In the end, the chance to run together at the collegiate level was too good to pass up.
Last Friday night, Coginchaug’s Jessica and Samantha Drop announced they will run cross country and track and field for the University of Georgia next year.
Jessica made the verbal announcement via the social media site Instagram, posting a photo of herself and twin sister Samantha on the University of Georgia campus.
“We were looking to separate so we could shine on our own team, but then this spring, we realized that we pushed each other and we’re our best when we’re racing in the same race,” Jessica Drop said.
Despite the University of Georgia’s (Athens, Ga.) location – nearly 1,000 miles from Durham – Jessica said they are looking forward to the opportunity to branch out.
“A little bit of both (nervous/excited),” Jessica Drop said. “I’m kind of quiet and reserved so I kind of wanted to get out.”
The two twins, who both specialize in the middle and longer distance events, took an official visit to the campus in September.
“The coaches were very friendly and open to making us part of their team and also the academics,” Jessica Drop said.
Sam and Jessica led Coginchaug to an indoor and outdoor Shoreline Conference title last year. The two ran on the 4×800 relay last winter that finished with the 16th fastest time in the country (9:19.61).
Jessica finished the indoor season with the 25th-best 1,000 time (2:55.10) in the country as well.
Last June at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, Jessica won the emerging elite 1 mile (4:57.05) and the two were part of the distance medley relay that won the emerging elite in a meet record time of 11:57.06.
Jessica is currently on the soccer team this fall, while Sam is competing for the cross country team, which won the Class SS state title in 2014.
Jessica said they received partial scholarships and will both run cross country as well as track.
“It’s really awesome because we are each other’s best friend,” Jessica Drop said.
The two seniors will compete in the Southeastern Conference (Division 1). Early signing period for most sports is Nov. 11.
Jessica said they are already looking forward to the indoor track season.
“We’re really excited,” she said. “It’s our fun year, no more pressure, just go out and compete.”