Athletes of the Week: Two sets of swimming sisters set the standard for success at Eagle River
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - There are many great sibling duos in sports, but it is not common to see two sets of siblings on the same team experiencing the same level of success as that of Eagle River’s Woodward and Trembath sisters.
”At practice, they’re always coming in and racing each other, then when they finish it is always a little bit of sass, whether it is dunking someone underwater because they got beat,” Eagle River swim coach Bryce Carpenter said of the two sets of sisters. “That kind of energy just breeds excitement across the team in general.”
Lola, a junior, took first place in the 100-yard freestyle (54.38) and the 100-yard backstroke (57.90) events at the 2023 Region IV Swim and Dive Championships, while younger sister Reese, a sophomore, won the 100-yard butterfly (57.21). Together, they helped Eagle River take the 200-yard freestyle relay with Reese as the starter and Lola as the anchor. The two are each other’s biggest supporters.
”Oh my gosh, I cried when I saw her 100 fly, it was amazing, I was so proud of her, I am in tears when I see her swim,” Lola said of seeing Reese’s success.
“I definitely look up to Lola,” Reese added. “She pushes me more than anyone.”
But they are also each other’s biggest challenge.
“It’s always a competition, all I want to do is beat her,” Reese said with a laugh.
“So much,” Lola said of how Reese’s success motivates her. “I do not let her win.”
“She is my biggest competition and my best friend,” Lola added.
Meanwhile, the Trembaths are rising stars as underclassmen. Sophia, a sophomore, and Lelaina, a freshman, finished 1-2 in the 200-yard freestyle prelims, setting them up to go toe-to-toe in the finals, where the older sister held off the younger sister by four seconds.
”It is pretty scary sometimes because she is getting really close to me, but I think it is really good because she pushes me to not get comfortable, to really push myself,” Sophia said.
“I would always sit in the stands and watch my sister swim so I always wanted to do it too,” Lelaina said of her older sister. “She has definitely been an influence because I try to look at her times and try to keep up with her.”
The older siblings built the groundwork for success for their young siblings and now try to fend off their pesky younger siblings while also uplifting them to new heights.
”I think the younger siblings always understand because when their older sibling has a pattern of success and they’re ... region and state champions, they almost feel like they have to match that energy,” Carpenter said of the dynamic of the sister duos. “They come in and this path is already built for them and they have to walk down it themself. Being able to come in with that background ... really sets them up well.”
But no matter the results, they will always be family.
“I think we are all a pretty close family because it is a smaller team.”
Both the Woodwards and the Trembaths will head to the 2023 Alaska State Swim and Dive Championships this weekend in Juneau as siblings but hope to return as sibling state champions.
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