Winona State’s promising spring sports preview


Carolyn Hauschild

Spring sports look to continue off of last year’s success. Warriors will have a chance to watch Track and Field, Baseball, Softball and Tennis this semester.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, Sports Editor

As spring sports begin to ramp up within the next month, pre-season is underway as athletes prepare for the 2023 season.

This includes Track and Field, Baseball, Softball and Tennis.

Track and Field began on Dec. 3 with the Chuck Petersen Open and it has been quiet the season in the month and a half since then.

Shereen Vallabouy picked up right where she was in the 2021-22 season and won the 400m with a 54.41, setting a record for the Myers Field House.

Also on the podium at the first meet of the season was Regan Feit and Alyssa Larson in the 600m with 1:37.66 and 1:41.38.

At the second meet of the season, Vallabouy broke her own record to set another at 54.41, earning her U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II National Athlete of the Week.

Kaylee Beyer also won the women’s one mile and 800m with 5:00.44 and 2:20.09, both being meet records in Mankato.

Lindsay Cunningham won the 3000m with 9:35.58 to also set a facility record, building off of her amazing Cross Country season where she finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up.

For one last meet-record, Regan Feit hit a 1:39.05 in the 600m.

Brooklyn Schyvinck placed second in the 400m and Sophia Taarud took third in the one mile for the team altogether to finish second, next to the host Mavericks.

Moving to a more unfamiliar territory, they were in La Crosse for the Pat Healy Classic this past Saturday, Jan. 21.

The 4×400 relay, consisting of Feit, Beyer, Schyvinck and Vallabouy brought home first place with a time of 3:50.95.

Vallabouy once again won the 400m, followed shortly by Feit and Larson for a podium full of Warriors, and not the only time this happened that day.

In the 800m, Beyer, Bellamy Sukalski and Kylie Anderson sat on the podium while in the 200m, Schyvinck won.

Xana Leum finished first in the 60m dash, followed by Hanna Reichenberger in third.

Finally in our podium-news for the season so far, Mckenna Taylor earned second in the mile.

Winona State was placed fourth in the preseason Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coaches’ Poll.

Baseball was ranked sixth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, but the team isn’t satisfied with just sixth.

“I think one word that could really identify with us is dangerous.” Senior first baseman Cooper Kapanke said. “I think we’re kind of that wildcard where it’s like if we show up and we’re consistent, we can beat anybody. We should be higher than six and we’re going to show that this year.”

Baseball’s first home game is Feb. 24 against Drury University to start the Coach Wing era with hopes of a turn around for the Winona State baseball program (Carolyn Hauschild)

With a new head coach, Seth Wing, the team that finished 17-23 overall in the 2022 season is hopeful for some change this year.

“I think we’ve always had the talent and the weapons here to be able to do what we want to do.” Fifth-year outfielder Carter Brinkman said. “But I think now with a new program and new perspective, it just helps sharpen us a little bit more and become more in tune and play to the best of our abilities.”

The season starts on Feb. 24 at Drury University before conference play begins on March 18 in Winona against University of Minnesota – Duluth.

The Warriors have lost 9 out of 12 of the past games against Drury, making for an interesting beginning to the season next month with a new head coach and new mindset.

While Softball preseason rankings haven’t come out yet, the team finished 41-17 while successfully making it to the playoffs before losing in the first round to Rogers State, who ended up winning it all.

“My favorite memory of playing softball here at Winona would be last year in our conference tournament when we beat Mankato.” Fourth-year Cammi Riemer said. “My friend and teammate Carly Engelhardt hit a homerun and then when she come around and hit home plate she went horns down instead of horns up for Mankato.”

The Softball season begins against Grand View University at the RCTC dome on Feb. 15.

While Tennis rankings have not been released either, the season begins against Upper Iowa University at home on Feb. 4 and the season will run through April 16, including their spring break games.

Last year, Tennis was 16-5 overall, including making it to the NSIC Championships where they lost against Augustana University in the final round.

“I think my main individual goal is just adding success to the team,” Fourth-year Rachel Kelly said. “Making sure that you know, we all are successful on and off the court and just being there supporting my teammates as well.”

Be sure to keep with Winona State’s spring sports this semester every week with The Winonan and on KQAL 89.5.

Take a look at Seth Wing’s profile covered earlier this year here.