Archive for the ‘Middle School Cross Country’ Category

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers


Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH middle school cross country team was found at Lake Denoon Middle School on Monday, competing in the very big Muskego Cross Country Invitational. We ran 19 athletes, which was down considerably from last year, but this year’s team is a veteran bunch with all but two athletes returning from last year. It would be time to see how this year’s edition of the DASH middle school team would stack up against the biggest teams in the area.

Julianna Caspers led the 7th and under girls through the 1.6 mile course. Julianna finished in a routine 12:24 to earn the 32nd place ribbon. Finishing close behind Julianna was Julia Kowalinski. Julia has never run better and earned her own numbered ribbon with her 12:52 time that put her in 48th place. Joy Rasch impressed everyone with her good showing in her first race. Heidi Talbert displayed her nice running form to finish in 14:51. She ran very well in her first race and should only get better each race. Grace Caspers finished strong after a slow start and broke 15 minutes. Savanna Bruton finished soon after Grace and cut over a minute off her time from last year. Mary LeSac is taking running much more seriously this year and posted a nice 15:42 time. Jenna Walters also lowered her time from last year. It was a good showing from the girls.

Alexander Taylor led the 7th and under boys, running to a hard fought 10:46 time. That effort was good for 23rd place. Leif Kostrzewa ran with Alexander the whole way and finished just a step behind him to earn a top-50 ribbon for the second year in a row. Nathanael Chu got out fast and stayed fast as usual. Kaden Hacker kept Nathanael in his sights the whole way as the boys finished 38th and 39th overall to give us a very low team score. Seka Kostrzewa keeps improving every year. He cut off almost a minute from last year to finish in 12:11. Joshua Lipski and Micah Chan posted some nice times, but the chute got backed up and they did not get accurate finishing places. The times proved they ran fast.

Stephanie Chu raced out with the leaders in the 8th grade girls race. She was 11th after the first half mile, but moved up into the top-10 before heading to the home stretch. She crossed the line in 9th place and received a medal at the award ceremony. Her time of 11:24 shows how talented she is, and it proves that hard work pays off.

Tikvah Schlissel also ran out with the leaders in the 8th grade boys race. He fell back some, but cracked the top-50 with his fast 11:09 time. That gave us eight top-50 finishes on the day. Daniel Caspers ran well and showed us some speed at the finish. We will need him to keep running well for us this season.

The coach was very happy with the way the athletes ran. The effort was great, with all 17 athletes who competed in this race last year lowering their times, many by over a minute. Our team is smaller this year, but still fast. We will see how much success they will have in the weeks ahead. I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching. Thanks to Mary Beck for getting the official times recorded. Thanks to Andrea Lipski for collecting the cards at the end of the chute. Thanks to the camera lady for getting some nice photos. And thanks to the parents who got the athletes to the race on time and ready to race. We get to do it again soon. I am definitely looking forward to it.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH cross country team finished their season in Verona yesterday, competing in the 5th annual Homeschool Championships. The weather was cool, but sunny. The course was hilly and fast. It would be the first championship race for 19 of our 29 middle school athletes. Our young team would be getting some needed experience to use in the years ahead. Our high school team would be looking to improve on two second place finishes from last year. As 10:00 AM neared, it was finally time to take our sweats off, crowd into our tiny box 5, and see how our DASH team stacked up against the 8 other homeschool teams in competition.

Our very young middle school girls team was first on the schedule. Rebecca Dickman was our early leader through the first mile, with Julianna Caspers and Stephanie Chu staying close. Rebecca could not maintain her fast pace through the second mile and it was Julianna who hit the finish line first. Julianna’s time of 14:39 put her in 19th place overall. She was the fastest 4th and under runner in the race. Rebecca came in 13 seconds later in 24th place, with Stephanie Chu a few steps behind her in 26th. It was a respectable showing, but not the best day for our top girls. I think they peaked a week early. Julia Kowalinski ran very well once again. She stayed strong the whole way and got a nice 31st place finish. Emma Taylor and Grace Caspers paced together for most of the second mile with Emma coming out ahead this time. Emma has improved all season and Grace has really ran well. Our last four girls came in near the end. They found the long, hilly course tough. Angela Walters and Hellena Hacker worked together with Angela racing in ahead. Noami Zhou finished up right behind Hellena. Jenna Walters made it to the finish 15 seconds after Naomi. Overall the girls struggled, but were able to edge the Tri State team for 4th.

