Category Archives: College Sports

Olesinski defends Masters’ World Pentathlon title

Jan Olesinski gets the gold medal at the 2018 UIPM Pentathlon World Championships.

NMMI Sports Press

Multi-sport NMMI coach Jan Olesinski has numerous accolades under his belt, and this July he added one more: two-time champion of the UIPM Masters World Championships.

The UIPM — Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, or, in English the International Modern Pentathlon Union — hosts biannual competitions in the five-event sport for masters — athletes ages 30 and older.

Olesinski in the combination running and shooting event

In 2016, to celebrate his 60th birthday, Olesinski — who coaches cross country, swimming and track for Institute athletes, as well as fencing and pentathlon for cadets and local residents — decided to compete in the 60+ age category.

And he won.

This year, with the international competition only five hours from his home town in Poland, Olesinski decided that was a good enough reason to compete again. Well, that and to defend his championship title. So he traveled to Halle, Germany and found this year’s competition even more challenging.

Olesinski finishing one of his 400 meter runs.

“It was a bigger crowd than two years ago in Prague and the competition was a little bit tougher,” he said.

The event drew more than 130 athletes from a record 26 countries, including an 80-year-old from Switzerland who ‘officially’ retired after the two-day competition.

The format of the 2018 UIPM Masters allowed participants to compete in the full five-event modern pentathlon (fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, and the combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running) or skip the horses, which is common in many Junior pentathlon events.

Olesinski crosses the finish line after his final 400 meter loop.

Olesinski competed in the latter, and placed first in his 60+ age group, with a combined score of 1163, thirty points ahead of his nearest competitor from Germany.

Coach ‘O’ as the NMMI cadets typically call him, further explained how the competition was organized.

“In the normal pentathlon, you do everything in one day. But in the Masters, they try to be nice,” the coach laughed.

Coach Olesinski said they fenced on the first day, swam in the morning of the next, and then finished in the afternoon with the combined shooting and running event.

For the fencing portion of the competition, however, players competed against everyone their age or older, meaning the NMMI coach had to face 24 opponents.

And he did extremely well, going 17-6 in the one-touch bouts to win that event.

“My fencing was very good,” he said, simply.

Olesinski was also pleased with his swimming, which involved 50 meters of freestyle.  He again took first, gliding to the finish in 0:31.75 — 2.3 seconds faster than anyone else in the 60+ age group.

He thought that the combined event was his weakest event, however.

“I didn’t have very good shooting,” he said, laughing that the venue, especially the dim lightning in the gym “wasn’t very helpful for old people to shoot.”

The combined event involves running 400-meters, then stopping to take shots at a target using a laser pistol. The athletes must hit the target five times, or 50 seconds has passed, to continue, with a total of four 400m loops being run with shooting after each. Olesinski said that while elite pentathletes can land all five shots in about eight seconds, for his age group, the best shooting times tended to be around 25-30 seconds.

“Every shot, you have to concentrate,” he said. “If you miss, it’s gone, and if you miss many shots you’re done.”

Olesinki finished in second place in the combined running and shooting event with a time of 7:01.58, just two seconds away from yet another first-place finish.

Overall, coach ‘O’ said he was impressed with how the meet was organized and everyone was treated.

“Everything was very respectful to the athletes,” he said, “from the opening ceremonies to the final medal presentations, the competitions, the anthems and the venue — it was all organized very nicely.”

Still, Olesinski said, the competition wasn’t easy — “There are serious guys, so you have to compete” —and it was stressful, which the coach said he isn’t used to any more.

“You can coach all your life, but when you come to compete it’s a different story,” he again laughed.

But he got through the stress and took home the gold, thanks likely in large part to the support of two of his former pupils, who came to help cheer him on in Germany: his daughter Anya Olesinski, a former junior Olympic pentathlete; and Nathan Schrimsher, who competed in the modern pentathlon for Team USA in 2016 Olympics in Rio.

So will he try again in two years?

Probably not, he said.

“The first time I went over there, two years ago, it was kind of fun. But this one, if you go the second time, then you already know what to expect.”

He enjoyed visiting family and friends before the competition this time and enjoyed sightseeing in Germany. The 2020 competition is in a country he doesn’t feel the need to go back to again, and frankly, he said, “I tell you true, I really don’t like to compete anymore.”

Still, he’s not counting out going back in four years, just to see if he still has what it takes to compete.

Olesinski on the podeum along with the other medalists at the 2018 UIPM Championships.

