PESHTIGO — With a good mix of  runners in each class, Peshtigo girls’ cross country is primed for success this season and in the long term.
The Peshtigo boys don’t have a complete team and must settle for individual success.
The season is a week away for Bulldog cross country. The girls’ team is led by three seniors — Anna Madsen, Carlee Mylener and Samantha Rauch. Juniors include Saige Ruleau and Bekah Sokol. The sophomores are Mariah McDonough and Emily Ahrens. Freshman Katrina Salmen shows a lot of promise.
Madsen qualified for state as a freshman.
“I told her, “This has got to be your goal, to get back there,’” Peshtigo coach Jim Stillman said.
Coming off a strong freshman season in which she placed 18th at the Waupaca Sectional, McDonough is battling a hip injury.
Wisconsin has lengthened girls’ cross country races from 4,000 meters to 5,000 meters, the same as the boys. At invitationals, schools have the option to run girls 4,000 or 5,000 meters, but sectionals and state will be a full 5K.
“They’re a little bit frightened by it, but they practice with the boys and they run the same mileage,” Stillman said. “You’ve got to have girls that are willing to run into that danger zone. I know Anna will. Katrina is really a tough little kid. Mariah ran very well last year.”
The Bulldogs have a good pack of front-runners, and they’re not slacking off in practice, according to Stillman.
“You know what? If they run as well as they can, they certainly will compete with everybody in our sectional,” Stillman said.
The boys’ team includes juniors Tyler Nault, Bryce Trimberger and Damien Van Sleet, and freshman Tyler Lund.
“Tyler (Nault) right now is in tremendous shape,” according to Stillman. “He ran lots of miles this summer. He’ll run with the front group all the time.”
Lund ran well in middle school cross country. Van Sleet is in his first season of cross country.