MCHS twins push talents to the limits
May 23, 2015
Craig — Moffat County High School will be graduating two sets of twins this year, one of which has made a name for themselves in music and another in sports.
Laura and Ryan Secules picked up instruments for sixth-grade band class and never looked back, while Lauren and Alex Samuelson launched from a full lineup of youth sports into MCHS's athletics program.
Each pair has excelled in their chosen activities, serving as role models to peers and underclassmen. Now as their high school careers come to a close, the twins prepare to part ways for college and make plans for their futures.
Fraternal twins Ryan and Laura possess a quiet maturity. They share a passion for music which they both hope will blossom into musical careers in the future.
"I definitely want to do music. I've kind of jumped around on what I want to do, but it's always got music in it," Laura said. "I think playing in an orchestra for soundtracks would be fun."
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The pair is rarely found without their instruments, taking them on family vacations, playing for relatives during holiday visits and practicing together at home. Laura, a French horn player, was the first to take up an instrument in the sixth grade, sparking the interest of Ryan, who quickly convinced the instructor to let him join band late.
Laura, the more studious of the two and a French horn player, plans to complete her associate's degree at Colorado Northwestern Community College over the summer and fall and will give French horn lessons to Craig Middle School students next year. She is considering attending Colorado Christian University after obtaining her associate's degree.
She describes her brother as the more "laidback" of the two, though she also said he practices his instrument more. Ryan, a trumpet player, plans to pursue a degree in trumpet performance from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in the fall.
"If I could make a living off doing nothing but playing trumpet, that would make me happy," Ryan said. "Anything with music would make me happy."
Though memorizing their marching and concert band music together comes easily and quickly, the twins have challenged themselves musically by auditioning for and participating in regional and all-state musical events. Both Ryan and Laura were accepted into the competitive all-state band and all-state orchestra this year, and Ryan participated in the all-state jazz band as well.
"I think what you benefit most from is preparation involved to get you there," Ryan said.
Lauren and Alex Samuelson grew up pouring themselves into sports, from hockey to basketball to soccer.
"We've always done athletic things together," Alex said. "When we were little, we played all our sports together."
The Samuelsons are also fraternal, meaning they have a sisterly resemblance but are not identical. The two are close and have an easy rapport with each other.
"It's kind of like having an unconditional best friend," Lauren said.
Their senior year, Lauren was in three sports — cross country and volleyball in the fall, and track in the spring (she also played basketball her first three years at MCHS) — while Alex was part of four teams — volleyball, soccer, swimming and track and field, competing in discus and shot put.
They both excel in their athletic pursuits and were nominated for Outstanding Female Athlete — Lauren qualified for state competitions in track and cross country and was part of two state champion relay groups for track, and Alex lettered in all four of her sports this year, bringing her to a total of 11 letters throughout her high school career. Alex describes Lauren as the more dedicated of the two, however.
"She has her practices, and then she goes to the gym. I have my practices, and then I go home. I'm the lazy one," Alex said with a laugh.
Their choices in colleges and career paths reveal differences between the girls. Lauren, the more "book smart" of the two, according to her sister, signed with Metropolitan State University of Denver to run cross country and track and intends to major in biochemistry. She hopes to go into the pharmacology field or pharmaceutical engineering.
"I've always been better at math and sciences," Lauren said. "I took college chemistry last year and I really liked it a lot, so I figured I might as well do something with it."
Alex, the more artistic and crafty of the two, will go to Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction and plans to pursue a bachelor's of applied science in culinary arts and business.
"My plan is to own a restaurant or bakery or both," Alex said. "Since I was a baby, there are pictures of me cooking with a chef hat on."
The girls are used to looking out for each other and haven't been apart for longer than a weekend, Alex said, but they plan to visit each other often.