Heading into the 2019 cross country season, Peru State head coach Katy Billings finds herself with one of her more experienced teams since taking the helm of the Bobcat program.
 
Billings is returning all of her top runners from the 2018 season and has added three newcomers.
 
Returning as Bobcat harriers are senior Julia Zurek (Louisville) and Jacey Sutton (Wahoo), juniors Annika McDonald (Tecumseh) (sophomore in terms of eligibility) and Marissa Wingert (Panama, Iowa), and sophomores Brealynn Wattier (Malcolm), Aubrey Wattier (Malcolm), Makalah Scheele (Beatrice), Hailee Lynn (Malcolm), and Alyssa Brink (Oakland, Iowa).
 
Zurek was the top runner for Peru State in every meet in which she competed. Her season best came at the Wayne State Invite in which she ran the 5K in 22:21.04. Aubrey Wattier, Sutton, Brink, and Brealynn Wattier had the next best times in 2018. McDonald should provide more depth after redshirting her sophomore year.
 
The newcomers are all freshmen and include Briana McLaughlin (Robins, Iowa), Sierra Jones (Peru), and Sophia Schroeder (Ravenna). All three could be among the top five runners for Peru State this fall.
 
The team began their official preparations on August 19 after following a summer running schedule.
 
Billings commented, "I am excited to get this season started as we have added some more depth this season which should help each and every runner. They have been pushing each other in the early season workouts and we are looking forward to our first meet."
 
The Bobcat schedule is similar to previous years with one change from last year. Peru State will begin their season competing this Friday, Sept. 6, in the Bearcat Invite in Maryville, Mo., at 6:45 p.m.
 
Nebraska's Toughest Mile
 
The team will host the annual Nebraska's Toughest Mile at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. Last year, the event had its largest group ever participating so Coach Billings would like to top it this year. Look for more details in a release to follow soon.