Feb. 7, 2014
By Richard Finn
Special to BIG EAST.com
In our latest edition of “Getting to Know …” we sat down with senior identical twins Abby (28 seconds older) and Clare Fischer, who have been standouts on the Xavier cross country and track teams throughout their Musketeer careers. In the fall Clare became the first Xavier athlete to compete in the NCAA Cross Country or Track and Field Championship. Abby was named BIG EAST Cross Country Female Athlete of the Week in the fall after winning the Queen City Invitational.
Coach Ryan Orner praises their mental toughness on the track: “Lap after lap they hammer the pace, grind it out, not afraid to lead.” This indoor season Clare is peaking for the 5,000 meters at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame this weekend and the 5k and 3k at the BIG EAST Championships at the Armory on Feb 21-22. Abby is sitting out the indoor season with mononucleosis and getting ready for the outdoor season.
Do you have a family history of twins?
Abby: “There are no twins in our family, but on the street in Lakewood, Ohio, where we were born there were 11 sets of twins. So the joke was if you drank the water on that street you would have twins.”
As identical twins, have you ever played a practical joke to confuse people?
Clare: “In high school, we were in the same class. We switched places for April Fool’s day and we had a pop quiz and we ended up both putting Abby’s name on it. We had to tell the teacher afterwards and she thought it was pretty funny.”
Coach Orner says you don’t have great closing speed so what is the key to your success?
Clare: “I usually try to focus on putting in the surge before the last final stretch because I know a lot of the girls have more speed than I do at the end.”
Clare, your favorite book is the best seller history book “Unbroken” about the wartime heroics of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini.
Clare: “I like reading war books about the Iraq War. With “Unbroken,” tying it to the running was pretty cool. As far as school I am an accounting major so I’m not really on the history route.”
Abby: “I really like reading running books. My favorite book is “Running with the Buffaloes” that followed Adam Goucher and the University of Colorado cross country team through his senior year (in 1998). I actually met both Adam and his wife Kara when our high school went to Nationals.”
What are you post collegiate running plans?
Abby: “After college I definitely plan on running and entering some road races or half marathons. I don’t think I will run on the professional level but I definitely want to keep running after college.”
Clare: “I think that it would really be cool to run professionally but I haven’t given it too much thought.”
How did you start running?
Clare: “I started running competitively my freshman year in high school. In grade school I did basketball and volleyball. I was kind of mediocre and knew that I wouldn’t make the high school team. My friend’s father saw us running in grade school one day when we were running shorter distances and kind of mentioned that we could make good long distance runners. I went out for cross country and just fell in love with the team and ended up being pretty good at it.”
Abby: “It was the same for me going into high school. Finding running was good for us as we ended up being better at that, then other contact sports.”
Is there a sibling rivalry?
Clare: “We definitely push each other. Abby is probably my favorite training partner. It helps us when we do workouts together to push each other. Sometimes our teammates will give us a hard time egging us on to beat the other one. Ultimately we like working together.”