Winona State shows love to donors

February 22, 2017

Olivia Volkman-Johnson Twenty two percent of Winona State University funding comes from the Minnesota state government, according to the Winona State Foundation. The other 88 percent comes from donors supporting Winona State students. The foundation, along with Winona State Alumni Relations and the Student Organization of Alumni Relations (SOAR), honored these donors during the second annual I Love WSU Week—a four-day celebration that took

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Active shooter program educates campus

February 22, 2017

Cheney Mason / Winonan ALICE, a tactical program that provides education on what to do during an active shooter situation, will be made available to Winona State University students, faculty and staff beginning Feb. 25 and 26. The program is being introduced to the university through a partnership between the Winona County Sheriff’s Department and Winona State University Security. According to Winona County Sheriff’s Deputy John Hazelton, the course name stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. “It gives people options of

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Dancescape 2017 in photo review

February 22, 2017
Left to right: Danielle Schlager, Jenna Grochow, and Hannah Ose revive a 1957 jazz choreographed stage performance of “Steam Heat” from the musical “The Pajama Game” during a Dancescape dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The performances took place in the Vivian R. Fusillo Main Stage Theatre Feb. 16 to 18. What was your favorite part of participating in “Steam Heat?” Hannah Ose: My favorite part of performing in “Steam Heat” was the freedom to be quirky and use fun facial expressions. I also enjoyed having a comical relationship with the audience and playing off of their reactions. Their cheers and jeers made it that much more exciting to be silly and humorous. Was the dance difficult? It was difficult choreography because it required extreme precision and juxtaposition between small and large movements. (Photo by Taylor Nyman) Frankie Chervenak, Reagan Johnson, Adelle Vietor and Courtney Harms watch a stool being flown in from the top of the stage during a dance called “Garden of Four,” choreographed by faculty member Gretchen Cohenour. (Photo by Taylor Nyman) Left to right: Samantha Johnson, Alexandra Jones, Jenna Grochow, Bailey Alleman and Taylor Storlie perform “Propane.” What was the rehearsal process like? Jenna Grochow: The rehearsal process was a fun time, thinking of ways to make it unexpected and everyone pitched in. It was a lighthearted and friendly time. I’m so grateful for this cast. (Photo by Taylor Nyman)















Senior Gavin Johnson created the lighting design for the final dance of the event. What was your approach to light this dance? For my approach, I had seen the dance piece a couple of times before planning my design. I listened to the music and how it corresponds to the movements done by the dancers. I then met with the choreographer (Erin Drummond) to discuss the story of the piece and the ideas for color choice, along with the importance of the different dancers and how to make them show... this was my first lighting design I have ever done and it was a little challenging. (Photo by Taylor Nyman) Junior Ella Dierberger dances her solo choreographed piece “Bone” to the song “Art Decade” by David Bowie during a rehearsal for Dancescape. This dance will represent Winona State University at the American College Dance Festival. Why did you choose this song for your piece? I chose this song because I love David Bowie. The song has a lot of nature sounds, and a melody which really fit the mood I was trying to portray. (Photo by Taylor Nyman) Adelle Vietor falls into (left to right) Frankie Chervenak, Courtney Harms and Reagan Johnson’s arms during a Dancescape piece called “Garden of Four” choreographed by faculty member Gretchen Cohenour. How did it feel to participate in Gretchen’s Piece? Courtney Harms: It was interesting to be in Gretchen’s piece. Even though it was an 18-minute piece, it felt like five. It feels like being on a different plane of existence where we were only connected to each other and our props. It sounds crazy, but that’s how it felt. The rehearsal process was three hours a week starting in September, so it was a lot of work. Whenever dancers work with props it takes longer to formulate a dance because we have to decide what we want to do with them exactly, so that was the hardest part of the preparation. (Photo by Taylor Nyman)


















