Earlier this high school track and field season, Westlake’s Carly Grandcolas was introduced to an unexpected competitor in the long jump: her sister Corinne.
On a whim, Westlake jumps coach Daniel Hunter decided during a meet that Corinne needed to add the long jump to her other events — the triple jump and the high jump. In that meet, she finished second to — guess who? — Carly.
On Friday, the sisters will combine to compete in five events at the Class 5A, Region II meet in Waco, where the top two finishers in each event will be guaranteed berths in the UIL state meet on May 10-11 in Austin. Carly, a senior, will be entered in the triple jump, the 1,600-meter relay and the long jump. Corinne, a junior, will compete in the high jump and the long jump.
Corinne, who had given up the long jump in middle school, will be a long jump entrant for only the fourth time as a high-schooler. A week ago at Westlake’s area meet, Corinne leaped 17 feet, 5 inches to finish third. Carly, who’s 16 months older, placed first at 18-3 1/4.
“I’m always used to competing against her in triple so having her in long is different,” Carly said. “She’s surprised me a lot by how good she is doing in such a short period of time.”
Corinne said there’s good and bad to competing against her older sister, who has signed with Baylor, where she plans to be a heptathlete.
“For me, being the younger sister, it’s common for people to think, ‘Oh, she’s going to beat you, just don’t try,’ ” Corinne said, “but I always secretly want to beat her because she is my biggest competitor.”
The benefit of squaring off against her sister at meets is that she always has someone to check her marks and give advice, Corinne said.
“We help each other out,” she said. “It is competitive in our own minds, but (also) helpful and supportive.”
Added Carly: “Being with (Corinne) in track doesn’t hurt; if anything it helps our relationship. We’re teammates and we both want each other to do well, so she’s my biggest fan, and I’m her biggest fan.”
The competitions between the sisters started when Carly joined her middle school track team in seventh grade. She enjoyed the sport so much that she drew Corinne into it.
“She was like, ‘Oh, Corinne, track is so fun.’ And then over the summer, we worked out together,” Corinne recalled. “She taught me triple (jump), she taught me long (jump), she taught me high jump — she was my first coach for track.”
Carly said the sisters stayed busy with four sports a year in middle school, but “we’ve kind of weeded things out so that I’m just doing track now, and she’s only doing track and volleyball.”
Westlake track coach Chris Carter said the Grandcolas’ sibling rivalry proves valuable to his team.
“They make each other better and they make our track team better,” he said. “I know they are competing in practice and competing at meets, and I know it goes home with them as well. That sisterly competition carries over.”
Carly’s looking forward to competing at Baylor next school year, but before she takes on the seven events of the heptathlon, she hopes to break one or two school records at Westlake. Her best mark in the triple jump is 37-3 1/4, which ranks second at the school.
She’ll get a shot at those marks this weekend, and her sister will be there to push her toward them.
Running off to regional meets
This weekend brings regional meets for track and field competitors across the state. Some notes on the area standouts who will be competing:
- An all-district wide receiver this past fall, Leander senior Tevin Smith won gold in the 200 meters and silver in the 100 meters at the Lions’ area meet, which matched athletes from District 24-4A against those from 25-4A. For good measure, Smith anchored Leander’s 800-meter relay team to a first-place finish.
- Bastrop football teammates Antwuan Davis, who has signed with Texas, and Aneas Henricks — a Texas-San Antonio signee — finished 1-2 in both the 100 meters and 200 meters at a 4A area meet in Brenham.
- Dripping Springs junior Steven Galli won gold in the 800 meters and silver in the 1,600 to qualify for regional competition in both races.
- LBJ’s Macahla Wesley finished first in two individual events — the 200 and 400 meters — and anchored the Jaguars’ 400-meter relay to victory at the 4A area meet at Burger Stadium.
- Cedar Park senior Chris Mulverhill won a pair of golds at his area meet, placing first in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Earlier this month, he won the high school steeplechase — perhaps his best event — at the Texas Relays, but that event isn’t offered in UIL competition.
- After winning the 100 in a personal-best time of 10.88 seconds, Vista Ridge’s Jonathan Hill returned to help the 400-meter relay to victory at an area meet.
Westlake’s Sydney Fowler finished first in the 300-meter hurdles while qualifying for three events at the Class 5A, Region II meet.
After she qualified in the 100 at the Class A area meet in Somerville, Thrall senior Tucker Kelm ran the anchor leg for the Tigerettes’ 1,600-meter relay that earned gold with a time of 4:19.92.
Stony Point junior Melanie Enriquez qualified for the Class 5A, Region II meet in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.