Warrior Waddle to raise scholarship money

Warrior Waddle to raise scholarship money

Erin Jones, News Reporter

Winona State University’s Warrior Waddle, which raises scholarship money for the women’s track and field and cross country teams, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21. 

Warrior Waddle coordinators Tom Slaggie and Kathy Hovell are especially excited for this year’s race.

As a part of the run’s tenth anniversary, a special medal has been designed, which will be given to all runners at the end of the race.

Prior to the Warrior Waddle, Slaggie and Hovell coordinated together on the Goodview Gallop, a walk to raise awareness for those with cancer, for 25 years.

“We stepped away from that and wanted to try something different,” Hovell said.

Both Slaggie and Hovell are into running and wanted to support a program that they liked.

They did their research and learned that the women’s track and field and cross country programs at Winona State were active and successful.

Soon after, they came up with the Warrior Waddle, a 5k run which would raise scholarship money for the young women on these teams.

“We put our heads together and our first race was about 253 runners,” Slaggie said.

Their first Warrior Waddle raised a total of $6,000, starting a scholarship fund for the women’s track and field and cross country teams.    

“It’s grown anywhere from 550 to 700 people, and with sponsorships our fund has grown to about $100,000 and we’re still able to give scholarships,” Slaggie said.

Slaggie and Hovell also chose track and field and cross country because they wanted to encourage the young ladies to continue running, even after they graduate.

Slaggie mentioned that the women on the track and field and cross country teams often come to help on the race route if they are not away at another event.

“They do a magnificent job,” Slaggie said. “They are so upbeat. They’ll be out there just laughing and carrying on and cheering the runners on. Such a great attitude.”

Mason Rebarchek, who is the head coach of the women’s track and field team and the director of cross country, shared the impact the scholarship money has on the women on his teams.

“Every scholarship makes a big difference, even the small scholarships,” Rebarchek said. “The ladies have a very strict practice schedule, so it’s hard for them to have jobs. Having a scholarship without a job makes a, big difference for them.”

Rebarchek also talked about how the young women receive the scholarship money raised at the Waddle.

“Of those on the team that receive scholarships, a few a year receive money,” Rebarch said. “They are chosen by the University’s athletic administrators and are mainly upperclassmen.”

The Warrior Waddle will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21st at the Lake Lodge on Lake Winona.

Individuals can register as a solo runner for $23, or in groups, which must include 5 or more people, for $15 a person.

Registration for the Waddle can be filled out online, or forms can be brought in or mailed to the Winona State University Athletics Office-IWC 159.