Courtney and Lindsey Bruns were double trouble for the rest of the Class 2A 3,000-meter field Thursday at the state track meet. The West Branch twins ran together for nearly the entire race until Courtney pulled ahead and they finished first and second. The two were 20 seconds ahead of their nearest pursuers.
Courtney also won last year but had to run a strategic race that required her to overtake Cascade’s Mariah Kauder in the final 150 meters. Lindsey was third a year ago.
This year it was strictly a duel between the twins who’ve led the Bears distance runners during their entire careers.
“I always enjoy having Lindsey right there when I’m racing,” Courtney said. “We have fun, and we enjoy it.”
“This is our last 3,000 together and our last race is the 1,500 on Saturday, so we’re just soaking it all in,” Lindsey said.
But don’t get the idea this was like a practice run at home with the two of them out running over the streets of West Branch.
“It was a little more real than that,” Lindsey said. “There were definitely a lot of other girls out there that were really good. I know Mariah Kauder of Cascade, she’s just coming back from injury, and she did amazing. But it’s awesome when you’re actually on the blue track; it’s more real.”
Courtney finished in 10 minutes, 33.46 seconds and Lindsey in 10:37.69. Times were slower in the 80-degree heat that none of the runners have seen this spring.
Courtney spent a lot of this school year learning how to compete and train again after recovering from illness. She purposely cut her schedule and eased into it.
“We were really cautious and patient,” she said. “Track is a little bit different because when I went into cross country I still took it really easy. I didn’t do a lot of workouts; still, I kind of eased into it. So when I started track it was kind of like training.”
Yet the two did well (first and second in the class) at the state-qualifying meet and had high expectations.
“It’s definitely hard to believe, but I believed we could do it,” Courtney said.
“I was just in the mindset that it’s my last 3,000, and we were predicted to do well, but all in all we just wanted to finish out strong and be proud of what we did,” Lindsey said.
The two claim to not be very competitive with each other, at least not lately.
“I mean, we definitely have our arguments but really, yeah, we’re not that competitive,” Lindsey said. “We were more past that stage. That was more a middle-school stage. We’ve matured a little bit since then.”