Two of a Kind: The Coney Sisters on Racing with a Twin
LA JOLLA, Calif. – “Sorry we are late! It was Maddie’s fault,” Audrey Coney hollers from across the track.
“It was not my fault,” Madalyne Coney blurts back – a typical encounter from a couple of sisters one could imagine.
Audrey and Maddie Coney of the University of California San Diego women’s cross country and track and field teams are more than just sisters running for the same program, they are identical twins.
Mirrored twins to be exact – when facing each other, they appear as matching reflections. Audrey is left-handed, Maddie is right-handed and so on.
Born and raised in Alamo, Calif., the Coney twins initially became interested in running in fifth grade while playing soccer. After developing a dual interest in racing, they joined Oak Hill’s cross country club and proceeded to compete through middle school and high school (Monte Vista HS) before reaching the collegiate level.
“We’ve always been running together, pretty similar distances, and fell in love with the sport, the people and the whole running community,” said Maddie.
In a sport like cross country or track, the two have inevitably been challenged head-to-head throughout their childhood. Nonetheless, the friendly conflict has only assisted the two in improving as individuals.
“Competing against each other has been really fun; it has been a great way to push each other,” said Audrey. “In all aspects of life, we are pretty competitive. We push each other to be the best version of ourselves."
Aside from the typical twin rivalry, the doppelgangers are also each other’s biggest fans. On days where motivation is lacking for one or the other, the twins are adamant about using their “built-in training partner” to hold each other accountable.
Before each race, the ladies are able to fire each other up through a simple stare-down. “We look at each other and we just say ‘you got this!’ and that’s when you know it’s business time,” Audrey exclaimed.
Sophomores enrolled in Revelle College, the Coneys are both interested in pursuing a career in management sciences. However, regardless of the numerous similarities one could point out, the twins believe they are actually quite diverse.
This year the Coneys are in different classes, work at different restaurants off campus, and have branched out to find their own interests.
“Since coming to college we’ve become our own person,” Audrey said. “Our personalities balance each other out. In general we both talk a lot, but for instance when [Audrey’s] being loud, I can be more quiet,” Maddie added.
Even with sights on the same major, Audrey wishes to use her degree within hospital administration, while Maddie hopes to tailor her knowledge towards sports marketing.
In the end, coming to UC San Diego with the other half right beside was never a question for the Coneys. Several factors guided the overall decision that were shared amongst the two.
The twins were drawn to “a combination of the coaching and the team dynamic, the San Diego area, living by the beach and the campus in general…” Audrey started. “…and everything that UC San Diego has to offer academically too,” Maddie finished.
On top of having pride in being Tritons, the Coney twins are even happier to share their college experiences with one another. Having a twin is a unique aspect that has only added to the Coneys’ time at UC San Diego.
“It’s definitely something special. We are all a family [on the cross country team] so we add a different aspect to our team culture,” said Audrey. “It’s different but we love it. We work well together so I think we made the right decision to go to school together.”
“I think we’ll always be close by,” Maddie said when asked about what the feature looks like for the siblings. “I can’t imagine life without seeing [Audrey] once a week.”
The Coney twins will compete this weekend in the 27th annual Triton Classic through their home course in La Jolla, Calif. The women’s 6K begins at 8 a.m. with the men’s 8K to follow at 9 a.m.
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With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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