north.

Ninety-four girls took the field at 4 PM. Our girls got out fast, but not too fast. Julianna Caspers made her big move to the front in the second half of the race. As she hit the finish line in 11:24, she had moved all the way up to 3rd place overall. A very good start for our long-time star. Bedalia Radtke also moved up throughout and glided in with a 12th place finish and a 12:22. Very impressive as usual from Bedalia. Joy Rasch was struggling in practice a few weeks ago, but she has now found her great running form from last year, giving us a big 15th place finish. Our team score was looking promising. Mary LeSac had her best cross country race ever, coming through for us with a 25th place finish in 13:25. Having Mary continue to run her potential will be important for us. Talia Kostrzewa ended the race with one less tooth than she started with. That is the definition of running hard in my book. She also was our 5th runner in, and her 43rd place finish would help make the day special. The rest of the girls all came in quickly from here. Rebecca Anderson had a memorable first race, cracking the top-50 and the 15 minute mark with a 14:56. She is only going to get better. Grace Caspers finished one second ahead of Jenna Walters with a 15:16. Grace and Jenna are a little under-trained right now, but we can fix that. Alexa Bruton had an exciting first mile, but faded a little in the tough back stretch. She should put together a complete race soon. Natalie Radtke decided to run without practicing much. She showed us all how talented she is, finishing a solid 62nd overall. She also showed us how important practicing is. Good job, Natalie.

Eight of the 128 athletes were wearing DASH yellow in the boys race. We would not be one of the big teams, but all our boys on the starting line can really run. Leif Kostrzewa went out with the lead pack, but eventually dropped back to run with Abiah Radtke. Leif and Abiah jockeyed back and forth, both staying in the top-10 the rest of the way with Leif coming in one second ahead of Abiah with a 10:02. Leif’s 7th place finish, and Abiah’s 8th place finish left us as one of the teams to beat. Nathanael Chu kept up a fast, relentless pace, keeping Leif and Abiah in his sights and giving us 3 boys in top-12. It was hard to count the points with teams wearing similar t-shirts, but we were obviously doing very well. Seka Kostrzewa held down a top-25 spot through the course and finished in 11:02 for 23rd place. 5th grade Seka has been a star now for years despite his age, so another great finish by Seka was welcomed and expected. Seka was shadowed by new cross country star Micah Chan who gave us a fifth top-25 finish. Micah cut off over a minute from his previous best 2500 meter time. Outstanding! We would have to wait to see where we ended up in the team scores, but I was liking our chances. Noah Caspers got knocked down and run over early, but he recovered to finish 45th in 12:06. Looking over the standings, Noah was the top 3rd grade and under runner in the field. He was fast! Josiah Chu came in two spots behind Noah with a 12:13. He ran well, and will run even better in the races ahead. Joshua Lipski finished 66th overall in 12:48. To have all the boys done in 12:48 is amazing. There were still over 60 runners out on the field when our day was done.

Before the team scores were announced, we won our share of the individual medals. Julianna Caspers was 2nd in the 5th/6th grade division. Talia Kostrzewa was 3rd in the 2nd grade division, and Joy Rasch won the 4th place 7th/8th grade medal. Noah Caspers was announced as the 3rd place 3rd/4th grader, and Seka Kostrzewa got the 5th place medal in the 5th/6th grade division. Leif, Abiah, and Bedalia ended up just a few spots away. Then the tension started to build as the boys teams scores were called out in reverse order. When the 3rd place team was announced and it wasn’t us, we knew a trophy would be ours. To our relief and excitement, Hartland Central was called out next leaving the 1st place trophy for our boys. We had won by a comfortable 11 points. What an impressive showing!  The girls team scores were called out next, and to everyone’s surprise the DASH girls were announced as the 2nd place trophy winners. We edged the 3rd and 4th place teams by just 4 and 7 points. What a day for our young girls team! Oh, what a day of DASH racing!

