Craig Despite being separated by more than 1,000 miles, sisters Caitlin and Kelsey Conci remain connected.
And not just by text messages.
The twin sisters, both 2008 Moffat County High School graduates, are continuing their swimming careers at Division I schools.
Now in their sophomore years, the sisters have managed to balance time in the pool, academics and staying in touch.
Caitlin swims the 100- and 200-meter butterfly for the University of North Dakota, and Kelsey swims the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle for the University of Wyoming.
The Concis’ swimming careers often intersect, allowing them some time to be together.
“We still talk a lot, but now we’re used to it,” Caitlin said. “We have a meet together in October, and we always see each other at Christmas. We text pretty frequently.”
“I go to school with two of my other sisters,” Kelsey said. “But, I probably talk to Caitlin the most. I can’t say it’s any different than last year. We knew what to expect, but it’s nice when we can get together.”
Both sisters have flourished in the pool this season.
Caitlin said she has found success since her season began in August.
“So far, it’s been really good,” she said. “In all of my meets ,I’ve had faster times than this time last year.”
Both Conci sisters have benefited this year from new coaching personnel.
“We have a new head coach and new assistant coach,” Caitlin said. “It’s been a huge adjustment for the team. The old coach had been there for seven years, so everyone was used to him.”
But sometimes a new coach can reinvigorate the team, Caitlin said.
“The practices are more intense; our new coach has a new outlook,” she said. “He definitely pushes us more, which is good.”
Kelsey said she has seen an improvement with her new coach.
“I’m definitely swimming faster,” she said. “Our new coach is really good, and I feel like I’m swimming a lot faster than I did last year.”
In the classroom, Caitlin has picked a major of rehabilitation and human services while Kelsey will focus on mechanical engineering.
“In the second year, you definitely know what to expect,” Kelsey said. “School has been murder — but being an athlete definitely has its advantages.”
Kelsey said she has tutors who help her with her course work, which frees up her Fridays for swimming.
“We’re required to have study hours for six hours a week,” she said. “My teachers have definitely been very accommodating.”
Caitlin said her grades have remained steady in her second year.
“They have study tables for freshmen, but not for sophomores,” she said. “We don’t have to go unless our GPA falls below 2.75.”
In the pool, Caitlin’s season is winding down just as Kelsey’s is picking up.
Caitlin still has two meets on the calendar, including a January home meet and February conference finals in Houston.
“My goals for this year are to just be faster than I was last year,” she said. “I was 12th last year for the 100-fly, so this year I want to be in the top eight.”
Kelsey’s schedule is about to pick up after her winter break.
“We have a lot of meets left,” she said. “We have three in January. This is our peak season.”
For her career, Caitlin said she wants to claim her school’s record of 55 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly.
“Right now, I’m at 56,” she said. “That’s definitely something I would like to get.”
Kelsey also has her sights set on her school’s record books.
“There are some records I would like,” she said. “The 100-back was set in 1992, and I’m one second from that.”