Inspired at a young age by their cousin, who won a state wrestling championship, twin brothers Clint and Jake Allen hoped to follow in his footsteps and win a championship of their own.
"We were sixth graders when my cousin won it," Jake said. "We thought we'd give wrestling a try. Maybe it runs in the blood or something."
Clint and Jake are seniors at the Ironwood Ridge High School wrestling team and hope to not only become individual state champions, but to help their team reach its third state title.
There is no doubt that the brothers will contribute significantly to the team. Both started wrestling in seventh grade and immediately jumped into competing with high school wrestlers. At that time, they were living in Minnesota, where middle school wrestlers are allowed to compete at a high school level.
Although the brothers like playing the same sport and have a good sibling relationship, having a twin to compete against isn’t always easy.
"Our second year of wrestling, our eighth grade year, there was only one spot left on varsity so we wrestled off each week for that spot," Jake said. "It was terrible."
The two participated in freestyle wrestling at school and in the off-season did Greco wrestling. Greco wrestling is a slower-paced style of wrestling that is all about upper body where wrestlers cannot attack the legs or throw their opponent.
After two more years in Minnesota, the brothers moved to Arizona and started wrestling their junior year at IRHS.
Now as seniors on the IRHS team, the brothers are still just as close and say that having a twin, for the most part, is an advantage.
"I mean, I'd say we're pretty close except in the practice room because we are fighting and we're both pretty competitive," Clint said. "It's good because there's always someone to drill with and I always have someone around my weight."
This year, Clint moved up to the 160-weight class and Jake stayed at the 134-weight class. Clint went up with hopes of helping out the team by filling in an empty spot.
Both hope to continue wrestling after high school either in Iowa or Colorado.
Wrestling isn’t their only common interest, the twins want to attend the same college and pursue a degree in engineering.
In competing at state this week, the twins helped push the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks to a third consecutive state title.
Both Clint and Jake took fourth place in their weight classes.