By Spencer Sorensen
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
One hour and 44 minutes is an extremely long stretch for a sprinter, but that time has nothing to do with a race. It happens to be the amount of time Taylor Evans had to wait for her twin sister Terra to join her in this world.
Taylor now looks up to her younger sister, especially when it comes to her decision in taking a scholarship offer from Texas Tech University.
“She didn’t mind me tagging along, even though I’m the older one,” Taylor said. “I am happy Tech recruited her because now I could come here.”
For 18 years, Terra and Taylor had shared many great moments together on and off the track. As twins, they were together for almost everything they had ever experienced. However, when it came time to make a decision on going to college, they chose different paths - Taylor originally chose Louisiana State University, not realizing the difficulty of being apart.
“That was our first time being away from each other for an extended period of time,” Terra said.
“It was a big adjustment,” Taylor said, “No one could really relate with how hard it was [being away from Terra].”
“It was just weird not being able to see her when I wanted to,” Terra said. “I couldn’t just run into her room and lay on the bed and watch TV with her.”
Taylor, who was not enjoying her experience in Baton Rouge as she had originally envisioned, came and visited Terra in Lubbock, Texas last spring. She realized this is where she needed to be. Soon after visiting, Taylor officially transferred to Texas Tech.
“Seeing how happy I was in this stress-free environment and not having to worry about this and that … she just liked it,” Terra explained.
“Not only did Terra embrace me, but the coaches embraced me as well,” Taylor added.
One of the biggest reasons Terra chose Texas Tech in the first place was because of Assistant Coach Dion Mille. He initially spotted the talented twins while he was an assistant coach at Arizona State University, located just outside of the Evans’ hometown of Phoenix.
By the time they were seniors in high school, Miller was in his first year as a Texas Tech assistant coach. He never lost contact with the sisters though and recruited them to come to Lubbock.
“From youth track and field up through high school, the young ladies just dominated the state of Arizona as far as sprints are concerned,” Miller said. “So everybody in the country was after them.”
Having previous contact with Coach Miller made Terra really consider becoming a Red Raider.
“I really liked him as a coach and I saw what he was able to do with Arizona State,” Terra said. ““When I came on my visit, I loved the atmosphere of Texas Tech. The team made me feel welcome like I belonged.”
For Taylor, transferring to Tech meant she could be with her sister and see her parents more often.
“That’s the best thing about it,” Taylor said. “Last year, they had to see who can go to what meet, but now that we are back together they can come see us together.”
Things have been working out well for Terra and Taylor, on and off the track.
Terra was the only freshman to participate in the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 100-meters.
“She came in last year as a freshman and I thought she was one of the premier, if not the premier freshman of year [in the country],” said Head Coach Wes Kittley. “That was a proud moment for me.”
As for Taylor, she battled injuries as a freshman at LSU but her sophomore campaign at Texas Tech looks to be progressive.
“We are thrilled to get her back,” Kittley said about missing out on getting her commitment out of high school.
On the track, the Evans sisters run three relays together, the 4 X 400-meter (indoor and outdoor) and 4 X 100-meter (outdoor). They both run the outdoor 200-meter. Terra also specializes in the 100-meter (outdoor), the 60-meter and 200-meter (indoor). Taylor competes in the 400-meter (indoor).
Besides the instruction they receive from their coaches, the Evans sisters support and help one another especially since they run in different events.
“We are [each other’s] best coaches and supporters, but we are also critiquing each other all the time,” Taylor said.
“If either one of us lagging, we’ll talk about it with the other one,” Terra said.
Off the track, they have similar interests as well as differences that distinguish them from one another.
Both are Exercise and Sports Science majors, but Terra is interested in sports medicine while Taylor is looking at sports management and one day becoming a sports agent. While Terra likes to read in her spare time, Taylor is a movie enthusiast.
Their coaches hold great expectations for the Evans sisters. Perhaps Terra and Taylor will have the success their father, Dwayne Evans, did when he won the Bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in the 200-meters.
“The sky is the limit as far as what they can develop into,” Miller said.