The middle school boys ran out conservatively at the start. Vincent Maurer and Caleb Schaber stayed close for a long time until Vincent picked up the pace near the end to nab the 10th place medal. Caleb finished with a good time of 12:52 to place 21st. Joshua LeSac pushed the pace throughout and was our 3rd runner in. He was followed by Leif Kostrzewa who placed 33rd despite coming in without a shoe. Kaden Hacker and Salim Lubbad kept Leif in their sights the whole way, working together to post times under 14 minutes. Jeffrey Breiling fell off the pace this time and raced with Noah LaBonte for the second mile. Noah had the better kick at the end to finish with a 14:18 time. Nathanael Chu raced in just 5 seconds behind Jeffrey. Tikvah Schlissel and Daniel Caspers stayed together the whole way until Tikvah pulled ahead from Daniel near the finish. Seka Kostrzewa started a run of five DASH athletes that came in right after each other. Seka was followed by Matthew Kowalinski, Ben Breitbach, Alexander Taylor, and Joshua Lipski. All those guys but Seka were in their first championship race. Ed Sherman raced in next, just ahead of Jacob LaBonte, and Bryant Farrell finished in 19:07. The boys ran pretty well, but are definitely a year or two away from being near the top. They finished 5th out of the 7 teams that scored.

Our high school girls were one of four good teams that would be vying for a top-2 team trophy. It would also be the last cross country race for long time DASH star Andrea Beck. Andrea got out fast and ran with the leaders through the first mile before settling into 4th place. She would hold her spot to the finish, running to an impressive 21:43 time. Three Chippewa Valley girls came in after Andrea making them the team to beat. Two Eagles girls were next followed by our own Kayla Bruton. Kayla took off and moved up in the last mile. It was enough to earn herself the 10th place medal. Her 22:34 time proved that her big run from last week was no fluke. Faith Caspers stayed close to Kayla through the first two miles and helped keep us in trophy contention with her personal best 23:10 time. Abby Chu never let Faith get more than a few seconds ahead. Her 23:12 time made us the team to beat for the 2nd trophy. We just needed Kayla Walters to get in. Kayla faded off the pace after the first mile, but picked it up just in time on the last loop. Her time was 24:04. Jessy Homa raced through the 5k course in a personal best 24:21. She came in ahead of the Eagles 5th runner boosting our lead over them to 4 points. The 2nd place trophy would be ours. Zipporah Caspers could not run at 100% because of a leg injury, but her great effort landed her a personal best 25:21 time. Katrina Lipski came to the finish in under 28 minutes once again as she finished up her good first season of high school racing.

The high school boys race was to be a battle between us and a very good NEWCHAA team. On paper we could not have been more evenly matched. DASH star Jacob Dickman and an Eagle broke away from the pack early. It would be a 2 man race the rest of the way. After some uncalled for elbowing and shoving from the Eagle through the first mile, Jacob got pushed back to second. Jacob held that spot to the end and finished with a great time of 16:36. Behind Jacob ran the first four NEWCHAA runners. We would have to get someone ahead of them or have their fifth runner fall much farther back if we were to win. Justin Chu stayed right behind the NEWCHAA pack, but they just stayed too strong all the way to the end. Justin’s great 17:40 time just wasn’t enough. The high school boys races have gotten so fast. Drake Hacker did his job staying close to Justin. He held his spot and was the top freshman in with a time of 17:51. Joe Hughes moved up in the last mile and with a roaring finish came in just two team points behind Drake with a personal best 18:07 time. We had John Sherman and Samuel Zinkgraf keeping their eyes on NEWCHAA’s 5th and 6th runners. In the last mile John and Samuel started moving well ahead of them and were able to put four guys in between them before it was done. The boys gave their best. It was time to count the points. NEWCHAA 37. DASH 41. So close again. Another 2nd place trophy would be ours. Lucas Ebel moved up to be our 7th runner in. Lucas joined us in the middle of the season and is just getting into top form. He could use a couple more meets. Joe Maurer, John Kowalinski, and Tim Kowalinski all broke 20 minutes. Joe and John have been great for us all season. It was good to see Tim get a result under 20. John Labonte got ahead of John Klaves just before the finish. Neither John had his best race of the year, but both are now posting nice times each time out. Ben Hughes had a very good day and lowered his best time to 21:32. Joshua Schaber came in just ahead of Will Farrell. Both Joshua and Will finished with personal bests in the low 22’s. Joshua Anumolu struggled with his breathing and could only give us a 23:37 this time out. Ben Fenelon finished off his first year of racing with a 24:20. It has been exciting watching this big 17 guy team running to fast times all year. Well done.

