BRAINARD – The East Butler cross country teams will open the 2019 season at Timber Pointe Lake near Brainard on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran coach Dale Nielsen is optimistic heading into the season, due in large part to the talented runners he has back this season.

Senior Amanda Aerts is a multiple state medalist in track and cross country and for the first time in a while appears fully healthy. Nielsen said she will lead the girls’ team.

“Amanda is almost completely recovered from a spring knee injury and hopefully she can return to form and gain another state medal,” said Nielsen.

Teammate and fellow senior Olivia Bohac just missed out on qualifying for the state meet in 2018 and returns with that as her motivation this fall.

Aerts and Bohac will lead a deep girls’ team which has designs on competing in Kearney.

“We have some depth on the girls’ team, so I think we can improve and meet our goal of running in Kearney,” stated Nielsen.

The Tiger boys’ team boasts 12 team members and a number of them return with varsity experience.

The team will be led by junior Colby Jelinek according to Nielsen. Jelinek combined with seniors Justin Sousek and Matthew Janak will provide the Tigers with a solid core of veteran leadership and experience.

“The boys team is very positive and they have been working really hard to improve,” added Nielsen.

Thursday’s varsity meet is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

In addition to the Tigers, Aquinas Catholic, Archbishop Bergan, Central City, David City, Elmwood-Murdock, Malcolm, Raymond Central and Yutan will also run at the meet.

Complete results will appear in next week’s Wahoo Newspaper.

After hosting Thursday’s meet the Tigers will take to the road for their next varsity meet.

The Tigers will run at Wisner-Pilger on Sept. 5.

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