The Winona boys cross country team enjoys donuts after winning the Austin Packer Invite.
In her final game at Paul Giel Field, Marissa Lindaman and the rest of her senior teammates on the Winona Senior High School girls soccer team went out in style.
Lindaman netted a hat trick — along with adding an assist for good measure — as the Winhawks downed Caledonia 6-0 in the first round of the MSHSL Section 1A tournament.
The 11th-seeded Winhawks (5-9-3) advanced to play sixth-seeded La Crescent-Hokah on Thursday night, but that is where their season came to an end. The teams battled to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtime periods before the Lancers advanced to the section quarterfinals on a shootout.
But on Tuesday, the seniors had their fun on their home field one last time.
Alaina Lofgren scored twice and Jill Serleth also added a goal in the victory. Another senior, Lauren Johnson, had two assists.
Freshman Gwenyth Buswell had an assist as well.
There are 11 seniors listed on the Winhawks roster — Lindaman, Annie Grund, Lofgren, Johnson, Evie Lorenz, Jill Serleth, Crigler, Caroline Dahlke, Emily Cierzan, Megan Hughes and Sarah Gierok.
There was another teammate not listed on the roster, but one who will forever be in their hearts. Sophia Moe, who passed away in a car accident in the summer of 2018, was remembered during Senior Day ceremonies on Saturday against St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura. There are shirts for sale to raise money for the Sophia Moe Foundation and the girls soccer team. They can be ordered at this link: bit.ly/sophia_shirt.
The Winhawks team started their playoff push on the right foot Thursday night at Paul Giel Field.
Four different players tallied a goal as the sixth-seeded Winhawks downed the 11th-seeded Tigers 4-0 in a MSHSL Section 1A second-round game.
Winona (7-9-1) advanced to play third-seeded Rochester Lourdes at 8 p.m. Saturday at Rochester Community Technical College.
Jasper Hedin got the party started with an unassisted goal eight minutes into the match. Owen Ping added another goal off a Cam Watkins assist and Winona led 2-0 at halftime.
Brock Herczeg scored the third Winhawks goal off an assist from Hunter Cisewski, while KAi Kovala converted a Kolby Johnson assist for the fourth goal.
Hans Larsen made seven saves to record a clean sheet in goal.
The Winhawks have now won three straight games and four of their last six.
For once some favorable temperatures, firm footing, and a relatively flat course rendezvoused with a Winhawks cross country team tuned up after months of consistent training to produce a bevy of fast times at the Austin Packer Invitational at Meadow Greens Golf Course on Tuesday
The girls were led again by Anni Skillicorn (season best of 19:34.4) and Emily Carrie (lifetime best of 19:57.7), placing in the top five of the race. They were followed by lifetime bests from Kaia Hamilton (20:33.0) and Carol Miller (21:21.9) and a season best from Colleen Halleck (21:26.5). Julia Kronebusch and Anna Florness also contributed season PRs to the varsity effort. As a team the girls placed third (69 points) in a tight pack behind Stewartville (61) and Lake City (62).
Then, for the second meet in a row, two Winona boys claimed the first two places in the race. Lifetime best from Carter Briggs (15:41.1, fifth fastest time ever in the storied history of the Winona cross country program) and Cody Peterson (16:11.6) set the tone as Zach Reuter (fourth place, 16:46.2), Jonas Trombetta (17:15.8), Ryan Meyer (17:27.7), Jared Loos (18:38.6), and Evan Bucknam (18:43.3) all set lifetime PRs as well rounding out the varsity squad. The boys team scored 30 points in winning the meet and the prized box of Superfresh Donuts.
The Winhawks celebrated Senior Night in style on Tuesday with a 97-76 win over Onalaska/Holmen/Aquinas. Six seniors were honored for their leadership and dedication: Jillian Foss, Kaylee Niemeyer, Mary Hoffman, Meixi Yu, Ryka Parsi and Tara Ziegeweid.
“There were many tears of happiness and plenty of smiles exchanged as we heard stories of their character and how they’ve affected their fellow athletes,” Winona coach Chris Mayer said. “That contagious and great energy was put into the pool and our girls performed very well.”
Winona placed first and third in the medley relay, with Anna MacLennan, Emily Robison, Carolyn Macon and Ava Pike winning in 2:00.02.
Macon led from the start to win the 200 freestyle in 2:08.61.
Kaylee Niemeyer followed with a win in the 200 individual medley in 2:31.64.
Emily Robison tied for the top spot in the 50 freestyle in 27.29, setting a personal best. Ava Pike (27.82) and Meixi Yu (28.83) also swam personal bests.
Winona took the top three diving spots, let by Issara Schmidt’s 264.15.
MacLennan was third in the 100 butterfly in 1:13.58.
Pike became the latest “Minuteman” in the Winona program by swimming a 59.88 in the 100 freestyle. The Minuteman achievement is earned if a swimmer goes under 1 minute in the event. Pike was rewarded with a sweatshirt. This is a boys and girls tradition where all the sub-minute 100 freestylers earn a memento to remind them of their accomplishment.
“This has been a team tradition for many years,” Mayer said. “In fact, I still have mine from 1996.”
Macon won the 500 freestyle in 5:39.22, a new personal best and ninth all-time.
The 200 freestyle relay of Niemeyer, Pike Robison and Macon won in 1:49.84.
MacLennan won the 100 backstroke in 1:10.27, as Winona clinched the victory after this event and the meet went into exhibition mode.
Robison swam a personal best in the breaststroke, finishing in 1:16.13. In the 400 freestyle relay, Winona would have finished first and second. Niemeyer, Wolner, MacLennan and Anna-Lee Landers would have won in 4:17.64.
The Winhawks take part in the Section 1A True Team meet in Simley on Saturday.
“It will be a tough meet, but I think our girls are ready for the challenge,” Mayer said.
Grace Rohde had 19 kills and 17 digs as the Winhawks downed Owatonna 22-25, 25-21, 28-26, 27-25.
Winona improved to 14-8 overall and 6-4 in the Big 9.
Katie Clemons added 14 kills for the Winhawks. Emma Zeller handed out 37 assists and also came up big on the defensive end with 16 digs. Phoenix Matthees contributed seven kills and five blocks.
Winona hosts Red Wing next Tuesday.