This past spring saw two WSU football players scouted by NFL teams. Fullback Zach Olstad ‘17 was invited to the Buffalo Bills’ rookie minicamp, and defensive back Andrew Spencer was invited to the Cleveland Browns’. Following the conclusion of the minicamps, Olstad was signed to a free-agent contract with the Bills, making him the first WSU football player to sign an NFL contract since quarterback Brian Wrobel (2006) signed with the Green Bay Packers.
Schubbe Inducted into NSIC Hall of Fame
Former WSU softball ace Dr. Cyndy (Schubbe) Jones was inducted into the 2018 NSIC Hall of Fame in July. Among her many accolades, Jones was the NSIC Pitcher of the Year in both 2001 and 2002, and one of the most dominant pitchers in Warrior history. She was inducted into the Winona State Hall of Fame in 2012. Jones currently serves as an assistant coach for Warrior Softball, working with the pitching staff. In addition to her coaching duties, Jones is an assistant professor in the WSU Nursing Department.
NSIC SAAC Leadership Summit
Winona State hosted the 2018 NSIC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Leadership Summit in May. The event, which is hosted by different institutions each year, welcomed over 70 representatives from all 16 NSIC institutions. In addition to planned activities aimed at building camaraderie, enhancing communication skills and preparing for life after college, the annual event also consists of a community service project. This year, the students, in partnership with WSU’s Outdoor Education and Recreation Center, worked to cleanup Sugar Loaf of trash, graffiti and invasive species, followed by an opportunity to learn how to rock climb.
Third Place in 2017-18 NSIC All-Sports Award
Winona State placed third among 16 member institutions in the 2017-18 NSIC All-Sports Award standings, marking the Warriors’ second straight third-place finish while competing in just 14 of the conference’s 18 sponsored sports. WSU has won the award four times previously, and is one of just four schools to have won it in the award’s 19-year history.
Warrior Athletics held its annual WESPY Awards Banquet in May 2018, honoring the accomplishments of WSU student-athletes throughout the last year. Honorees included:
Hometown Heroes: Jorgen Erickson (Football) and Katie Schlegel (Softball)
Highest Team GPA: Women’s Tennis (3.79 cumulative GPA)
Warrior Cup: Softball Team
Newcomer of the Year: Allie Pickrain (Women’s Basketball) and Kevion Taylor (Men’s Basketball)
Student-Athlete of the Year: Raissa Hansen (Track & Field/Cross Country) and Carter McCauley (Football)
Athletes of the Year: McKenna Larsen (Softball/Volleyball) and Andrew Spencer (Football)
For more information on these awards and the honorees, visit wsu.mn/wespy-awards.
NCAA DII Central/Midwest Regional Golf Championship
WSU’s Michael Schmitz was selected to participate in the 2018 NCAA DII Men’s Central/Midwest Regional Golf Championship in spring 2018. He was one of just four central region golfers selected. In the course of the three-day event, Schmitz saved his best for last, firing a four-under par 68 on the last day, which was tied for the best of the day with two other players – the players who finished first and second at the event. He opened with a 79 in the first round and a 78 in the second. He ultimately finished 61st in the field of 108 players with a three-round total of 225 (+9).
NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championship
Tamika Tucker competed in her first-ever NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship in spring 2018. Competing in the long jump, the junior placed ninth and earned Second Team All-America status with a distance of 19’ 5 1/4”. Prior to nationals, Tucker had already won the 2018 NSIC Indoor Championship and 2018 NSIC Outdoor Championship in the long jump.
Kughn Named New Cross Country Head Coach
Zach Kughn has been announced as the new men’s and women’s cross country head coach for the 2018 fall season. He will also serve as an assistant coach for the women’s track team. A former Big Sky Conference Champion while attending Montana State University, Kughn most recently served as the graduate assistant coach at Dakota Wesleyan University for the cross country and track teams. While there, he saw the women’s team net its highest conference finish in program history and coached the Tigers’ first-ever cross country conference champion.
Warrior Softball Hosted the 13th NCAA Regional as Top Seed
The Winona State University Warriors hosted the NCAA Division II Central Regional in May. They entered the tournament as the No. 1-seed after winning the NSIC regular season and postseason title in the same year for the second time in program history, and first time since 2003. Unfortunately, the Warriors fell to Arkansas Tech 4-0, ending their season with an impressive record of 45-7 and a .865 winning percentage – the best in program history.
Gantz Named NSIC Women’s Tennis Elite 18 Winner
Rachel Gantz was named the 2018 NSIC Elite 18 Award winner for women’s tennis in April. She becomes the fourth Warrior to earn the Elite 18 Award, joining Raissa Hansen (Cross Country 2017), Maria Fruechte (Volleyball 2017) and Tara Roelofs (Women’s Basketball 2017). The NSIC Elite 18 Award was first instituted as part of the NSIC 25th Anniversary celebration, being awarded to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average participating at the finals site for each of the NSIC’s 18 Championships. Gantz, who was a senior majoring in chemistry (pre-med), earned a 3.98 grade point average and owned a 10-4 overall singles record and 11-3 doubles record (with teammate Kendra Kappes) for the season.