Betty Wannarka Ringiesen ’84 Inducted 2003
Basketball and Track & Field
Betty Wannarka Ringeisen burst onto the Gustavus athletic scene as women's athletics programs were moving into the mainstream of collegiate athletics in the early '80s. Ringeisen was a key contributor on both the basketball and track and field teams as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference began sponsoring conference championships for women in 1982. A four-year starter on the basketball team, Ringeisen became the first women's basketball player to earn all-conference honors in 1983 as she led the league in rebounding at 11.2 rebounds per game and finished third in scoring with an average of 16.0 points per game. That was the same year that she set the school records for rebounds in a season with 315 and field goals in a season with 187. Both records still stand 20 years later! Ringeisen graduated in 1984 as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,098 points. In the spring, Ringeisen focused on track and field where she was a four-year letterwinner specializing in the heptathlon, shot put, and javelin. She was a three-time all-conference performer in the heptathlon, winning the MIAC title in 1984 and finishing third in 1982 and 1983.
Majoring in physical education and health, Ringeisen accepted a full-time teaching position in physical education and health and was named head girls' basketball coach at Jackson High School in 1986. In 1991, Ringeisen took a three-year leave of absence from teaching and moved to New Hampshire where she managed a JoAnn Fabrics store. She returned to Minnesota in 1994 and taught elementary physical education in the Jackson Country Central school system. She currently teaches at Pleasant View Elementary in Lakefield, Minnesota. Ringeisen received her master's degree in education at St. Mary's University in 2000. Betty lives in Sherburn, Minnesota, with her husband, Dave, and two children, Ally (4) and Colby (1).