Thanks go out for all the DASH families that made it up to Hartland. I hope the well run meet, along with our good results made it worth the drive. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to everyone for getting the chip timers out of your shoes and ready to return. Thanks to the camera lady for catching the exciting action in photos. And thanks to Peace Lutheran for inviting us, setting up the course, and giving us a chance to race. We get to see this team plenty more in the weeks ahead, including this Saturday.  You’ve got to see this team run. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

Cross country season is just a few weeks away. We will practice on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 6:15 PM, and Saturday mornings at 9:15 at Greenfield Park in West Allis. We meet at the shelter off of the Lincoln Ave entrance to the park. Our first high school practice will be on Tuesday, July 31st. The middle school athletes will join them on Thursday, August 9th.  You can check out the DASH Team Calendar for the practices and meets we have scheduled so far.

I will be keeping the team fees low again this season. $40 for high school athletes, $25 for middle school athletes. Middle school athletes will also have to purchase a team t-shirt for $10 if they do not already have one. You wear them at the meets and they are yours to keep. You can also use the t-shirt during track season.

This will be our 14th DASH season!  Make sure you tell your friends to join the team and share in on the fun.  Of course, get some running in to stay in shape, and I hope to see you all soon.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

 

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

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was up in Jackson last Wednesday to compete in the very big Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School Grade School meet. It would be our stiffest competition of the season. We would get to see if all the hard work the athletes had put in over the last 8 weeks was enough to get them ready for a meet such as this. The new DASH tent was up. The weather wsa perfect. It was time to race.

The open 2500 meter girls race was first. Alexa Bruton, using some inside information from a certain DASH race winner from the day before, showed some star power of her own and was our first runner in. Hannah Schaefer came in soon after, putting together a very well executed race where she stayed fast and steady the whole way. Angela Walters got out fast and coasted in to finish right behind Hannah. Mary LeSac ran pretty well and placed 61st overall. Jenna Walters showed some good effort throughout the race. Talia Kostrzewa was a crowd favorite and left many bigger girls behind her. Natalie Radtke always looked good when I saw her. Next time I am going to watch her more.

Josiah Chu got out fast and never looked back as he cruised through the 2500 meter course to a 15th place finish. That was impressive! Micah Chan was back with us and ran pretty well, but was not quite all the way back to where he was before he got sick. Joshua Lipski has never looked better as he pushed himself to a 40th place finish. Noah Caspers capped off another good year on a course he likes, and Elijah Pape showed good effort once again to place 53rd.

The varsity 3200 meter races were next, and unlike last year, the races had many more athletes competing than in the earlier races. Julianna Caspers got caught in some unavoidable traffic early, but then methodically worked her way up into 12th place by the finish. Julianna brought her ‘A’ game this time. It was impressive. Joy Rasch ran great as usual, and as expected. Joy placed a much needed 46th overall as our second runner in the big field. Bedalia Radtke never let the longer 2 mile course slow her down. I could watch her run all day, and I did catch her finish where she placed 62nd. Savanna Bruton and Grace Caspers paced together for a good portion of the race with Hellena Hacker just a few steps behind. At the end, Savanna’s natural speed helped get her to the finish first in 92nd place. Hellena had a great last loop, eventually moving up into 96th place. Grace Caspers came in soon after in 99th place. I picked the right girls to run varsity. They ran well.

The varsity boys finally got to run at about 5:30. Over 200 athletes lined up. The race would be too big for the coach to keep track of team scores throughout. The boys would have to run their best and hope the points landed in our favor. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke got out in front very fast, leaving the heavy traffic behind them. Alexander was our first runner in this time, with Ethan following right behind in 6th place. Alex and Ethan had done their job, and earned top-10 medals for their efforts. Their legendary seasons continue. Kaden Hacker got out slow, but did an amazing job working his way through the pack. He has never run better, and gave the team a much needed third athlete in the top-25. With the athletes coming in fast now, it seemed like a long wait until we saw Leif and Nathanael coming down to the finish. Leif would get the 42nd place card, and Nathanael the 48th. No other team looked to have put together a clear winning race, but we I didn’t feel that we necessarily did either. We would have to wait for the award ceremony to see how things turned out. Matthew Schaber finally showed us in a race what he has been showing us in practice. We will need him to do it again next week in Eau Claire. Seka Kostrzewa seemed to struggle in the heavy traffic more than usual. He finished 86th overall, right where the traffic was thickest. Abiah Radtke got a taste of some varsity running. The coach threw him in with this group because of his work ethic and talent. He ran pretty well for his first 2 mile race.

