by Bridget M. Rohrer
“We both love to compete,” said Jill Perkins. “I think that’s what makes us push so hard, to do well.”
The Perkins twins, Jill and Kelly, grew up in Upland and were encouraged to take up running and other sports by their father at an early age. They began to consider the University of La Verne in high school when, at the same time, they were contemplating their majors. Jill wanted to be a diversified major and teach third grade students. Kelly was recruited by the cross country team from ULV, but decided to attend Winthrop University in South Carolina last year, where she received a full scholarship. After one year, she decided the South wasn’t right for her.
“It was too far away and I had a conflict with the basketball coach, so I decided to come back,” she said.
Jill had already been attending ULV for a year and had set a path for herself when Kelly came back. She wasn’t used to being the one out front on the sisterhood team, but that year apart had changed things for her.
When Kelly came back and started at ULV this year, it was she that had to adjust more and work to catch up to her sister. Both women are quick to agree that while growing up, everything came easily to Kelly. Success was never a struggle for her and it was always Jill that seemed to follow in her twin’s footsteps.
“Kelly has all of the talent and I just work harder at it,” said Jill. “It is weird to have the tables reversed.”
Their first year at college was the first year that they had ever spent apart from each other and they both agreed that it was extremely hard being that far apart. Jill admits to having grown up a lot in the year apart but she likes having her sister back.
“Kelly pushes me to excel and to set my goals really high,” said Jill. “Last year I was the underdog on the team, but now, I want to be league champion. I want to win it for my grandfather…because he supported us and I want to prove to him that I can do it.”
Kelly said she is happy to be spending her sophomore year at ULV, and looks forward to completing her education here. She believes that is what she is learning from being on the cross country and basketball teams will help her in the future.
“I want to major in Physical Education, be a graduate assistant and coach a division two or three team at the high school or college level. I want to get the best education possible and do athletics successfully,” she said.
Being twins isn’t always easy. While they were growing up, it wasn’t always easy to be an individual. However, early on, they learned what they were each about and worked together to strengthen themselves. Both girls want to be successful and both admit to loving the competition that the other offers.
“It’s a lot different from high school,” said Kelly. “I was in front then, now I’m behind. I like it, though, because we work out together and it makes me work harder.”
“We look different and come across differently, but we are really close,” said Jill.