Twin sisters flip-flop roles, still finish 1-2 at state cross country meet

Erica and Kathryn Fluehr are like a number of twin sisters. They eat together, they take a number of their high school classes together. In fact, they do pretty much everything together. That includes cross country, where the twins compete for Community School of Naples (Fla.), for which they've emerged as two of the biggest track stars in the running-rich state of Florida.

The final cross country race of the pair's decorated high school career was no different, with the pair racing ahead of the field to finish in first and second place in the Florida Class 1A state championship.

In fact, there was only one change from the 2009 finals: Whereas Kathryn had won nearly all the most significant races in the pair's past, Erica sprinted ahead to capture the 1A crown with a time of 17:08, some 15 seconds ahead of her sister.

"It isn't necessarily fun; we're not going at each other," Erika Fluehr told the Naples News. "When I win it's like she's winning, too, and when she wins, I'm there pushing her. It's not like we're out to beat each other at all."

The pair has done plenty of that in the past two years. Kathryn Fluehr won the 2009 Class 1A state cross country title, finishing just in front of her sister, then followed that up with a Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 6 cross country title. In that performance, she clocked a personal record of 16:54, just weeks before her runner-up performance to her sister on Saturday.

While the pair may compete in the smallest state class, their times are hardly small-time. The pair have recorded two of the state's top times across all classifications in the 2010 season.

Indeed, the sisters aren't the only ones who view their achievements as those of a single entity. Their teammates and coach feel like the duo is running for all of them, particularly because Community School is a small school with a small program.

"We have track to look forward to, so it doesn't really feel like they're done," Community School coach Cassie Barone told the Naples News. "I still get them for a few more months; (the Fluehrs) and my other senior Lauren Raskauskas. The three of them have been with us since our first state title and it's going to be really tough to lose them. Their personalities are fun; that whole team dynamic will be very different."

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