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Double vision

By KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 9, 2003
photo
[Times photo: Ron Thompson]
Twins Curt, left, and Burt Guinan use a little brotherly competition to motivate them as they develop into sprinters for the Pirates.
Area fans should be seeing a lot of Burt Guinan the next three years. Or will that be Curt, his twin brother?

Even Crystal River coach Tim Byrne can't tell the difference.

"I still don't know them apart, I just call them 1 and 2," Byrne said. "I can't remember which one's Burt and which one's Curt.

"One of them beats the other, I'm not sure which one it is though yet, but he's usually on top each time," Byrne said. "It'll be interesting to see how they progress through four years."

At Thursday's meet at Ocala West Port, Curt ran a 12.43 and Burt a 12.35 in the 100-meter dash. In the 200, Curt had a 26:36 and Burt a 26.12. They also run the 400, though only Curt competed in the event Thursday.

Not that there is any sibling rivalry involved with racing against each other's times.

"I like it with my brother on the team; it motivates me to push it extra," Curt said.

"Oh, yeah, it motivates me," Burt said. "I'm faster, he can admit it."

Though the Guinans have been running less than a month, Byrne said their potential is evident.

They were part of a strong group of freshmen and sophomores that came out for the track and field team in February. Since they were new to the sport, the twins didn't know what to do or expect, but are steadily improving.

Byrne said he looks for "nice arm action and knee lift," which both Guinans possess. Their times are not spectacular, but within a year or two, Byrne expects them to become solid sprinters.

"They have the form, I see them developing in the future," Byrne said. "They're not awkward. It's a matter of putting some muscle on and getting some experience so they'll be good here as well as football."

Football was the reason the brothers came out for track, on the advice of Crystal River coaches.

Curt was a wingback and Burt a halfback on the Pirates junior-varsity team. They played in seventh and eighth grade at Crystal River Middle School, and in their eighth-grade season they played the same position and were switched in and out for each other.

Byrne long has touted the benefits of cross-training in sports.

"(Coach Byrne) tells us he wants to see two Ryan McNallys," said Curt, referring to the Pirates' senior football, basketball and track standout. "He also wants us to hit the weights. My main goal is to stay in shape."

Thanks to their success, the twins are developing an equal admiration for track spikes and football cleats.

They said Byrne also will try them at the pole vault, which Burt said looks like fun and more play than a running workout. But their sprint work is what the Guinans see as a strong future.

"I'm really starting to like it now, and it's a good experience," Burt said. "It's exciting just going faster and knowing I can get better and better at it."

The twins do not mind if they run stride for stride to the finish throughout their careers.

"He's been around all my life," Curt said.

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