Trio of Twins, KU Rowing Head to Lake Natoma Invite
LAWRENCE, Kan.– Rowing is a sport that relies on a solid foundation of teamwork to achieve the fastest attainable time on the water. Junior Jennifer Hartzler and seniors Tearson ‘Jade’ Lambkins and Kaylee Sextro are among the best teammates – they have all had more practice than most growing up with a twin sibling.
Not only do they all have a twin, but they all have twin brothers: Shane Hartzler, Jordan Lambkins and Mark Sextro.
“The best part about being a twin has been having someone by my side through every new step of my life,” Hartzler said. “Shane could relate to what I was feeling whenever we experienced something new.”
“The connection Jordan and I have, it is like we are always on the same page,” Lambkins said.
“The best part of having a twin is having the same friends and being able to spend a lot of time together,” Sextro said.
It has been said that some twins share a special “intuition” with one another in that they can finish the other’s sentence or one shares the same emotions as the other in a particular situation. Hartzler, who was raised in Kearney, Mo., offers some insight into that notion.
“One of the only ‘freaky’ things that has ever happened between us was that for no apparent reason at all, there was this time that I became irrationally upset and sick to my stomach with fear,” Hartzler said.
“There was no reason for it at all, but I just knew something was wrong. About one hour later, we got a call that Shane had been in a car accident. Fortunately, he was not severely injured at the time.”
Twins are unique for more than just those “freaky” occurrences. It gives you someone to share each and every experience with, someone that can help push you to strive for greater goals.
A loving motivator that can wear both hats, separately, is the kind of brother that Lambkins grew up with in Parsons, Kan.
“Jordan and I have always been really close, and we have always had each other’s back,” Lambkins said. “On the other hand, we have always been really competitive with one another. It has definitely motivated us to be better and push each other in whatever we do.”
As for Sextro, a transfer soccer player from Johnson County Community College, her twin brother, Mark, helped to ease her transition to Lawrence.
“Mark and I lived together my first year at KU,” Sextro said. “Since I was a transfer-student, I didn’t have to live in the dorms. It was great for me because Mark would wake up extra early and take me to weights when I didn’t have a parking pass. He actually talked me into going to the tryouts and meetings for rowing when I first arrived in Lawrence, and I’ve been rowing ever since.”
Having a twin has helped each of these rowers in some capacity, but perhaps in no greater area than being a team player. These ladies would do anything for their brothers, and that is how they feel about their fellow KU rowing teammates.
“The girls on this team mean so much to me,” Hartzler said. “I see them every day, so much more than my actual family. We are with each other at our highest highs and our lowest lows. I don’t know who I would be without them.”
Hartzler is member of the Second Varsity Four boat, while Lambkins and Sextro compete in the First and Second Varsity Eight, respectively. They will try and help will their team to victory this weekend at the Lake Natoma Invite in Sacramento, Calif.
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