PERU, Neb. – On a cold Homecoming morning, a record number of runners participated in the Nebraska’s Toughest Mile in Peru. It was a little below freezing at the 8 a.m. start. There were 97 participants in this year’s Sesquicentennial celebration.
The race, coordinated by the Peru State Bobcat women’s cross country team and Coach Katy Billings, saw the individuals navigate the three tough hills in the city of Peru. The run began at the north end of downtown Peru and finished on the College’s campus. The toughest part of the course is considered to be running up the infamous “Gutbuster Hill” which is just north of campus.
Noah Temme, a Peru State sophomore from Fairmont, last year’s runner-up, claimed his first Toughest Mile title by completing the race in 6:45. The top female runner was Ashleigh McDonald of Tecumseh who finished the race in 7:35. McDonald is a sister to one of the Bobcat cross country runner Annika McDonald and attends Johnson Country Central High School.
The runner-ups were male – Bryan Diekmann (Shenandoah, Iowa) – former Bobcat football player and Danielle Prchal (Underwood, Iowa) – former Bobcat cross country runner.
Coach Billings and her team provided awards to the following age group winners (Hometowns are provided where available):
Female – Winner – Grayson Sherman (Humboldt); Runner-up – Harley Lubben (Burr)
Male – Winner – Preston Crawford (Auburn); Runner-up – Robert Gravatt (Brock)
Female – McDonald (Tecumseh); Runner-up – Aleigha Gomez (Shenandoah, Iowa)
Male – Colten Daake (Beatrice); Runner-up – Tate Hug (Auburn)
Female – Winner – Prchal; Runner-up – Rachel Loecker (Hartington)
Male – Winner – Temme; Runner-up – Damian Causgrove (Nebraska City)
Female – Winner– Johanna Rohrbaugh (Pawnee City); Runner-up – Tara Erickson (Auburn)
Male – Winner – Diekmann; Runner-up – Andrew Walsh – (Plattsmouth)
Female – Winner – Theresa Gravatt (Brock) Runner-up – Jennifer Sherman (Humboldt)
Male – Winner – Tim Borchers (Nebraska City); Runner-up – Brian Daake (Beatrice)
Ages 51 and up
Female – Winner – Linda Wilson (Auburn); Runner-up – Julie North (Auburn)
Male – Winner – Dave Pease (Peru) 8:32; Runner-up – Steve Scoville (Elwood) 9:52