Twins Jessica & Christine Neville Sprinting For Success

The Neville twins from Inniscarra are no strangers to success when it comes to the running track with both having tasted success many times over the past few years with UCC. Both girls spoke to Pundit Arena this week about their goals for the year ahead with regards to athletics and college.

Jess is the older of the two twins who recently celebrated their 21st birthday and currently in third year studying biomedical science, while the younger twin Christine is studying microbiology. They both compete for UCC in the 400 metre race while Jess also adds hurdling at the same distance to her list of events.

The Athletics season is in pre season currently for colleges as the competitions don’t begin until the indoor season up in Tullamore and Athlone in January. Both Jess and Christine are hard at work building up their fitness ahead of the new campaign. Jess says “training takes place six times a week, with two gym sessions and four track sessions on top of all the college work we have to complete. However Friday night is out time off where we like to hang out and do things with friends”.

Ahead of the upcoming season the twins are full of ambitions with Jess the current national u-23 400 metres hurdle champion stating, “This year I want to win the inter-varsities in April, along with the national u-23 championships to take my place competing in the European u-23 championships next year”.

Of the two sisters Jess is the only one to admit to having a pre race superstition in that she must always be wearing pink socks when competing, Christine on the other hand doesn’t have any superstitions but she has a motto that she repeats before every race “Commit to the race”.

Growing up competing with Leevale the twins won numerous all Ireland titles and rarely a week went by where the two of them weren’t listed among the winners of a race at the weekend throughout the various local newspapers.

Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain would be the role model for Jess after she has watched her come second in the European 800 metres and Jess reckons she’s a big star in the making and one to watch out for when the Olympics hits Rio in 2016. Yet the most famous competitor she has raced against would be Christine McMahon who competed at this year’s Commonwealth games up in Glasgow.

Both girls have very quick times when it comes to the 400 metres with Christine narrowly in front of her younger sister with regards to personal bests with Christine’s 56.0 only just better than Jess’s time of 56.5. Jess’s hurdling personal best is 61.2 yet if she is to hit her target of the European u-23 championship’s she admits “I’ll probably need a sub 60 race so as they say I’ve a lot of improvement still to make”.

Next time you’re down in the Mardyke on the treadmill have a look out the window and you will probably see these two twins flying around the track practicing and preparing for greater things to come in the next year. It won’t be from a lack of effort that they will be unable to achieve their goals. Who knows we might be speaking to a new national champion in Christine or a defending champion in Jess’s case next year in UCC.

Stephen Walsh, Pundit Arena.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.