Sister Act: Topsail's Kaitlyn, Makayla Obremski off to flying starts in 2020
Cross country races in the Mideastern Conference have become predictable for Topsail's Kaitlyn and Makayla Obremski.
Before the race, the sisters will go through their secret handshake. After the race, they'll find each other for an exhausted hug.
And during the race, Kaitlyn and Makayla can be found leading the pack. The Topsail duo finished 1-2 in the 2019 Mideastern Conference championships, and nothing's changed at the start of the 2020 season. Through two races, Kaitlyn has two wins, and Makayla has two runner-up finishes.
"It's been awesome experiencing this the past two years," said Makayla, a senior at Topsail and the older sister. "It's like I get to live with my best friend, and we also get to compete together with the same interests."
For all the hardship 2020 has provided, the sisters are thankful to have this cross country season close out the year. With Makayla set to graduate in the spring and run for East Carolina, this could be the final year they get to run on the same team.
The running journey started with the Without Limits club team in Wilmington. Kaitlyn, a sophomore at Topsail, followed Makayla's footsteps, even if they weren't always equally passionate about the sport.
"I remember running early on with Makayla, and I would get distracted and climb a tree during the race," Kaitlyn said. "I don't think I really started taking it seriously until I was in the seventh grade."
It didn't take long for Kaitlyn to realize her potential. As a freshman, Kaitlyn was named the StarNews All-Area Girls Runner of the Year and won the NCHSAA 3A East Regional, shattering records along the way.
Both runners are happy with their progress to start the 2020 campaign. Kaitlyn and Makayla both set personal season records Wednesday at a conference meet at Olsen Park. Kaitlyn finished with a time of 17:38, and Makayla crossed the finish line in 18:44. They hope to set all-time personal records by the end of the season.
"I think what's most impressive about both girls is how focused they are with their training regimen and they know exactly what they want to accomplish," Topsail head coach Will Dorn said. "They're young, but they're mature when it comes to running."
The sisters are dreading their impending separation next year. Their mom, Marsha Obremski, said they've already picked some halfway points between Wilmington and Greenville where they can meet and catch up when Makayla goes to ECU.
There's always a chance this isn't their final season running together. Makayla won't be afraid to help East Carolina's recruiting pitch to Kaitlyn, but any final decision for the sophomore is still a year away.
For now, they're ready to cherish each run like it's their last together, and hopeful a state championship could be the ultimate reward for Kaitlyn's season-long race.
Reporter Jackson Fuller can be reached at Jackson.Fuller@scjypq.com or 910-343-2262.