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Two GF athletes sign national D-I letters of intent

Emily Wong and Callie Ronkowski each possess a long list of athletic accomplishments achieved during their high school years. On Wednesday, the two Grand Forks athletes took the next step by signing national letters of intent to Division I colleg...

Emily Wong and Callie Ronkowski each possess a long list of athletic accomplishments achieved during their high school years.

On Wednesday, the two Grand Forks athletes took the next step by signing national letters of intent to Division I college programs during the NCAA's early signing period.

Wong signed with the University of Nebraska gymnastics, while Ronkowski signed with the UND tennis team.

Wong has competed with Red River Valley Gymnastics for 12 years and is a level 10 gymnast, the highest level in the USAG program.

Wong said she chose Nebraska over Iowa State and Southeast Missouri.

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"I really liked the campus and the gym atmosphere," said Wong, who listed Lincoln's proximity to Grand Forks as another bonus.

Wong will join Grand Forks native Lora Evenstad with the Cornhuskers. Evenstad, who went to East Grand Forks Sacred Heart, was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season.

Red River Valley Gymnastics coach James Bayer said Wong's personality and work ethic helped earned the Division I opportunity.

"She has a laid-back personality, which is great for gymnastics," Bayer said. "She doesn't get frustrated. She's put in the extra time and it has definitely paid off."

Ronkowski, meanwhile, has been a part of five state team championships with Red River. With UND, she plans on establishing the Sioux as a Division I program.

"I wanted to be part of a new era of UND tennis," Ronkowski said.

Ronkowski said her decision came down to the Sioux, the University of Minnesota and Bowdoin College, a private school in Maine.

"It came down to that I really like UND coach Tom Wynne," said Ronkowski, who has won two North Dakota state singles titles. "He's the best coach you can find."

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Ronkowski also said her decision was based on the availability of a full-ride scholarship and UND's strong reputation for business and marketing.

Ronkowski said she hopes to make an immediate impact with the Sioux.

"When Tom recruited me we talked about being a leader of the move to Division I," Ronkowski said. "I hope to step in and fill that spot right away."

Warmack signs with BSU

East Grand Forks Senior High's Kate Warmack signed a letter of intent with Bemidji State women's basketball.

Warmack, a 6-foot-2 post, guided the Green Wave to a 28-3 record last season and a trip to the Minnesota state tournament.

Kate's parents Jim and Karen Warmack both attended Bemidji State.

"Kate is a player that can be an inside force on both ends of the floor," Bemidji State coach Mike Curfman said. "Her ability to block shots and rebound on the devensive end and her ability to post up and finish shots on the offensive end, make her a very talented post player. She has had a very successful high school career and we look forward to adding her talent to our team next year."

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Miller reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1121; (800) 477-6572, ext. 121; or send e-mail to tmiller@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: GYMNASTICSPREP SPORTSTENNIS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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