LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Most siblings are competitive, and most siblings want to beat each other at everything that they do.

Then again, most siblings aren't on the same cross country team.

Cody and Claire Castillo are both on the UCF cross country team and graduated from Titusville High School. Cody is a junior and Claire is a freshman.

UCF had its second event of the season on Saturday, the UCF Invitational. UCF dominated, taking seven of the top nine spots. Cody finished 21st. Claire finished 52 seconds and eight spots ahead of her sister.

"I started to pace myself better, stay with the other girls, stay in a pack," Claire said. "I'm not too happy with my time, but I'm really happy with my place."

As they stood in the early morning sun, speaking with fans and other racers, the Castillo girls laughed with each other easily, the competitive edge seemed to have resided. In every race, Cody watches the competitiveness transform as they move closer to the finish.

"At the beginning of all races it's like, 'Oh God I've got to beat her,'" Cody said. "Then, toward the middle, you start warming up to each other and then toward the end it becomes, 'Oh yeah, you got it girl.'"

That's exactly what happened in this race. For the first mile or so the sisters were pacing each other, but as the race moved along they started to split up. Claire loves the competitiveness at the beginning of races, and hopes she doesn't bother her older sister too much.

"It's actually a lot of fun," Claire said. "She probably won't say the same thing, but I love it."

Claire also agrees with her sister that before the race is when the rivalry is at its highest, knowing what they're about to do.

"Just giving each other looks, we know what we mean. We don't even have to say words to each other, we just give each other looks and we know that we're going compete," Claire said.

While at Titusville High School, they both ran track as well as cross country. Cody set the school record in the 800m, and Claire desperately wanted to beat it. She was never able to, although she did come within a second.

It's OK for Claire, though, because she still holds the school record in the 5K.

Off of the course, the competitiveness doesn't subside. Over the summer, they lived together and were always trying to get the better of each other.

"It's the little things, the way we talk to each other," Cody said. "We've got to one up each other in everything, even though we know it's not true sometimes."

They don't live together this semester, but when they're together it's just like always.

"At home there's a lot of tension. We have fun, though. It's all sibling fun," Claire said.

The cross country season is unfolding for UCF with just five more events before the NCAA championships are set to begin in November. The Knights finished second in their first race of the year, and after winning this one they're right where they want to be.

Cody and Claire hope that their competitiveness, not just with each other but with the whole team, will be the driving force motivating them to success this season.

"This year is about team," Cody said. "Individual places help everyone else, and our competitiveness will push everyone else too."

"I'm hoping to see all of our times drop," Claire said. "Just keeping up the competitiveness in practice will make us better in the end."

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE