Papierski siblings continue their athletic dreams at the D2 Level
Both Emaleigh and Krece Papierski have committed to play their respective sports at the Division II Level
They may have missed out on some sports in 2020, but Krece and Emaleigh Papierski have accomplished what few have been able to do in 2020: the twins have both committed to play in Division II athletics.
Krece has committed to play baseball at the University of Mary, in Bismarck, North Dakota. Emaleigh has committed to run track at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Krece joins a Marauders program that went 3-9 last year before the season shut down, while Emaleigh will be joining a Mountain Lions team that finished first in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Indoor Championships last year.
The Colorado Springs Mountain Lions Track and Field team has won the RMAC each of the last two seasons.
“I really like their winning environment and how they train,” Emaleigh said.
At the University of Mary, the baseball team’s head coach, Tanner Spencer, and his assistant, Scott Platt, are approximately a combined 47 years old. Spencer is in his second season at the helm of the Marauders program. While Platt is entering his first year on the staff. The two coaches worked together at their alma mater — the University of Nebraska-Kearney — back in 2018, when Platt was an infielder for the Lopers and Spencer was the pitching coach.
“I felt like I could relate to them very well, and then they just want to win man,” Krece said.
The Marauders program has been struggling for a long time, but Krece hopes he can help change that. The team has not finished with a winning record since 2002 and has gone through five coaches in that time as well.
“They have a winning attitude and they want to get it done and win a national championship and I want to be a part of that,” Krece said.
One of the big adjustments for the twins is not going to the same school for the first time in their life. Emaleigh said that it was a thought, but that they ultimately decided to go to the schools they each felt fit them better. The siblings mentioned that they did look at continuing their athletic dreams at the other’s schools however.
Both twins battled against the potential impact of having their junior years canceled in different ways.
“I was still lucky enough to go to Chicago and play all over the country this last summer and fall,” Krece said, “So, it didn’t hurt me too bad, I was still super fortunate to get a couple games in and still be able to compete.”
Emaleigh said the pandemic was hard to deal with while trying to be recruited for both basketball and track because the basketball rosters at the collegiate level were already full at the schools where she was looking.
“I was definitely lucky enough to have good times sophomore year, so that probably helped,” Emaleigh said.
A unique issue that Emaleigh faced in her recruiting process was her desire to compete at the next level in both basketball and track. One of the things that also factored into her decision was her ability to get into a good nursing program to help pursue her dreams off of the track and the floor.
“I had the decision to go to Sioux Falls in South Dakota, a small D2 Christian for basketball and track, and I was just going to walk on the track team. But I decided I wanted to go to a bigger D2 school and fully commit myself to track and use that to get into a good nursing program,” Emaleigh said.
Emaleigh knows exactly what event she will be starting with next year when she joins the Mountain Lions program.
“I’m gonna try the heptathlon, which is seven events: 100 meter hurdles, 200, 800, high jump, long jump, javelin, shot put. I’m gonna try that and see how that goes. If I decide not to do that, I’m gonna run the 400 and 200,” she said.
Krece is also hoping to know what his situation on the Marauder’s team will be in regards to lineup and position.
“I’m obviously going as a catcher, probably a top of the lineup kind of hitter, and just hoping to get to play right away, that’s the goal, that’s the plan.”
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