Track dominates at Cardinal Open


Morgan Reddekopp

Members of the Winona State track team begin the 1500m event at the Cardinal Open hosted at St. Mary’s University on Thursday, April 25. The Warriors took home 10 first place finishes and had multiple individual achievements.

Barry Allen, Sports Reporter

Winona State University’s track and field team competed at the annual Cardinal Open hosted by Saint Mary’s University on Thursday, April 25.

The meet was moved up by two days due to inclement weather, but that did not stop the Warrior athletes from putting on one of their best performances as a team this season.

Winona State saw 10 first place event finishes, while also sweeping the top-three spots in events multiple times.

This may come as no surprise to those who have followed the team, as the Warriors have been excelling as both a team and as individuals in recent meets.

Two outdoor Winona State program records were broken in California at the high-profile Long Beach invite on April 21. Sophomore Kristi Springer broke the old record for the triple jump with a distance of 11.98m, while the Warriors’ 4x400m relay team finished with a time of 3:41.97, beating the previous record by nearly five seconds.

The success at the Long Beach invite came shortly after a Winona State University first place finish at the Ashton May Invite where the Warrior women’s track team notched another 10 event wins.

The Cardinal open was another solid event for the team in what is shaping up to be a successful outdoor season for Winona State.

Morgan Reddekopp
Senior Amanda Wanie competes in the 100m hurdles at the annual Cardinal Open hosted at St Mary’s University on Thursday, April 25.

Not only did the Warriors control the placement at St. Mary’s, but multiple personal records also came out of the meet as senior Brittany Schyvinck won both the 100m and 200m dash while setting personal-bests.

She finished the 100m with a time of 12.07 seconds, that was good enough for seventh in program history, while her time of 24.37 seconds in the 200m is now the fourth-fastest.

Her younger sister, first-year Brooklyn Schyvinck, finished second in both races to give Winona State preferred placements in the sprinting events.

The 200m dash was a highlight event for Winona State as they swept the top three spots with Brittany and Brooklyn Schyvinck finishing first and second, while first-year runner Maddy Pietz continued her successful rookie campaign placing third.

“My favorite part of the whole meet was the 200m dash where Brittany Schyvinck, Johnna Patterson and I all set personal records,” Pietz said. “It was really cool that we all did it in the same race together. It is also just nice to race with the home crowd watching. Many of us have family that came to the meet to watch. The extra support is always appreciated.”

The home crowd at St. Mary’s saw Pietz also place first overall in the women’s 400m dash with a time of 58.27 seconds.

Meanwhile, another trio of Warriors finished first through third in the 800m run with seniors Ali Johnson and Hope Willenbrink, along with sophomore Julia Silloway showing strength throughout the competition.

The women’s 400m hurdles was also swept by Winona State, as sophomore Kalley Harris and seniors Kari Schneiss and Amanda Wanie took the top three spots.

Morgan Reddekopp
Taylor Juresh, a junior specializing in sprints and jumps, prepares to do the long jump at the Cardinal Open on Thursday, April 25 where the Warriors took home 10 first place wins. Juresh won the javelin throw, throwing a distance of 38.65m.

When asked what her favorite moment of the meet was, senior hurdler Wanie did not mention her individual placement in any event, instead choosing to compliment her team instead.

“It’s tough to pick one favorite part, but I just love how supportive our team is of one another,” Wanie said. “So many people got personal records at this meet and the team is always just so happy and excited for each other. It makes my heart so full!”

Wanie did not just place well in the hurdles, she was also part of the 4x400m relay team that took home first place.

Wanie, along with Schneiss, Silloway and Johnson, finished with a time of 3:57.99 that blew out the competition with the runner up finishing almost 13 seconds behind the Warriors.

The best event for Winona State at St. Mary’s was the 5000m run, with places one through six all claimed by the Warrior runners.

Rogahn, Richtman and Hendrickson took the top three spots, as Staffen, Vandenhouten and Quiring rounded out the top-six.

With all the success that Winona State had at the Cardinal Open, the Winonan caught up with some of the Warrior athletes to ask what they think of competing at a home event. Standout first-year runner Shereen Vallabouy mentioned how the support received during a home town event.

“Participating at a home meet gives us more supporters as the whole team and coaches are there to cheer for you,” Vallabouy said. “Also, we don’t have to miss days of classes. At the same time, it’s good to travel to a competitive meet especially to get a good time in favorable weather as it helps to perform better.”

Wanie agreed, mentioning how the exhaustion suffered from traveling is something they did not have to worry about this week.   

“There definitely is an advantage as a runner when we don’t have to sit on the bus for hours before competing, so competing at home makes a difference there,” Wanie said. “Also, it’s always nice to be competing in a familiar place.”

Some of those advantages may have helped Winona State have success in the field events as sophomore jumper Kristi Springer continued her recent success by winning the long jump with a distance of 5.57m.

Right behind her was junior Taylor Juresh who finished second in the event with a distance of 5.49m. Juresh’s success did not stop there though, as she went on to take home a first-place medal in the javelin throw with a distance of 38.65m.

The triple jump proved to be an interesting event, as a pair of first-year athletes for Winona State in Madison Rizner and Kyja Griggs battled it out for first place.

Rizner, 11.49m, would barely beat Griggs, 11.45m, in the triple jump as they were the only two warriors competing in the event and finished in the top two spots.

The Warrior track and field team has had a number of successful meets both indoor and outdoor, but the Cardinal Open might prove to be the highlight of the outdoor regular season with the NSIC Championship competition around the corner.

Winona State returns to action next weekend at the Mankato Twilight on Saturday, May 4. The meet will be the final tune-up before the NSIC Outdoor Championships.

Morgan Reddekopp
Winona State track team members compete in the 1500m during the annual Cardinal Open at St Mary’s University on Thursday, April 25.