While we waited for the results, and before it got any darker, the fun run was started. The DASH team always has the largest contingent of fun run athletes and this year was no exception. Julianna Caspers took off and led the DASH team through the course finishing the 3200 course in well under 14 minutes. That was faster than her 12th place finish time from earlier, showing how much the heavy traffic can effect times. Leif and Matthew hit the finish next despite having little rest. The coach showed off his running talents, executing a flawless race with practically perfect running form up and down the hills and through the flats. He used Julianna, Leif, and Matthew as his rabbits to finish in 14:03. He won the bald guy division this year in a rout. Mrs. Chan was our top mom, but the coach did catch her walking. Some future DASH stars such as Philip Caspers and Rhapsody Kostrzesa showed off their talents. All who participated definitely had fun proving once again that it is fun to run.

It was finally time for the award ceremony. Ethan Blischke was cheered as he received the 6th place medal. Kaden Hacker went up to receive Alex Taylor’s 5th place medal, and then the rundown started on the boys teams scores. The 3rd place team was revealed and it wasn’t us. The 2nd place team had earned 109 points, and then the DASH name was called out. It would be 2nd place for us this time. Then we found out the big Badger public school team had won with 105 points. Oh, so close! Our top-7 boys did get team medals for their showing making it yet another award winning day for the DASH team.

Thanks to Ed Beck for collecting the place cards at the end of the chute. Thanks to those who helped the athletes get their bib numbers pinned on. Thanks to all the parents who made the trek up to Jackson. Thanks to the camera lady who got some pretty good photos while fighting the sun, and then the lack of light. Now we have a week to prepare for some Championship racing next week. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was back in action last Saturday morning running on our own Greenfield Park practice course. It was the best weather we have had in many years for the Warrior Invite hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College, and those staying for the college races afterwards would get an extra treat as four former DASH MVP’s would be competing. Our middle school team had a very good day at this meet last year running in muddy condition, and this year we would be hoping to cleanly lower our scores just a little more.

The girls race was first at 9:30 with all the girls running together, but with the 6th and under girls being scored separately from the 7th and 8th graders. Julianna Caspers was our leader through the course, but she was not feeling all that well and didn’t have that extra push to put her in the medals this year, ending up in 17th place. Joy Rasch gave us her usual strong race, keeping Julianna in her sights the whole way and breaking 12 minutes over the 1.6 mile course. Bedalia Radtke showed off her nice stride once again, gliding around the course in 12:21 to place 26th overall. In just her third race, 4th grade Bedalia has already become one of our stars. Myra Johnson looked great donning DASH yellow for the first time in a cross country race. She worked her way to a top-30 finish and left the DASH fans wanting to see more. Savanna Bruton gave the team a solid effort once again placing 34th overall as our 3rd scorer. I like the way she is competing out there. Hellena Hacker put together her best DASH race, moving up to be our 4th scorer. Her effort has been superb the last few weeks. Mary LeSac looked much better this time out, pacing just ahead of a struggling Grace Caspers through the course. Alexa Bruton was racing through the course this time and showing the DASH fans how talented she is. Hannah Schaefer and Jenna Walters stayed close the whole way and posted some respectable times as our 3rd and 4th scores in the 7th and 8th grade race. Hannah and Jenna have both been practicing well and improving each meet. Talia Kostrzewa didn’t have her best this time out. Expect our 5-year-old speedster to run much better next meet. Natalie Radtke got off to a good start again, but then found she couldn’t maintain it. The coach will be working with her some more. She is going to be good.

