Celtic twins take on swim
February 10, 2019 By:Lauren Murphy
By Jordan Danner
Bella and Alex Beard are sophomores at McNary.They have been swimming for clubs since they were nine. They now swim competitively for McNary’s varsity swim team as well as their club team, the Dolphins. Alex primarily swims individual medley and freestyle whereas Bella prefers breaststroke.
“Kicking is definitely my weakness,” Alex said. “For both of us,” Bella said. This is just one of the many instances the Beard twins finish each other’s sentences. The sisters agreed that their sharing of strengths and weaknesses could be contributed to their similar stature and physical build.
“Now we’ve got like Bend in our district and Bend has a lot of really good club swimmers,” Bella said. These are some challenges the twins, and other McNary swimmers have faced and will continue to face this swim season.
A major goal for Bella is to “Try to do as well as I did last year,” she said, “with the added in factor of the Bend kids”.
Alex said her personal goal is to “Try to make finals in all of my events”.
To beat her personal best, Bella said that she needs to keep working hard. Alex agrees that hard work helps not just her and her sister, but all swimmers.
Alex was excited to employ different practice techniques as well. This week the swim team has been utilizing tapering. Alex defined tapering as “a lighter workout which is more sprint based”.
In reference to their plans after high school, Alex already has a goal of pursuing swimming but Bella is still deciding.
Although the Beard twins have never swapped places in a meet or a practice, Alex has admitted she has thought about it. They have considered swapping for a practice however.
The sisters acknowledge that there may be some truth to the common phrase of “Twintellect” and Bella said that “Sometimes we’ll say the same thing at the same time”. Alex admits it can be a “little creepy at times”.
Both twins have fond memories of this connection translating to the water when they were younger. They would frequently race against each other, and these races would almost always end in either exact ties or they would finish within a second of each other. “It was like every race was like that It was really weird,” Alex said.
The Beards have a supportive family which contributes to their successes. Their father swam as a child and their entire family has always been involved in swimming. Swimming is an activity that brings their whole family together.
They continue swimming not just because they enjoy the sport but also to further the connection they share; a connection that they say may be strengthened by the water around them.