Much as two heads are better than one, four legs are better than two for identical twins Andres and Pablo Arroyo.
The St. Mark’s seniors literally have been running side by side on the school’s cross country and track and field teams for four years. Most often, they’ll finish a race one or two places apart, separated by only a few seconds.
Such teamwork has earned plenty of medals for both siblings, in addition to a team championship for the Lions at last year’s SPC fall meet.
“We do generally run close together,” Andres said. “In cross country, you want to race tactically and not break too far ahead.”
The Arroyos haven’t always run in tandem. While Andres became involved through a running club in elementary school, Pablo gravitated to football and other sports before developing an affinity for cross country in middle school.
“That bond makes them stronger, and brings a lot of internal drive and motivation for them.” -John Turek
“I needed to find a new way to direct my competitive spirit,” Pablo said. “I wanted to see if I could be better than Andres. Competition was a big part of it.”
After enrolling in St. Mark’s in eighth grade, the twins ran together in the high school relay event at the Dallas Marathon, something they’ve done each year.
During their freshman year, Pablo finished 35th in the SPC meet, while Andres was 44th. In their final meet as seniors, both were in the top four overall. They led St. Mark’s to its first team title since 2013.
“That bond makes them stronger, and brings a lot of internal drive and motivation for them,” said St. Mark’s head coach John Turek. “They definitely feed off each other.”
They’ve shown similar improvement on the track under the tutelage of Lions assistant coach Ryan Hershner, who works with the team’s distance runners. Last spring, Pablo won a silver medal in the 800, and both contributed to a runner up finish in the 4×800 relay.
Their high school careers never reached the finish line, as their final SPC track season was cut short due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. But when they head to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next year, the Arroyos plan to keep running — together.
“It’s a pretty big advantage,” Andres said. “It’s easier to keep motivated. If your brother can do it, so can you.”
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