Left to right: Bailey Alleman, Taylor Storlie, and Samantha Johnson dance to a piece called “Postremo Pacem,” choreographed by Andrea Wippich. (Photo by Taylor Nyman) Left to right: Jenna Grochow, Danielle Schlager, Bailey Alleman, Cali Hartstock, and Adyson Johnson perform “That’s not how you spell compassion” during a Dancescape dress rehearsal on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The performances took place in the Vivian R. Fusillo Main Stage Theatre Feb. 16 to 18. (Photo by Taylor Nyman)

Gymnastics honors teammate, wins Smile On meet

February 22, 2017
Haruko “Sunny” Hasebe finished in fourth place on the beam with 9.525 Friday night in McCown Gym. The Warriors won almost every event, beating their goal score by more than four points. (Photo by Brianna Murphy)

Emma Cavanaugh / Winonan

“Smile On” is not just great life advice – it is the motto of a squad, the anthem of a family. Smile On, also known as the Brooke Baures Memorial meet, is an annual event hosted by Winona State University gymnastics in honor of their teammate who died in December 2014.

This is the second year the team has hosted the meet, and they honored Baures’ memory by winning with a score of 188.400 against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Three years have passed since her accidental death, but the memory of her smile is still near and dear to those who knew her.

“The name of the meet is taken from the fact that she had an incredibly beautiful smile that warmed the hearts of whomever she saw, and we believe that she’s still smiling down on us from heaven,” head coach Beckie Rolbiecki said.

Rolbiecki said Baures was a “great athlete and a great kid,” the meet is held to keep her spirit alive.

“The first time around it was positive, but it was quite painful,” Rolbiecki said. “This being the second year, we can concentrate more on what she gave to our program and what we learned from her – less emphasis on the pain and the sorrow, and turning it into a celebration of her life and on what we gained from knowing her.”

Baures died her senior year after applying to graduate from Winona State’s social work program.

Due to the absence of seniors on the team, only the junior class gymnasts remembers Baures and her encouraging spirit.

Junior captain Katie Pipp said, “I loved having Brooke in the gym and practicing with her. She had the most beautiful smile and attitude in the gym. She really knew how to push me to be the best gymnast I could be. It was almost as if she knew what I was capable of even when I couldn’t see it myself.”

If one thing stood out this season, it is the Warriors’ “team first” attitude. As the season deepens, they are focusing on cleaning up their routines in order to receive better team scores. Rolbiecki said each girl is keeping her eye on the prize by trying to improve her score by a tenth of a point. The team goal of the Smile On meet was to receive a score of over 184, which they exceeded by more than four points.

Rolbiecki said how you become more of a family in a sport like this, rather than just teammembers.

“Her death rocked our team to the core; it’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with as a coach,” Rolbiecki said. “There’s no guidelines, no path. It’s so difficult to figure out how to get the team and yourself through that horror. They’re young, they see themselves as invincible.”

Baures’ parents, Ron and Kerrie Baures attended the meet, passing out most valuable player awards they put together themselves. It’s their personal way of recognizing talent and reaching out to the gymnastics community.

Before the meet, Pipp said, “Last year, the Smile On meet was a very significant experience for our team because it was the first meet that we celebrated Brooke’s life for the amazing teammate that she was. We were competing for Brooke that night, which made our success feel that much more meaningful. You could almost feel her passion for the sport during all our routines.”

At this year’s special meet, junior Eboni Jackson took first on vault with a score of 9.550, and first-year Kelli Johnston won beam with a score of 9.725. Pipp tied for first on beam with 9.650. The Warriors won almost all of the events over Eau Claire, vault excluded. The meet would normally have been a tournament, but busy schedules prevented more than one university from attending.

The annual meet will continue to keep Baures’ smile and passion alive year after year. Pipp’s goal for the meet was to match Baures’ dedication and passion for the sport.

“This meet is one of my favorites because, not only do I get to compete for my team, I get to show Brooke that the short time we had together made a big impact on my character and my gymnastics my freshman year and it still does to this day,” Pipp said. “It is just a very special night to celebrate the amazing impact Brooke had on all of us.”

By Emma Cavanaugh

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