Brooks sisters put their twin strength to work with UCO rowing

Faith Brooks (UCO OFFICIAL)
Hope Brooks (UCO OFFICIAL)

     Twin rowers Faith and Hope Brooks, originally from Arkansas but raised in Georgetown, Texas, have found their home at UCO. Both seniors majoring in Kinesiology with a focus on Exercise and Fitness Management, they have been invaluable assets to the rowing team since their arrival. 

     “It’s been quite the ride,” Hope Brooks said, reflecting on their journey. 

     Seven years ago, as high school sophomores, it all started when a family friend, who was also a rower, encouraged Faith and Hope to join a club team. They gave rowing a shot at summer camps and fell in love with it. 

     At the time, they were heavily involved in other high school sports, but they reached a point where they had to make a tough call — juggling both high school sports and rowing was just too demanding. Knowing they did not want to pursue their other high school sports at the collegiate level but still aiming to earn an athletic scholarship, they joined the rowing team at Central. 

     “As our first year as new rowers, we exceeded all expectations,’ Hope said.

     In their freshman year, the Brooks sisters clinched the national title, followed by a strong fifth-place finish their sophomore year. As juniors, they narrowly missed the top spot, securing the runner-up position at nationals. Now, in their final year, they’re aiming to reclaim the national championship to end their collegiate careers on a high note.
    Alongside their athletic achievements, they’ve also received recognition for their academic excellence. Furthermore, they were crowned GNAC champions in both their freshman and junior years, earning GNAC All-Conference honors, and various First Team and Second Team awards. Faith’s outstanding contributions were further highlighted when she was nominated for and received the CRCA Athlete of the Year award last year.
    The twins both said the significance of maintaining their personal identities amidst the comparisons was important. Being treated as if they’re the same person can pose challenges, yet they acknowledge it as part of being twins. Despite this, they remain committed to forging their own paths and defining their identities and purpose both in life and in their sport.
    “We don’t feel a sense of rivalry competing together as twins, it’s more of a special thing to have someone who is constantly pushing you to do your best, but also challenging each other knowing what we’re both capable of,” Hope said.
    The twins said they cherish having each other alongside them for their entire journey, but there are also moments of healthy competition between them. However, this competitiveness only serves to strengthen their bond. Regardless of the challenges they face, they take comfort in knowing they’ll always support each other.
    “Throughout the years, we’ve often been compared and occasionally mistaken for each other in terms of our abilities and speed,” Faith said. “But we’ve learned not to dwell on it too much because we recognize that we’re two distinct individuals.”
    Balancing the mental and physical aspect of being student-athletes can be challenging. 
    “The whole ball game changed early on in our freshman year,” Faith said, referring to the significant transition from high school to college-level sports. Managing studies, training, and dietary habits became a daily discipline. Establishing a routine and adopting strategies proved crucial for coping with the workload each year. Learning to prioritize and say no when necessary became essential skills.
    “Time management has also been a significant challenge while competing at the collegiate level,” Faith said. “It’s crucial and beneficial for avoiding burnout and striving to perform at our best.”
    The Brooks twins and the rest of the Broncho rowing team will compete in races against OU this weekend at the Oklahoma River to wrap up the regular season. Then they will compete in the conference championships on May 18.

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