When Brandon and Maddie McCaffrey say they do everything together, they aren’t kidding.
The twin siblings have more in common than their brown locks of hair and lively smiles. Their easy-going personalities keep them entertained as they joke back and forth. It comes as no surprise that they have the same friends. They even share a car.
The list of ties that bind the fraternal twins to one another goes on and on, but as they enter their senior year at Bishop Seabury Academy, one thing Brandon and Maddie know will keep them close is their love for cross country.
The brother and sister have been running or playing around with one sport or another further back than they can remember. Brandon, a Class 1A all-state cross country runner as a junior, plays basketball and golf at Seabury, as well. Maddie’s schedule is even busier, with cross country and volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer and swimming in the spring.
“Some days it’s tiring, but I like it enough that I don’t mind it at all,” Maddie said.
Added Brandon: “I get tired watching her.”
Seabury athletics director Eric Nelson said neither twin’s contributions at the school have gone unnoticed.
“In a 1A program, students do not have the luxury of specializing in a sport,” Nelson said. “Seabury is only able to offer an array of programs because kids like the McCaffreys choose to participate in multiple seasons. They are throwback athletes who put the needs of their school and teammates before their own.”
As involved as they are year-round, the twins list cross country as their favorite athletic endeavor. Their parents, Brian and Leslie, were runners, and Brandon started trotting along with them when he was small.
“I’ve just kind of grown up with it and not really not been around it,” said Brandon, who finished 12th at the 1A state meet in 2011.
For Maddie, who also earned all-state honors last year and took 10th individually at state as the Seahawks won the 1A title, fondness for her teammates and coach Christi Douglas are just a few of the factors that make cross country enjoyable. Being able to share the sport with Brandon makes it even better.
“He’s my biggest fan,” Maddie said.
Brandon remembers how he and the rest of Seabury’s boys team felt when the girls won the first state athletic championship in the school’s history last fall.
“I got goosebumps, I was so happy for them,” Brandon said. “We were just as happy as they were. It felt like we had a pretty big part in it, in helping them train and everything.”
Douglas said having the McCaffrey twins around has improved the cross country program as a whole, because they are both team-oriented and have the right work ethic.
“They’re both outstanding people, and they create a positive atmosphere everywhere they go,” the coach said.
That support extends from one twin to another, too. Outside of some old basketball battles in the back yard and determining whose turn it is to pay for gas, little conflict arises between the brother and sister. Their tactfulness should serve them well in the coming school year as Brandon and Maddie will be two of Seabury’s five student prefects — leaders elected by the school’s students and faculty.
With so many activities and responsibilities, the twins have a lot to look forward to as seniors.
“Going to the same school since seventh grade,” Maddie said, “I think you build it up a lot more.”
No matter what happens, they’ll be appreciative of sharing the experience with one another.
“I’m just trying to make the last year memorable,” Brandon said, “and give it my all.”