Manitou  Springs High School seniors Claire Kisielnicki, Henry Ilyasova and Abigail Parker have all decided to chase their desires to continue to play the sports of their choice in college next year.

All of the seniors who have signed to a sport for college have decided to commit their entire college career to play this sport; this means constant effort and dedication to their craft.

For instance, Kisielnicki has decided to sign for Division III lacrosse at Willamette University in Oregon. She has been playing lacrosse since sixth grade.

However, she only started to enjoy it and became committed to the sport once she made varsity at Cheyenne Mountain High School during her freshman year.

“I think I enjoy (lacrosse) too much to be done with it now,” Kisielnicki said. “I love the sport so much and just thinking about this being my last year it makes me want to cry.

“I just have so much fun being on the field and playing that I think I’m already so committed that it wasn’t even really a thought in my brain to not continue. It was just, ‘Oh, I’m gonna keep playing’ like that was just kind of first nature.”

Kisielnicki is excited to continue playing and going to a higher level and seems like she really cannot wait to move on.

“I’m so excited,” Kisielnicki said. “I think just being able to play at the higher level is going to be such a cool experience. And I haven’t really had the best experience in high school, playing and making friends on teams and that kind of thing. So I’m really just excited to have a group of people that I can play a sport I love with.”

Ilyasova committed to the University of Wyoming for Division I track. Since freshman year, he has been running after he realized he wanted to get into better shape, and he never looked back. His reasons for committing to that college stem from striving to better himself.

“I want to go further and I want to push myself as far as I can to be the best runner I can,” Ilyasova said.

 “I’m very excited because it’s Division I, and I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole running career,” Ilyasova said.

Parker has been playing soccer since kindergarten, but only became competitive with it in third grade. She said that all the things you can do with the soccer ball intrigued her the most.

Her reasons for committing to the sport are mostly due to, “I just felt it would be somewhere that I would fit in,” Parker said.

She has committed to the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio for Division III soccer.

“Based on my conversations with the coach and my visit to the school, I just felt like it was supposed to be.”

Just like the rest of the seniors who have signed with a program, Parker is very excited to pursue her sport and compete. 

“I am just excited to meet the girls on the team and just go to college. And I’ve met some of the people that I’ll be playing with. We seem to get along.”

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