They’ve been running together since they were eight years old. At first, Nachelle and Natalie Stewart would run around the neighborhood together. Today, they run in state and national track championships—and win. They helped the Spanish Fork High School track team become state champions three times, and in 2008 they were invited to compete in the exclusive Nike Outdoor Nationals, where Nachelle took home the bronze in the 800m and Natalie took home the silver in the 400m. Although they often compete against each other in the same events and each tries her best to come out on top—often breaking the other’s record—Nachelle and Natalie remain best friends and are happy to see each other succeed.
What do you love about running?
Nachelle: It’s hard work. But the sense of achievement that comes from putting hard work into something and seeing positive results is an amazing feeling. What you reap is what you sow. In order to reap great things, you have to sow great time and effort.
Natalie: I love the competition, the adrenaline. I just love staying in shape and being healthy.
After you’ve tucked your running shoes away in your locker for the day, what do you like to do?
Nachelle: I’m a big reader. I love to read, and my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I love to spend time with friends and family.
Natalie: I love crafts, puzzles, and reading.
Why is family important to you?
Nachelle: Families are ordained of God. My family is the biggest support system in my life. They are always there for me and have never failed me.
Natalie: I can go to any member of my family for anything, and they will help me. It’s nice to know there is always someone there to help.
How do you maintain a good relationship off the track when you’re often competing against each other?
Nachelle: It’s all about perspective. Running isn’t the most important thing in life, so why would I want to damage an eternal relationship with Natalie by having negative, mean, or competitive thoughts about her? I find more value in giving her support and congratulations in her endeavors than focusing on if she beats me in a race or not.
Natalie: Track is just a sport. Family is everything. We both thrive off each other’s successes—in sports and in life. Even if she beats me, I still love her.
What can teens do to get along with their brothers and sisters?
Nachelle: Siblings are your link to reality. Whenever I am in over my head, I will go to one of my siblings and talk it out. Talk to each other about things. Be a support system for them. I’m grateful for the close relationship I have with Natalie and with my other siblings.
Natalie: Help each other out. Being the youngest, I usually go to my older siblings with questions or concerns about school or just life in general. I love hearing their advice.
Photographs courtesy of the Stewart family