HIGHLAND | Ian and Seth Hardy are fraternal twins, a fact many classmates and teachers were surprised to learn this school year.
With the boys outdoor track season a javelin throw away, there's a good chance you'll be hearing a lot about these multitalented juniors.
Both were regional qualifiers as sophomores, Ian in the pole vault (13 feet, 6 inches) and Seth the high jump (6-4). First-year coach Anthony Belli believes they've only scratched the surface regarding their potential.
"We do have a rivalry going at times," Ian said, "but we're still brothers and we try to push each other the best we can."
Highland track athletes are used to going unnoticed at school but that could be changing soon.
"I don't think they know how good our track team is going to be this year," Ian said. "We're going to be pretty strong all around with girls and guys.
"I don't think people pay attention — yet — to what we can do as a track team."
Ian Hardy also competes in the shot and discus, though he isn't built like the Michelin Man and doesn't look anything like a thrower.
"I still get the job done sometimes," he said. "Whatever it takes to get points."
Ian has cleared 14 feet in the vault and is shooting for the school record of 14-3 set in 1974.
"It's been hard because we really don't have a professional pole vault coach, so you kinda have to teach yourself," Ian said. "You have to just keep pushing and once you've got it, keep working from there."
Ian Hardy also plays football at the Northwest Crossroads Conference school, while basketball is Seth's game, which may explain his jumping ability.
He's cleared 6-6 at practice and may give the sprints a try this season, probably the 400.
"When you're at the meet, you must block everything else out," Seth said of the elements.
The brothers hope fan support in the community takes off during the postseason when it matters most.
"Track doesn't get as much attention here as football, basketball or maybe even swimming," Seth said. "But I feel the harder we work now, the more fans we'll have to cheer us on at sectionals, regionals and get us to state."
Belli marvels at the Hardys' work ethic and attention to detail, considering track is not their primary sport.
"Seth is just a raw talent. He can flat out jump, so we're working on trying to refine his skills," Belli said. "And with Ian, I'm doing as much as I can and trying to get him to go to camps.
"They're both close to state, and coming out of their sophomore year, that's huge."