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Bronco XC signs two Roswell runners; Lady Colt Sierra Walker, Lady Rocket Kayla Sisneros ready to contribute at NMMI

Local high school grads Sierra Walker (seated left) and Kayla Sisneros (seated right) sign their intent to run for the Bronco women’s cross-country team at the New Mexico Military Institute next season. Walker has run for the NMMI Colts for four years and Sisneros is a five-year Lady Rocket athlete. (NMMI Sports Press Photo)

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After several years with mostly foreign runners on the Bronco cross-country team, NMMI coach Jan Olesinski has recruited two Roswell athletes: Colt runner Sierra Walker and Goddard’s Kayla Sisneros.
“I’m kind of lucky that I was able to recruit two local girls,” Olesinski said. “They are both great runners. Sierra, I know her better because I had a chance to coach her for the last four years when she was a Colt cadet. Kayla I met last year. I saw her during local races and she’s very athletic.”
Walker has run for NMMI since she was a freshman, with her senior year a literal runaway, as she won six-straight races, including the district title, and finished fourth in Class 4A at state with a course time of 19:54.05.
“I decided to come back because I enjoyed running for coach Jan for the past four years,” Walker said. “I think he’s just an awesome coach. I also think I want to do the ROTC program and I’m able to do ROTC and run cross-country at the same time. And I did want to run in college as well. So I’m able to do both here.”
Sisneros was the top Rocket runner as a senior, coming in 45th at state in 22:17.80 after running for Goddard for five years. She has no problem with the military aspect of NMMI, as she hopes to go on to a four-year military school.
“I’ve been running cross-country for the last five years, and it’s always been my dream to hopefully become a college athlete,” Sisneros said. “So when I found the opportunity here at NMMI, I figured it would be a good idea to continue my education and running career here in preparation for hopefully going to the Air Force Academy.”
With three of his four runners graduating this year — all moving on to four-year schools — and the lone freshman opting not to come back, Walker and Sisneros will be part of an all-freshman squad. But that, Olesinski said, is OK.
“I’m mostly looking for girls who have goals in their lives, who have a vision,” he said. “Here, athletics is part of the life; it’s a very important part that teaches them how to deal with life in the future.”
And the future is what both signees are looking towards. While Walker isn’t sure what she’s going to major in — she said law school is in the back of her mind — she hopes she can go to Texas A&M after her two years as a Bronco. There, she can continue with ROTC and running.
Sisneros wants to study aerospace engineering at the Air Force Academy.
Both know Olesinski will help them improve in their chosen sport. For Sisneros, cross country is perfect for what she said is her strength.
“Endurance is definitely my strongest suit,” she said. “And then I’d say I’m more mentally tough than physically, but I’d say good at both.”
Walker said she’s definitely improved as a runner since she was a freshman, with Olesinski instilling a never-quit attitude.
“I’ve learned to just push through, even when I’m experiencing pain,” she said. “I think I’ve done a little bit better every year since my freshman year. Whenever I come to a wall, I’ve just got to try to learn to get over the wall, with anything.”
Both will have two more years with Olesinski to improve, and hopefully help the Broncos to more success on the national level.

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