Our boys took 2nd place in both divisions last year.  It was time to see if we could improve on that just a bit. Alexander Taylor and Ethan Blischke did what they have done all season – get out fast and stay fast. Only one non-scoring athlete was ahead of them as they crossed the line together with identical 9:11 times. Ethan and Alexander had done as good as the DASH fans dared to hope, making it almost impossible for any team to stay with us. Only six other athletes were to go by before the DASH fans eyed Kaden Hacker and Leif Kostrzewa charging to the finish. Leif and Kaden clocked in with identical 9:59 times and had turned the race into a route. There would be no settling for 2nd place this year. The team plaque was ours! The legendary day for the boys did not end there. Nathanael Chu was in the medals once again as he beat all but two of the 6th and under boys. We will be scoring five next week at KML. Anyone scouting our boys should be a little nervous. Seka Kostrzewa was next to hit the finish line, finishing 11th out of the 108 6th and under athletes. Seka placed that high without even having one of his super stellar days. Abiah Radtke had his best day yet finishing with a solid 11:30 time. Charlie Johnson took off the second half of the race putting his talents on full display for the DASH fans, and giving the 6th and under team a good 3rd runner. Silas Johnson and Josiah Chu came in together, getting matching 12:03 times. The little boys were also very good, placing 3rd overall in the 25 team race. Joshua Lipski had his best race of the season. Joshua stayed just ahead of Elijah Pape who was racing for the first time. Elijah really pushed himself and impressed the coach. Noah Caspers had a very good finish to come in alongside Elijah. Our boys team really had a big day. Well done!

The DASH fans stayed to cheer on our three individual medal winners, and the DASH cheering only increased when the boys were called out as the winning team with a very low 22 point score.  Then the college racing started, giving those who did not want the special day to end so early a chance to continue on.  Andrea Beck ran in her first college race and finished the 6k race in 27:53. Not too bad, but she is capable of much more. Junior Siobhan Heiss was the 5th scorer on the 4th place Wisconsin Lutheran team. Justin Chu just missed breaking 30 minutes in just his second 8k race. Justin did not run much over the summer, but he is starting to look pretty good right now, but his Trinity International team needs to keep a fifth runner healthy. Jacob Dickman’s St. Norbert’s team won the overall trophy. Jacob was a key to their victory, finishing as their top men’s runner with a time of 27:32. Jacob has never looked better, or run faster.  It was a day we got to see plenty of DASH legends, some from the past and some new ones from the present. It was another great day in DASH history.

Thanks to Mr. Beck for his usual coaching assistance.  It was great to see great DASH fan Pete Dickman on hand. He showed in time to help out with the middle schoolers, and then stayed to cheer on his son’s team in the college race. Thanks to Mrs. Chu who prepared a fantastic meal for the Trinity team and for the DASH fans who stayed for the college race.  Thanks to all who helped the athletes get their bib numbers pinned on. Thanks to Steve Travis and his staff at Wisconsin Lutheran College for hosting and giving us the chance to race. Thanks to the camera lady and Zipporah Caspers for getting the photos. Unfortunately Ethan and Alex proved too fast for them and for the camera. We will be better prepared for their speed next time. The middle schoolers will be back racing this Wednesday in an equally big meet. You know you want to be there. And, of course, I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was at Elkhorn Middle School last Wednesday. The conditions would be very warm once again for the dedicated athletes as they put their paces to the test against six big public school teams. The 1.5 mile course is relatively flat and fast, but it would be a little tougher for the athletes to make it through this year, especially for the athletes in the earlier 7th grade and under races. But we left with more than our fair share of awards. The hard work we have put in is paying off.

