Track & Field opens outdoor season


Natalie Tyler

Left to right: Sophomore Kacey Davit and Senior Olivia Fixsen leap over hurdles during the Dingels/Brueggen Open on Thursday, March 29 at Saint Mary’s University where the Warriors claimed eight first-place finishes.

Mitchell Breuer, Sports Reporter

After competing in the NCAA Indoor Championships three weeks ago, the Winona State University track and field team returned to action this past week. The team kicked off their outdoor season in Winona this past Thursday with the Dingels Brueggen Open hosted by St. Mary’s University.

In the 800-meter run, junior Hope Willenbrink finished in first-place with a time of 2:19.17, with sophomore Aimee Holland coming in fourth, and seniors Madison Schroeder and Bailey Hlavachek coming in fifth and sixth respectively.

“I thought my performance yesterday went very well. I was super happy with how I did and thought the team did very well as a whole,” Willenbrink said. “It was really cool to start off the outdoor season with running a very good time for myself. Going into the race I did not expect to do as well as I did. I’m looking forward to the outdoor season and seeing what my team can do as a whole.”

The team took first through fourth in the 1500-meter run in a contest featuring 20 competitors. Senior Raissa Hansen came home first, coming in at 4:49.63, sophomore Oliva Anger in second, senior McKenzie Carper third, and sophomore Nikki Staffen fourth.

Winona had first-year runners Erica Cerva and Katie Lorenz place third and fourth in the 3,000-meter run.

Moving on to hurdles, juniors Amanda Wanie and Olivia Fixsen placed fourth and fifth in the 100-meter competition. At a time of 1:04.23, Kalley Harris took first, with junior Kari Schneiss taking second in the 400-meter hurdles.

Harris and Schneiss also finished first in the 4×400-meter relay, along with junior Allison Johnson and sophomore Johnna Patterson. The team’s winning time was 3:59.03.

Winona saw another effort to get first place with the team of sophomores Taylor Juresh, Johnna Patterson, Alexandra Hutchison, and junior Tamika Tucker in the 4×100, as the unit laid down a time of 49.27. Tucker and Juresh also placed in the top-five in the long jump, finishing first and fourth respectively.

Juresh (second), along with seniors Alexandria Schmidt (fourth) and Erin Bramble (fifth), would finish in the top-five in the javelin throw.

In the high jump, junior Tamara Price placed fourth.

The triple jump saw first-year Kristi Springer place first with an effort of 11.55 meters, with senior Amanda Schaefer not far behind her teammate of 11.34 meters that earned her third.

Junior Heather Buckler secured first in the shot-put competition, throwing for 13.79 meters, beating out 29 other competitors.

Buckler, along with Bramble, and first-year Kelsey Judge, also placed in the top-five in discus throw. The three placed second, third and fifth.

Bramble also competed in the hammer throw, again finishing third after a throw of 44.47 meters.

“I was happy with my performance. However, I understand the work I have ahead of me in order to compete at the level of my competitors,” Hansen said. “Our team had a lot of success overall and that has just set us up for a successful season. Although we had success at our first meet we still have many miles and a lot of hard work ahead of us, in order to compete competitively at the next level.”

Next week, the team will travel to Maryville, Missouri to compete in the MIAA vs. NSIC Showdown Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 with competition beginning at 7 a.m. on April 6.