It’s incredibly rare for two cross-country runners to finish with the exact same time in a race. It’s even more unusual for those two runners to be teammates.
The only thing potentially even more outlandish than the above scenario would be if those same two runners just so happened to be twins.
Well, believe it or not, it happened.
During the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) diocesan cross-country championships on Nov. 5 at Alley Pond Park, Oakland Gardens, twin sisters Abigail and Isabelle Fallon from St. Joan of Arc, Jackson Heights, finished with the exact same time to both capture first place in the eighth-grade senior girls’ division 1.1-mile race.
Abigail and Isabelle, both 13, finished with a time of 6:34.6. Along with third place finisher Carolina Corcuera (6:54.9) completing the sweep, the twins propelled St. Joan of Arc’s senior squad to a diocesan title.
Over the last 600 yards of the race, the sisters ran stride for stride as they both attempted to gain the upper hand. Isabelle took the lead briefly, but Abigail turned on the jets to catch up to her sister.
“I heard her (Abigail) coming up behind me,” Isabelle said. “I knew it was her because everyone else was far behind us.”
In the final 75 yards, the two runners began a furious sprint to the finish and wound up crossing simultaneously.
“It’s pretty good because I wanted to get first and she (Isabelle) wanted to get first, so it’s pretty good that we both got to get first,” Abigail said.
St. Joan of Arc’s co-head coach Bob Corrigan, who has been coaching 45 years along with co-head coach Mary Glascock, said it’s almost unheard of for cross-country runners to finish with the exact same time in any race over a mile long.
“Both (Abigail and Isabelle) were at their best all the way through,” Corrigan said. “They might as well have run arm in arm. It may be, and it’s hard for me to say this. It might be the best CYO race I’ve ever seen.”
Believe me, Corrigan has seen a lot of races, and even saying “a lot” is an understatement.
Meanwhile, as the twins were crossing the finish line at Alley Pond Park, a familiar face was waiting right there: the girls’ brother Jonathan Fallon, who completes the set of triplets. Jonathan, who also runs for St. Joan of Arc, was just about to start his CYO eight-grade senior boys’ division cross-country diocesan championship race.
At the time, the competitive Jonathan only had one thought come to his mind as he saw his sisters giving their all to the finish.
“I got to get a faster time than them!” he said.
Sure enough, Jonathan did just that, placing third in the boys’ race with a time of 6:25.2 – about nine seconds faster than his sisters.
The rest of the family – parents Noel and Patricia, of St. Mary Winfield, Woodside, and siblings Jason, 24; Shane, 22; Kara, 20; and Cailin, 18 – are extremely proud of the triplets’ accomplishment.
As the triplets soon prepare for high school, “sibling rivalry” is about to take on a whole new meaning.
And if the diocesan championship was any indicator, the family is in store for many more thrilling races that come down to the wire.
Contact Jim Mancari via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.