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PERU – Louisville High School graduate Julia Zurek earned a major award Tuesday for her work on the Peru State College women’s cross country team.

Zurek was one of two PSC athletes to earn Peru State Athlete of the Month honors for September. Peru State Athletic Director Wayne Albury selected Zurek and PSC football player Travis Reed to receive the award. He said he was proud of both athletes for their work in their sports.

“Julia and Travis have proven to be leaders on their respective teams by letting their actions on the course and on the field prove their efforts,” Albury said.

Zurek has led the cross country team in every race this season. She ran a personal-best time of 22:14.31 in the Wildcat Open at Wayne State College this past Friday. Zurek finished 28th in a race filled with both NCAA and NAIA runners.

Zurek placed 24th in the Bearcat Invite at Northwest Missouri State University in the season-opening meet. Her time of 23:20.61 was 73 seconds faster than her mark on the same course the year before.

Zurek placed 60th in the Bronco Stampede at Hastings College in 22:39.62, and she improved that time by 25 seconds at the Wayne State meet. The Wildcat Open included NCAA Division II schools Wayne State, Minnesota State-Moorhead and Southwest Minnesota State.

Zurek’s goal is to break the 21:00 mark by the end of the season. The Bobcats will compete in the Rim Rock Classic at the University of Kansas this weekend. The 9 a.m. meet will feature hundreds of athletes from all competition levels.

Zurek has earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors for her work in the classroom at Peru State. She is a senior at the school and is majoring in kinesiology.

Zurek is a resident assistant on campus and is a member of the leadership team of the Christian Student Fellowship organization. She also serves as president of Peru State’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.

Zurek earned multiple academic honors at Louisville and secured a spot in the school’s National Honor Society chapter. She participated in both volleyball and track and field and collected a host of awards. She was a member of a 1,600-meter relay team that placed fifth at the state track and field meet her senior year.

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