Pleasantville High School’s Jacob and Isaac Clark wanted to find a college at which they could continue to grow and learn.
The twin brothers decided that place is South Plains College, a junior college in Levelland, Texas. They signed national letters of intent in late January.
“We looked around and we’ve heard about them. Our coach (Alan Laws) told us about them and they have a great track team down there,” Isaac said. “I want to get better as a runner so I can run at a (four-year) collegiate level and be ready for it. We’ve been here (on the East Coast) so long; I’m ready to explore a new area.”
The twins consider South Plains a great fit for many reasons. The men’s track and field program has won six consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Last year, the team had eight individual and relay champions, eight runners-up and seven third-place finishers.
“I don’t think it adds any extra pressure,” Jacob said of joining an elite program. “It’s more of a good thing, but we won’t be home anymore, so I’ll have to get used to the new envirnoment and the team. But at the same time, I know I can do it.”
The Clark brothers, who most recently led the Greyhounds to the state Group I indoor track and field title, are both among the top cross country and track and field runners in South Jersey.
“I saw their times in the 800 meters and they were right where I wanted to be, so I decided it would be a good school to go to,” Jacob said of South Plains.
The brothers hope to someday reach the Olympic trials. South Plains might be able to help that goal become a reality. Former Lady Texan standout Sally Kipyego won the silver medal in the 10,000-meter final in London last summer. It was the first Olympic race of her career.
“It’s always been my dream (making the Olympic trials) since I was little, so it’s just like a bonus that the coaches there have helped other runners get there,” Jacob said.
The 18 year-olds have not been to South Plains yet, but they have explored the campus and it’s programs online and have talked with the team’s coaches.
“It was good,” Isaac said of the talk he and his brother had with head coach Chris Beene. “He gave me a lot of information, told me what I need to do and asked me about my races.”
Both brothers plan to attend four-year schools after South Plains as even better athletes. Neither one of them has a specific school in mind yet.
“I’d like Division I or II, but whatever school I can get a chance to run at,” Isaac said.
“I’d like to find a four-year school that is going to keep helping me improve and help me reach my goals, like the the Olympic trials,” Jacob said.
For now, Isaac will focus on running, while majoring in education and minoring in athletic training. Jacob also wants to study athletic training.
The twins are confident that they have found a school that will improve and prepare them for their future, both academically and athletically.
“It seem’s like high school,” Jacob said. “The team is like a family and I think we’ll all get along good. I’m most excited for my first meet and then we’ll see what happens from there.”
“I’m excited for the challege,” Isaac said. “This will get me ready. We know what we have to do and it will help us improve and get better.”
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