named Cowley's Student Athletes of the year
Recognizing the accomplishments of the Cowley College athletic programs both on the playing field and in the classroom, close to 300 people attended the college’s 2008 Athletic Awards Banquet April 22 in the Arkansas City Ag Building.
Cowley athletic director Tom Saia, along with Tiger Booster Club President Mark Patrick, provided a run down of the Tiger athletic programs. Those in attendance were then treated to a steak dinner and slide show prior to the awards ceremony.
Then came the time to announce the college’s Male and Female Student Athlete’s of the Year. This year’s winners were, Diego Motivar of the men’s tennis team, and Kelsey Poljansek of the women’s track and field team.
“It was a tough decision to make because we have so many wonderful student athletes to choose from,” Saia said. “They have done a wonderful job over the last two years, both on and off the court.”
Motivar is the son of Luis and Luc Motivar of Bogotá Columbia. He is a business administration major and plans to transfer to Columbus State University in Georgia next year to continue his education and tennis career.
During his freshman year at Cowley, he was the conference and region VI singles and doubles Champion. He ended with a final national ranking of No. 14 in singles and No. 16 in doubles.
This past fall, Motivar qualified to participate in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Tournament and was a regional runner-up and finished with an ITA ranking of No. 5 for singles and No. 6 for doubles.
Motivar was the singles champion and finished runner up in doubles at the 2008 regional tournament. He advanced to the semifinals of No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles at the NJCAA national tournament in Plano, Texas, May 11-16.
He came to Cowley with English as his second language, so in addition to the transition to college, he also had to transition to a new language and culture.
He finished with a 3.7 GPA and was on the honor roll every semester at Cowley.
Poljansek is the daughter of Dan and Suzie Poljansek from Milton, Kan. She is an education major and has signed to continue her education and track career at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Her tireless work ethic has helped her become the top thrower in Cowley history. She will leave Cowley College with all but one throw record for the school. As a freshman, she was conference and regional champion, NJCAA national runner up and a second team NJCAA all-American in the indoor shot put. She was also a national qualifier in the indoor weight throw.
In outdoor track her freshman year, she was a conference, region, and national champion in both the shot put and the discus. She was also named the NJCAA National Outdoor Championship Field event Athlete of the Meet, and was a first team all-American in the shot put and the discus.
This year, Poljansek has continued her excellence on the field. She was a conference, regional, and national champion in the indoor shot put, and was named first team all-American. She was also a national qualifier in the weight throw.
She was named the Female Field Event Athlete of the Meet for the second consecutive year at the NJCAA National Outdoor Championships in Levelland, Texas, and helped lead the Lady Tiger track and field team to an eighth place national finish.
Poljansek was the national champion in the shot put for the second straight year and also finished as the national runner-up in the discus and hammer throw. She missed being the national champion in the discus by two centimeters, and won the shot put on her final throw.
It was then time to announce the winners of the Conrad and Janet Jimison Tiger Booster of the Year. Conrad spent 37 years working at Cowley College prior to retiring in 2005. He and Janet made it back from their home in Justin, Texas to hand out the award.
With so many important boosters to choose from, the college decided to recognize two individuals. This year’s recipients were, Gene Cole, former Associate Dean of Business and Industry at Cowley College, and Bruce Watson, who serves as the college’s coordinator athletic/community/minority counselor, and is a sponsor of the Adopt-A-Player program.
“They have been with me since I have been here and have done great things for us,” Saia said. “I would like to be able to give out 500 of these awards if I could.”
Watson was visibly emotional upon hearing his name called as one of the Boosters of the Year. Always known to have an open door for the college’s student athletes, Watson has made an impact on the lives of several former and current student athletes.
“This is the biggest award they could have given me, it is one of the highlights of my life,” Watson said.
The evening concluded with Cowley College President Dr. Patrick J. McAtee thanking the student athletes, coaches, and Saia for their hard work and dedication to Tiger athletics.
2007-08 Student Athletes of the Month that were recognized at the banquet:
- September — Heather Davis, Softball
- October — Preston Brown, Men’s Basketball
- November — Bethany Schmidt — Women’s Cross Country
- December — Diego Motivar, Men’s Tennis
- January — Andrea Mitchell, Volleyball
- February — Andy Petz, Baseball
- March — Elena Yankova, Women’s Basketball
- April — Kelsey Poljansek, Women’s Track
- May — Brett Koehn, Men’s Track