For Joshua Leible, most of his free time the last two years has been spent in training mode. The A&M Consolidated senior is seeing that hard work pay off and will make his second appearance at the USA Pentathlon Multisport National Championships in June.
“It’s just such a fun experience,” Leible said. “You’re able to get to know the athletes, and then they’ll sit there and try helping you figure out how you can improve yourself. It’s really an exciting experience.”
Leible recently moved to College Station from the New Mexico Military Institute, where he was introduced to the pentathlon as a sophomore by coach Jan Olesinski, a former Olympian for Poland. The pentathlon Leible competes in consists of running, swimming, laser shooting, equestrian and fencing. Leible competes as an individual and in mixed relays.
“He started bringing me into a sport,” Leible said. “I started off with cross country then we moved into doing swimming and track and field. During the summer, he would give up his entire summers just to train us.”
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Leible’s training has intensified since then, but moving to the Brazos Valley forced him to find other ways to train after following a strict schedule in New Mexico. He joined the cross country and swim teams at Consol, practices laser shooting in his driveway on the weekends and travels to Austin or Houston to face other fencers.
“It’s been a little different most definitely,” Leible said. “… It’s really just trying to figure out where I can go at certain times to do all this stuff.”
In his first year of competition, Leible placed third in the junior division at nationals in June 2021 and won the mixed relays with partner Tessa Walker.
“I didn’t expect myself to do anything too well at nationals, because it was my first competition, and then I ended up walking away with [medals],” Leible said.
Most recently Leible competed at a national qualifier in Atlanta in December and placed first in the youth division and second in the junior division to advance to the championships. He also made the USAPM All-American second team in January for his efforts.
Leible has big plans for this year’s nationals and hopes to qualify for The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne youth and junior world championships in the fall. Those competitions will take place in Lignano, Italy, in September and Zielona Gora, Poland, in October, respectively.
“I unfortunately wasn’t able to go to [last year’s], because I was in basic training,” he said. “I just really hope that I’m able to get there.”
• NOTES — Leible is part of the Texas State Guard and participates in basic training every month. His father and grandpa both served in the military, which was the motivation behind joining, Leible said. Leible also hopes to compete in the Olympics in the future.