One girl sports brown hair that is formed into pigtails. The other’s blonde hair is tied into a single pony tail. While the hairstyles are different, their smiles and laughter are alike.
They are the Redmond High Petrbokova twins and both freshmen are running strong on the track this spring. At press time, Marie owned the top 4A KingCo spot in the 200 meters with a personal record of 26.41. Anna stands in fifth in the 800 meters with a PR of 2:21.96.
Together, they are also part of the second-ranked 4×400 relay (4:09.62) along with teammates Liv Wreggelsworth and Joanna Gormley. Marie also shines in the rankings in the 100, 400 and 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
The 15-year-olds — who were born in Redmond and visit family members in the Czech Republic each summer, hence their slight accents — began running four years ago. Anna started first after she traded in her Irish dancing shoes for those of the running kind at the suggestion of her mother, a former long-distance runner. Marie, who still partakes in Irish dancing, followed her sister into the sport.
“I guess I have the speed and I’m a 400-meter runner, so I have the endurance to go full out,” Marie said of her top 200 mark.
Marie added that Irish dancing — in which she’s laced up her ghillies for over the last seven years at a West Seattle school — gets her leg muscles into shape for running.
“It’s super hard, but super cool looking ‘cause you move your legs super fast,” she said of dancing.
Both girls also run cross country, Marie for a club and Anna at Redmond High. Anna said she struggled during cross country season in the fall because she has iron deficiency, but she’s working through that now.
Anna grins when she thinks about nailing that PR in the 800. She used to run the 1,600, but “since the 800 is half, I feel like I could run it faster than I thought I would be able to.”
Consider it done.
The Reporter asked Marie and Anna a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives:
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Marie: I really really like “Mama Mia!,” I’ve always liked that ever since I was little.
Anna: I like a lot of movies. “Wreck-It Ralph” was pretty good.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Marie: My dad once told me when I was kind of having problems with some friends, that people will only behave and act a certain way towards you if you let them. If you tell them maybe you don’t like how they’re acting, then that can always make the situation better for you.
Anna: When I was having iron-deficiency troubles, my mom told me just not to give up. I think that helped me because then I didn’t give up and I actually improved a lot.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Marie: My music taste is super weird and it’s all over (the board), but I probably listen to more pop than anything.
Anna: I like older music. I definitely like “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” (and) The Beatles.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Marie: I really like Blu Sardinia. I really like Italian, the pasta they have there. They have a super good flatbread that I always have for appetizer.
Anna: I love Blu Sardinia, too.
What super power would you like to have?
Marie: I feel like maybe I would like to read minds.
Anna: You’re so weird.
Marie: It’s weird, but sometimes it would be so easy if I just knew what was going on with a person.
Anna: I would just love to fly.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Marie: I really don’t like snoring, and I don’t like when people can’t admit when they’re wrong.
Anna: I don’t like when people chew with their mouth open, and I also don’t like when people are walking slow right in front of me.
Let’s ask each one of you about the other person. What do you admire about her?
Marie: Anna is super positive. Everyone on this team knows, she will be running and having a super hard workout, and she will turn to her friends and smile and wave. It just kind of brings up the energy to all people and it’s just nice to be around her.
Anna: Marie is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and people say that a lot about her, too.