Thanks to everyone who made the trek to Verona. I hope the travel was worth it. Next year they are threatening us with Eau Claire. I am pushing back, and may end up with other plans for us. Thanks to Lindy Zinkgraf, Nancy Chu, Mary Beck, Hillery Farrell, Mike Schlissel, and anyone else who helped Kam with the post-race meal. It has never been better. Thanks to the camera crew of Bill Hacker, Juli Hacker, and Emily Caspers, who joined me in running around the course to catch all the action in photos. They came out very good. Thanks to Ed Beck for his help with the coaching and going to the coach’s meeting. And thanks to the athletes for giving the DASH fans plenty of opportunities to cheer you on.

Another year is done. A few of our athletes will be running individual events such as Foot Locker. For the others it will be a time to heal up, get some needed rest, and catch up on homework. The DASH Blog will be quiet now for awhile, but the seasons great stories and accomplishments will remain chronicled here and not be forgotten. The team will be very different next year. More different than we would like. Our seniors will move on to the next stage of their lives, and a new group of fresh faces will join the DASH veterans to work hard, set goals, become friends, and race. But first we have track and field in the spring. Invite a friend and have them join us as we work on making it another special season. I hope to see you there.

Take care,
Jim Caspers

Hello DASH families,

The DASH cross country team was found at Brookfield Academy yesterday. The middle school team was on hand to race, and many of the high school athletes got together for their last practice. The middle school course ended up being well over two miles long giving us one last good workout before our big championship race this Saturday in Verona.

One big cloud came up that dropped some cold raindrops just before the girls race and had the team scurrying for cover. The meet was held back about 5 minutes to let it pass, and then the girls unwrapped and toed the line to race. Julianna Caspers and Stephanie Chu were our leaders, running within a few paces of each other the whole way. Julianna finished just 9 seconds ahead of Stephanie in 6th place. Hopefully Stephanie will be able to stay that close to Julianna again tomorrow. Julia Kowalinski did not let the distance bother her. She sped around the course in 17:53 to place 12th overall. Grace Caspers and Emma Taylor strided side-by-side for most of the way. Grace moved up before she hit the loop around the track and gave us another impressive finish. Emma handled the distance well and looks to be ready to take it up another notch. We had a two minute gap and then our girls started coming in fast. Zaela Schlissel led the next pack with some fast racing. She was followed by Cate Fenelon who really impressed the coach in her first race. She gives us yet another amazing 3rd grader to keep track of. Angela Walters and Hellena Hacker paced together and finished just a few seconds behind Cate. Naomi Zhou kept up a steady pace as usual. She was followed by Jenna Walters who gave us a good start and a good finish, and then Mary LeSac.

Vincent Maurer led our boys team once again. He got into 4th position early and made sure no one would pass. Jeffrey Breiling liked the long course as he battled to a hard fought 6th place finish. Caleb Schaber gave us a third runner in the top-10. His 14:57 time was good for 9th. Joshua LeSac pushed himself hard the whole way as usual and got the 12th place card. Leif Kostrzewa was our important 5th runner. We will be counting 5 at the championships, so we will need our top-5 to be at their best. Salim Lubbad finished just three seconds behind Leif. No course seems to slow him down. Noah LaBonte ran a strong, smart race once again. He has established himself as one of our top runners. Kaden Hacker and Nathanael Chu worked together throughout, and came in just seconds after Noah. Our boys team is very deep. Tikvah Schlissel moved up the second half of the race and impressed the coach. Ben Breitbach did his best racing at the finish once again. He always comes in just ahead of whoever challenges him. Daniel Caspers faded the second half of the race. Hopefully he is saving some for Saturday. Matthew Kowalinski stayed steady as usual. Alexander Taylor and Joshua Lipski paced together pushing each other to the finish. Jacob LaBonte thought his running earned himself the right to eat ice cream. The course was not as sure. Sean Seraphine competed well, as did Bryant Farrell. Micah Chan raced in just ahead of his brother Peter to finish up another solid day of DASH racing.

The team looks ready for some championship racing. The one thing that could take us down now would be our health. We need to do a better job getting the athletes to put on their sweats before and after their race, especially on these cold October days. Let’s hope no one comes down sick, and we bring our best tomorrow. Homeschool Championship cross country racing comes just once a year!

Thanks to Ed Beck and Xueping Clark for being our official scorers and for collecting the cards. Thanks to the high school team that worked out on their own. I had hoped to get them more attention. Thanks to the camera lady for getting the photos. Next on the agenda is to get everyone safely to Verona and ready to race. I hope to see you there.

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.