The first to run were our 7th and under girls, which is all of our girls this year. The 4 PM heat was beating down in full force as the gun went off. Long time DASH star Julianna Caspers would be looking for her fourth straight medal in this division. She proved early she would be a contender again as she went out fast staying close to the leaders. Julianna kept up her quick pace, and moved up into 6th place by the end. That was her best finish ever, but about 25 seconds slower than her p.r. on this course. The heat was having a big effect on the times today. Joy Rasch was in 15th place early and she was able to keep everyone behind her the rest of the way to get onto the medal stand for the second meet in a row. Very nice! Behind Joy a real battle of attrition was on display as the girls tried their best to make their way through the course. Savanna Bruton showed off her finishing kick again and finished just ahead of Grace Caspers. Savanna and Grace stayed steady and strong and edged into the top-30. Bedalia Radtke was running a little sick and struggled near the end, but still managed a respectable 32nd place finish. Angela Walters started strong, and then really had to push herself to keep running near the finish. Hellena Hacker had a good second half as she moved up and helped push Angela along at the end. Angela and Hellena ended up in 47th and 48th place. Jenna Walters had an impressive day as she moved up to be our 8th girl in. Jenna finished just ahead of Alexa Bruton who stayed pretty steady through the course on this tough day. Hannah Schaefer came in right after Alexa and looked good for most of the way, but had some troubles down the home stretch. Mary LeSac got out a little slower than the coach would like, but was able to hit the finish just after Hannah. Natalie Radtke looked really good at the start, but it turned out to be too good as the heat got to her and she barely made it in. Overall the girls had a good day with our top girls really running well, and the others staying very competitive through the very tough conditions.

Our promising 7th and under boys were next. Leif Kostrzewa was the early leader, and then stayed strong to the finish to place 4th overall. Nathanael Chu did not let the heat get to him as he stayed close to Leif the whole way and kept all but 5 behind him. Leif and Nathanael gave us a fantastic top-2. Seka Kostrzewa has never looked better. In his first race of the year, he relentlessly battled his way to his own top-9 finish. Better make that a fantastic top-3. Wow! Micah Chan methodically moved up in the second half of the race, passing a few key people down the stretch to place 23rd as our 4th scorer. That would prove big in the team scores. We needed someone to come up big for us as the 4th runner and Micah answered the call. Well done. Abiah Radtke put together a much better race this time to finish 32nd. He is one to watch in the weeks ahead. Josiah Chu stayed fast the whole way and hit the home stretch running with Abiah. That’s fast for a 4th grader. Noah Caspers, a 2nd grader, ended up 41st overall with an impressive 12:49. Our young guys know how to race. Joshua Lipski finished 50th overall and looked much healthier. The boys took 2nd place as a team. They worked hard and were impressive!

Our big guys were next, and fortunately it was starting to cool off some. All but one of our girls had to leave early, but the DASH fans who stayed were in for a treat. Ethan Blischke and Alexander Taylor were running 2-3 coming around the first turn, just behind an Elkhorn boy. Behind them was another big group from the home team ready to move up if Ethan and Alexander ever slowed. Heading into the last loop the top 5 had all stayed strong and held their spots. Then coming out of the tall grass trail near the finish, Alexander picked up the pace and pulled away from the Elkhorn boys behind him, and started closing in on Ethan. Ethan was just able to stay a couple steps ahead at the finish. The 2nd and 3rd place medals were ours with Ethan and Alex both crossing the line in under 9 minutes, smashing the old DASH course record in the process. Epic! Kaden Hacker was running 14th at the mile mark, and then he made his move. By the time he hit the last loop he was running in 10th and he hit the finish line in 9th. Three boys in the top-9 again. Oh, yeah! That is just what we needed from Kaden. Matthew Schaber stayed steady through the course and broke 11 minutes to place 30th. The boys are hitting their stride now. The coach is thinking ahead and liking our chances in next week’s race.

Thanks to Mary Beck for doing a flawless job as our official scorer. Thanks for Ed Beck for his assistance with the coaching and for assisting the official scorer. Thanks to the Chu’s for giving us a choice of tents to pick from on a windy, very sunny day. Thanks to Hellena Hacker for sticking around and accepting the girls medals. Thanks to the boys for sticking around and getting their own medals. Thanks to the camera lady for taking over from me and getting some much better photos. Now the team gets to prepare for some much cooler race conditions at Greenfield Park on the 30th. I can’t wait. I hope to see you there.

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




  • Cross Country 2016

  • Track 2016

  • Cross Country 2015

  • Track 2015

  • Cross Country 2014

    Bradley Tech Champions - 2014

  • Cross Country 2013

    Midwest Homeschool Champions - 2013

  • Track 2013

  • Cross Country 2012

  • Track 2012

  • Cross Country 2011

  • Cross Country 2009

  • Cross Country 2004

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