Calling all Winhawk cross country runners and friends!
The Winona Senior High School cross country program is getting together to celebrate 53 years of running success in Winona — as well as coach John Ruggeberg’s induction into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.
The event will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Briggs Outdoors, 27171 County Road 9 in Winona. Former runners, as well as friends of the program and colleagues, are invited to attend.
Tickets are $5 per person and includes a wood-fired pizza buffet, lemonade, iced tea and water. Kids 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.com, through the Winona Senior High Cross Country Facebook page, or in person at the Winona Senior High School Activities office. Tickets are also available at the door, but event organizers want to get an idea of how many people to plan for.
Prior to the afternoon event, there will be a 9 a.m. run/jog beginning at the high school for anyone interested. All distances and paces are welcome.
The Winhawks cross country program has a history of success since it began in 1967.
Four teams have won state championships — the 1982 boys, 1986 girls, 1987 boys and 1989 girls. The program also has four individual state champions — Scott Morken in 1987, Garrett Heath in 2002 and 2003 and Elliott Heath in 2005.
The teams have won a combined 23 Big 9 conference team titles and 23 Big 9 individual titles. The Winhawks have won 16 section team titles and 15 section individual titles, while runners have made more than 230 individual appearances at the state meet.
The team will host the Jim Flim Invitational beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in picturesque St. Yon’s Valley on the campus of Saint Mary’s University.