"I think [what] drives us the most is having each other,"
Michael Brunner

Gabrielle and Elizabeth Herriman are identical twins, senior industrial engineering students—with matching class schedules—and are both record-setting throwers on the track team.

Their athletics schedule includes competitions on Fridays and Saturdays, lifting on Sundays and four hours set aside each day for practice, apart from Monday, which is their off day, Gabrielle said.

The results of their training are evident in the school records that each twin holds. Elizabeth holds eight of the top ten all-time indoor marks in the shot put, while Gabrielle holds the other two top marks.

Gabrielle ranks third outdoor in school history in the shot put and Elizabeth set the school record for indoor shot put at the 2016 GLIAC Championship.

In addition to their athletic commitments, the Herrimans also commit to their academics.

They said they follow a strict routine to maintain their GPAs—both were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for fall 2016—and athletic performance.

Elizabeth says she credits their success to the support of their family and each other.

“We’re very competitive. I think [what] drives us the most is having each other,” she said.

She said with a twin, “you have that friend but [they’re also] your natural competitor, who’s with you your whole life. Not just in track, but in life whether it be education, sports or board games.” 

However, the twins said the track team provides them with a support system on and off the field, which provides a sense of unity.

“We all want to see each other do well. Yeah, in the end, we’re all competing for that spot in our championship round, but you never want to see that person fail,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth said rather than competing with their teammates, they build off each other’s success. She said several sequential good throws by different teammates create momentum during meets.

Grace Mendoza, a sophomore political science major and a thrower on the track team, said the twins are always available for advice and their competitive nature improves the performance of their teammates.

“[Gabrielle and Elizabeth] have a healthy competition between them and that feeds into the rest [of the team]. We all feed off their vibes,” Mendoza said.

Elizabeth and Gabrielle take on different roles for each other, whether that be tutor, project partner or movie buddy, Gabrielle said.

They ultimately rely on each other for the emotional support they know they couldn’t get from anyone else, she said.

Despite the fact that the Herriman twins have shared a bedroom their entire life, Gabrielle said she can see them taking separate career paths after they graduate in May 2018.

"I do think when we get older jobs will drift us apart," Gabrielle said. "You never know, we may end up across the United States."

Gabrielle says she hopes to further her career in manufacturing and Elizabeth says she’s aiming for a position at one of the Big Three automotive companies.

"I just want to get a job in the engineering field, get the experience and work my way up the ladder to a managerial position," Elizabeth said.

Both say they can see themselves coaching in the future. 

"I'm hoping [coaching] is in my future. I would love to do track, but I'm also open to coaching basketball," Gabrielle said.

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