Former Bronco Pimentel becomes second NCBWA All-American in program history

 

Pimentel’s All-American status comes following a clean sweep of the NCAA Central Region honors where he was a First Team All-Region selection by three different outlets including the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA), American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and the NCBWA.

Prior to the all-region accolades, he was previously named the Great American Conference Newcomer of the Year and a First Team All-GAC selection after leading the conference in batting average (.411) and hits (78) while ranking second in total bases (127). He was also selected to the All-GAC Tournament Team after hitting .571 (8-for-14) at the tournament with two doubles, three home runs and six runs batted in during three games played by the Bulldogs in the event. For the season, Pimentel led the Bulldogs in hits, batting average, doubles, RBI, slugging and on-base percentage while ranking second on the squad in home runs.

“I couldn’t be happier for Alex,” Head Coach Zack Saunders said. “He has earned every bit of his success and is a product of what happens when you truly work for something. His competitiveness and work ethic are as good as any player I have coached. We couldn’t be more proud to watch him get what he deserves.”

This is the first time Saunders has had a player receive All-American recognition during his head coaching tenure, dating back to 2012. Prior to Thursday, Michael Felton (2010) was the lone All-American on the list when he was named a third team selection by the NCBWA during SWOSU’s time competing in the Lone Star Conference.

Pimentel ended the year ranked sixth in batting average and tied for fifth in total hits on SWOSU’s single-season Top-10 list and is set to return to SWOSU next season for his senior year, where he will look to continue to leave his mark on the Bulldog Baseball program.

“Congratulations to Kirby on the tremendous season and the long list of accolades that have been awarded to him after his Junior year,” said head Bronco coach Chris Cook. “Its been noted numerous times in his press clippings over the past month how hard of a worker he is, and while that is without a doubt true, the thing that stands out the most to me is just how good of a person and teammate he was here at NMMI and continues to be there at SWOSU. He has the “make-up” us coaches are always looking for in college level athletes. He is an excellent leader and I feel great that he will get to nurture and guide the newest Bronco Baseball players next year at SWOSU (Angel Colon & Luis Rivera). I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to Coach him here at the Institute and I look forward to seeing what he will accomplish down the road.”

Broncos in good position heading into day two

 

NMMI Sports Press

The Bronco tennis team started off strong scoring 8 points in the first day of the 2018 NJCAA Division I Men’s Nationals.

NMMI is currently tied in 8th place with Barton, Glendale, Mississippi Gulf Coast and Seminole state.

Link to stay updated on the NJCAA National Tournament: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=F5C370C3-46B6-4ED3-A47F-09A6D92D7F15

Singles

No. 1: Christopher Bulus had a first-round bye

No. 2: Emanuel Mallya, NMMI, def. Brandon Reichel, College of Lake County, 6-1, 6-2

No. 3: Marcel Agbegne had a first-round bye

No. 4: Kukutla Motlojoa, NMMI, def. Nickalas Neal, USC Sumter, 6-0, 6-0

No. 5: Ned Marrion, NMMI, def. Bruno Deschamps, Glendale, 6-2, 6-3

No. 6: Will Swindoll, Meridian CC, def. Orlando Santillanes, NMMI, 6-0, 6-0

Doubles:

No.1: Bulus/Agbegne had a first-round bye

No. 2: Mallya/ Motlojoa, NMMI, def. Sotelo/Wu, Pima CC, 6-2, 6-0

No. 3: McMurdie/Mendoza, Glendale, def. Marrion/Santillanes, NMMI, 6-0. 6-2

1. Collin – 14
1. Iowa Central – 14
1. Jacksonville – 14
1. Mesa – 14
5. Harford – 10
5. Laredo – 10
5. Meridian – 10
8. Barton – 8
8. Glendale – 8
8. Mississippi Gulf Coast – 8
8. NMMI – 8
8. Seminole – 8
13. Copiah-Lincoln – 6
13. Cowley – 6
13. Eastern Florida – 6
13. Marion Military – 6
13. Pima – 6
13. USC-Sumter – 6
19. ABAC – 4
19. Hinds – 4
21. Prairie St. – 2
21. Wallace St. – 2
23. ASA Miami – 0
23. Lake County – 0
23. Seward – 0
23. Tyler – 0

Broncos tied for 13th at nationals

 

Bronco Women’s tennis poses for a picture earlier in the season.

NMMI Sports Press

After day four at the 2018 Women’s NJCAA National Championships, the Broncos are tied for 13th with Jones County and Pima CC.

Each win gives you one point and a loss in the first round sends you to the consolation bracket. Each victory in the consolation bracket is 0.5 points.

