Two of a Kind x 3

In a shared glance, one can tell what the other is thinking … and what move is about to come next.

Opponents and opposing fans get them confused all the time, even though they’re wearing different jersey numbers. Yep, it’s a twins thing. And it played out in triplicate this past season in the Florida Tech Athletics Department. While some athletics programs may have one set of twins in their athletics department, Florida Tech had three this past season.

[box]Meet Linus and Hampus Rikardsson, Men’s Soccer

Year: Graduate students

Ages: 24

Majors: Master of Business Administration[/box]

Linus and Hampus RikardssonThe identical twins from Norrkoping, Sweden, have been playing soccer together all of their lives, which has led to some confusion on the pitch.

“I’ve heard opponents and people in the crowd (say), ‘How can that guy be everywhere? He’s running everywhere!’ Linus said. “Then they find out about 15 or 20 minutes into the game … ‘Oh, they’re twins.’”

Though their playing styles are similar, there is one way to tell them apart. Linus—who is the youngest by three minutes—worked so hard on using his left foot to become a more balanced player that it is now his dominant side. Hampus is stronger on the right side.

After playing at Florida Tech in 2011 while working on their undergraduate degrees, they spent a semester in Barcelona, returned to Sweden and then came back to Florida Tech to earn their MBAs. They were set to graduate in May.

[box]Meet Ashley and Alyson Vezina, Women’s Soccer and Track & Field

Year: Sophomore

Ages: 19

Majors: Ashley—Chemical Engineering; Alyson—Molecular Biology[/box]

Ashley and Alyson VezinaWhen Ashley and Alyson were born, their parents used bracelets to tell them apart.

As kids, the identical twins liked to change soccer jerseys or pull a fast one on their teachers by switching classes and sitting in the same seat. There was one teacher who could not tell them apart through four years of high school.

Perhaps he should have watched them run.

“People say they can tell us apart by how we run, but we’re not sure what the difference is,” said Alyson, who is one minute younger.
Soccer is their main sport, but since coming to Florida Tech for the 2012–13 academic year, they have begun running track and even do the same events—the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Ashley said of being a twin. “There’s something about having a best friend. I don’t think you can get any closer than what we are.”

[box]Meet Melissa and Randy Echols, Basketball

Year: Junior

Ages: 21

Majors: Melissa—Applied Behavior Analysis; Randy—Psychology[/box]

Melissa and Randy EcholsFrom marathon card games where they each tried to be the last one to win to trying to better the other one’s accomplishments on the basketball court, Melissa and Randy have always pushed each other.

When they were young, Randy played center and envied how Melissa could hit jumpers from everywhere. That inspired him to work on his perimeter game. When Randy began to dunk in seventh grade, Melissa (older by two minutes) worked until she could grab the rim.

Just don’t ask which one is the better shooter.

“We are trying not to argue about this,” Melissa said. “We agree to disagree, basically.”

Not so fast, her brother chimed in.

“Here’s the thing about that … ever since she went and blatantly told everybody she’s a better shooter than me, I’ve asked her two questions—when have you ever beaten me in a shooting contest, and when are we going to do another one?” he grinned. “She has yet to answer both of those.”

—Carl Kotala

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