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TWINNING TRADITION

Riley sisters, T’Wolves take aim at fourth straight VOL title

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TWINNING TRADITION

Twin sisters Kyndall, left, and Kyrstin Riley are preparing to help Sierra High’s girls cross country team defend its 2009-11 Valley Oak League championships.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED August 18, 2012 12:18 a.m.

The Ulibarries. The Hurds. The Thieles.

And now, the Rileys.

Sierra High has been fortunate to have talented twin siblings on its past boys cross country teams. Juniors Kyndall and Kyrstin Riley are continuing that trend, but they are the first twin sisters to be a part of the program.

Last year as sophomores, they helped the Lady Timberwolves earn their third straight Valley Oak League championship and seventh overall.

David and Andrew Ulibarri were part of the 1998 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship contingent. David, the most accomplished harrier in school history, was the individual winner of the Division IV race in 1997 and the D-III titlist the following year. He also helped the Timberwolves earn a section banner in 1995.

Blake and Jake Hurd contributed to Sierra’s VOL co-championship run in 2004. Palmer and Tyler Thiele kept the Timberwolves competitive and were all-league performers.

“We’ve been real fortunate,” said head coach Mike Rosendin. “We’ve had these groups of twin siblings, and they’re all great kids with strong work ethics. When you have two quality athletes who are two of your top five or six, that’s real nice to have.”

The Rileys are like most typical twin tandems.

“We pretty much do everything together,” Kyndall said. “We play the same sports, we go to the same places.”

And they finish each other’s sentences.

“When we first did track in the eighth grade, (Sierra coaches) saw us and said they wanted us to join (the cross country team),” Kyrstin said.

“But we didn’t end up joining until sophomore year,” Kyndall interjected.

Rosendin said the Rileys were “a pleasant surprise” is 2011. The team was already frontloaded with veterans such as Kelley Paredes, Francis Scherry and Patricia Angel, who each earned all-VOL honors. Kyndall was two spots away from also making all-league, placing ninth in the conference finale. Her sister was 11th.

The twins sparked competition on the back end of Sierra’s lineup, improving the team’s depth.

“It was pretty cool being the young ones on the varsity team and helping the seniors get the title,” Krystin said. “We all worked really hard for it and bonded as a team.”

Angel, a senior, and the Riley combo are the only returners for the varsity team. Now, their roles are entirely different. Haley Silva and Elizabeth Ma are the sophomores who are looking to push their elders.

“It’s a little bit more pressure, but we’re still running as a pack,” Kyndall said. “We can’t rely on the seniors to lead us like last year, now it’s on us and Patricia.”

“We have some new people who should be a big help,” Kyrstin said.

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