BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Ryne and Sean Carney and Dezaray and Destiny Distasio are taking after their parents and after each other by sharing the same sport.
Sean and Ryne’s father, Chris Carney, and mother Jennifer, both competed in track and field in high school. Jennifer was a distance runner, and Chris threw the discus.
And Dezaray and Destiny’s father, Darren, competed in the pole vault in high school.
Sean, 15, and Ryne, 17, of Dimock, are both on the track team for Elk Lake high school.
“It’s great really,” Ryne said of having his younger brother on the team. “We push each other in a positive way, he’s a big part of my support system.”
Ryne, a junior, runs distance in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters but younger brother, Sean, a freshman, runs the 200, 400, 4 x 400 and 4 x 100.
“When Ryne was a freshman he placed sixth in districts,” Sean said. “And I thought I needed to do the same thing in the 400.”
And Sean did just that, he recently placed sixth at the District II AA Championships at Scranton Memorial Stadium on May 13.
Ryne took top honors in the 3,200 meters and headed to states this past weekend to compete for the crown.
Overall, Ryne and Sean don’t argue or get competitive about being in the same sport together.
“We’re pretty tight,” Sean said. “We help each other out and congratulate each other a lot.”
Sean said that his brother is the reason that he ended up getting into track and hopes to follow in Ryne’s footsteps and compete at states.
“If Ryne didn’t do it I’d probably be doing a different sport,” Sean said.
Ryne has one more year of high school left and is thinking ahead to college.
“I’m interested in Penn State and Bucknell,” Ryne said. “Sean is interested in the same schools.”
Ryne said that he isn’t sure about competing in track in college, but is keeping it as a possibility.
“If I get picked up by a school then I’ll run,” Ryne said. “But I plan to focus a lot more on academics in college.”
The boys’ mom, Jennifer, said that she really enjoys having kids in the same sport.
“It’s a lot of fun, the boys work really hard,” She said. “It’s been fun watching them grow up and improve, and now their younger brother Seth is in track.”
Seth competed at the junior high level this year.
The Distasio sisters are much like the Carney brothers when it comes to camaraderie. The two use track as a means to spend time together and encourage one another.
“It’s awesome being in the same sport as my little sister,” Dezaray said. “Because I’m older and know what I’m doing, so it makes it easy to help her out.”
Dezaray is a senior at Tunkhannock who competes in the 100, 200 and 4 x 100 for the Tigers. She holds school records for the Lady Tigers in the 100 meters at 12.4 seconds and in the 200 meters at 26.1 seconds.
She took second place in the 100 at the District II AAA Track and Field Championship at Scranton Memorial on May 15, and like Carney, headed to states this past weekend to compete.
Younger sister, Destiny, 14, an eighth grader at Tunkhannock, competes in the same events as Dezaray, 18, with the exception that she also does the pole vault for the junior high Tigers.
Destiny brought home gold for the Tigers in the 100 at the District II Junior High Track and Field Championships at Hanover on May 10.
“We don’t usually talk about being in the same sport very often,” Destiny said. “But we do joke around about stealing each other’s records.”
Destiny recently topped Dezaray’s middle school record in the 100.
All joking aside, Destiny said that she looks up to her sister.
“I think she’s a mentor to me,” Destiny said. “She helps me with my form, getting out of the box and certain other techniques.”
Destiny said that Dezaray also helps to keep her confident at meets.
“She gives me pep talks and tells me good luck before races,” Destiny said.
Dezaray agrees that they share a positive bond when it comes to track and field, and they train together in the off-season.
“It’s nice having someone around to run with,” Dezaray said. “It helps to have someone to push you along.”
The girls’ mother, Danielle, also enjoys seeing the sisters spend time with one another.
“I think it’s a good experience for them that they’re competing together,” Danielle said. “They don’t talk about track very much but they do practice together a lot.”
After this year, Dezaray is moving on to college and will attend Gwynedd-Mercy College in suburban Philadelphia in the fall after being recruited by the team’s coach.
And although the girls will never be on the same track team, Dezaray wishes they could be.
“It would be cool if we were on the same team, because then our 4 x 100 team would be really good,” Dezaray said jokingly.