Student athlete profile: Natalie Nowatzke

Christopher Edwards, sports reporter

Being a student-athlete comes with lot of added pressure and responsibility.

Natalie Nowatzke knows this all too well as she is a double-major in biochemistry and political science while being a member of Winona State’s Track and the Cross-Country team.

Nowatzke is in her fourth year at Winona State.

She also currently serves as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

Nowatzke describes SAAC as “a group of student athletes from all our different sports on campus and we run different NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) conference initiatives across campus.”

Some of the initiatives they have ran include the green bandana project and the “It’s a slam dunk, don’t drive drunk” campaign.

Nowatzke said she moved her way up to president by becoming a member of the executive board and last year she decided to run for president.

Currently as president, Nowatzke said “[I do] a lot of coordinating and this year is obviously really different with COVID. So, we have to change all of our events and I also run our social media.”

One of the events Nowatzke had to change was Halloween because normally SAAC would send athletes out trick or treating.

Although SAAC wasn’t able to do in-person events, they did collect food donations for the community in the parking lot of the Integrated Wellness Center at Winona State.

Aside from SAAC, Nowatzke runs distance for the Warriors. As a runner she’s made the NSIC All-Academic Team Three times.

Nowatzke describes her career as “pretty good” but unfortunate because of the injuries she’s had to overcome.

During her four years at Winona State she’s gone through 4 different cross-country coaches. Although she’s been through multiple coaches, she still believes in the current coach Mason Rebarchek.

“Having Mason, who is our head track coaches is really nice, he’s been really consistent,” Nowatzke said.

Nowatzke said her favorite athletic experience at Winona State was cross country regionals last year.

“It [regionals] went really well for me and it was really cool. We almost made nationals too,” Nowatzke said.

Nowatzke won’t get another chance to compete in track or cross-county because of the NSIC cancelling sporting events back in August.

Nowatzke said she hasn’t taken this news well.

“It’s been hard, and I think the hardest part is I think that we get a lot of hope,” Nowatzke said.

Nowatzke has also been involved with the “Warriors Vote” campaign, which helped all students get registered to vote this 2020 election.

She helped Warriors vote gain awareness by posting on social media.

Nowatzke also was able to communicate to multiple classes through Zoom.

This campaign was important to her because of one of her majors is political science.

Furthermore, Nowatzke said she was interested in Environmental Law.

Nowatzke said “[I’m] very passionate about environment policies and how they are put into place and enforced”.

In her academic career she credits her political science professor, Kara Lindman, and her biochemistry professor Emily Ruff as being positive influences.

After Nowatzke graduates, she said she’s looking to apply at the University of Denver and the University of Vermont for law.

No matter what the future holds for Nowatzke, she said she knows that the people she met at Winona State and the memories she made with them will stay with her.