No. 1 Singles: (3) Ceire Mullins defeats. (8) Georjemah Row (NMMI) 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals

No. 2 Singles: (3) Vasavi Ganesan Shanthi defeats Mikayla Lopez (NMMI) 6-0, 6-0 in the 5th round

No. 3 Singles: (3) Claudia Barboza defeats Vinda Teally ( NMMI) 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 16

No. 4 Singles: (4) Julia Tozzi d. Megan Lynch ( NMMI) 7-5, 6-3 in the round of 16

No. 5 Singles: Jenna Groene d. Becsave Pacheco (NMMI) 6-0, 6-1 in the round of 32 and was defeated in the first round of the consolation bracket.

No. 6 Singles: Jayme Shafer d. Kathy Clouthier (NMMI) 6-0, 6-0 in the round of 32 and advanced to the consolation semi-finals but was defeated 8-0.

Kovačević excited to play for Niagara next season

Mirna Kovačević signs her LOI to play for Niagara.

NMMI Sports Press

Mirna Kovacevic sets a ball to a hitter in 2017.

Bronco volleyball player Mirna Kovačević has high praise for the New Mexico Military Institute and what it has helped her achieve.

“I can talk about this all day. I really loved my time here from Day 1,” she said. “Well, not Day. 1. I hated Day 1. But from the first week to the end. And I’m really excited to go home, but I can’t imagine leaving the people behind. And I really hope we’re going to see each other after. I’ve gained so much experience. I learned a lot more about volleyball. I learned the language. I bettered my grades. I learned leadership. How to be in charge of people. How to be part of a crew. So it’s done a lot for me and I do not regret a minute of it.”

All this and more the 6-foot-2 sophomore setter from Serbia will bring to her new school, DI Niagara University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Kovačević said she was as excited to go on to the next stage of her volleyball career as she was to come to the Institute.

“I was screaming this morning when I found out I got the papers,” she said. “It was like the first time (head coach) Shelby (Forchtner) offered me (a scholarship.) It was the same exact feeling. I’m so excited to go on to the next chapter of my life and just do great things. Because I feel like I can do so much more with that confidence. And just do what I love. That’s the most important thing.”

Forchtner agrees with that excitement.

“I’m just excited to watch her grow for two more years,” she said. “When she got here, she probably had some of the best hands of anybody we’d ever seen, in 15 years. She just needed some fine tuning. It’s been nice to watch her grow for two years, but I know there’s a lot more in there, too. So it’s going to be fun to watch during her senior year and see the growth over the four years. I think she’s going to be able to go in right away and contribute to their program and start for them, and that’s exactly what they need in the setting position. She just needs to she carry over what she did this year to the next level.”

The Purple Eagles had their best MAAC finish ever in 2017, going 18-10 overall and 14-4 in conference before losing to rival Iona in the MAAC tournament. It’s a finish Kovacevic hopes to reverse next year.

 

Mirna Kovacevic poses for a head shot during the 2017 season.

“They are really struggling with that team, so I hope I can help them reach that goal of winning that conference,” she said.

If Kovačević’s can post similar stats at Niagara to those she recorded at NMMI, it might do exactly that. Mirna played in 42 matches this season for the Lady Broncos, had 661 assists, 33 aces, 195 digs, and 48 kills with a .318 kill percentage.

The setter is excited about new head coach Donna Day — a two-year assistant coach — and the team.

“She’s an amazing person,” Kovacevic said. “She reminds me of my previous coach, Shelby. I met the team and we just bonded instantly and I can see them as being my sisters, and I see them bringing me in as their sister, too. So I hope we’re going to connect on the same level and I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”

The other reason for choosing the school is her major, which is hospitality and tourism, which none of the other schools she visited offered. The sophomore hopes to eventually work on a cruise ship, which suits her ebullient personality.

And it’s that personality Forchnter said they’ll miss the most.

“She possesses a lot of leadership qualities that have helped the last two years in terms of team unity. She enjoys her teammates and her teammates enjoy her and she possesses a lot of motherly skills, in terms of making sure she’s got all of her stuff and being on time and taking care of other people around her. Those things are hard to find in 18-, 19-, 20-year old kids, nowadays.

Kovacevic closed out her signing interview with the same enthusiasm for the Institute that she started with

“I want to thank so many people here, but most of all coaches Shelby and (assistant coach) Alonso (Ibarra) who worked with me in building my confidence and building my athletic abilities. Just thanks to my entire team and everybody who’s been with me through the whole process: my teachers and the TLAs and the Dean. It’s so amazing and I love it here.