At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell Trevor and Evan Williams apart, but thanks to Trevor’s new haircut, it’s a bit easier.
The identical twins’ sibling rivalry has reached new heights now that both sophomores run for the Texas cross country team, but the Williams brothers have been competing with each other their whole lives.
Evan said their parents used to tell stories of the competitions they would have as kids — like who could crawl out the crib faster.
“Trevor beat me in the womb,” Evan said. “He was like a pound heavier than me, so we’ve had a rivalry since then.”
Trevor and Evan have done everything together for as long as they can remember, so when it was time to take the next step in their athletic and academic careers, they decided to follow the same path to UT.
“I knew I was wanting to take the next journey in college with him,” Evan said. “He has been such a big part of my life up to that point; I knew I wanted him to be part of my life at this point.”
Growing up, the Williams twins usually played on the same sports teams, but when they took up distance running, the competitive dynamic changed and became a game of who could beat who because of the individual nature of cross country.
Trevor and Evan said their friendly competition has made each of them better athletes.
“I think the reason we were able to excel (at) how we did in high school and just be at UT in the first place was because we always had each other to compete against in not only races but practices too,” Trevor said.
Instead of letting the pressure of competition destroy their bond, the brothers rely on the support system they provide for each other — they both understand what it feels like to have a bad race or practice.
“I think the little comments go a long way, especially in hard or long workouts,” Evan said. “Little things like Trevor tapping my back and shoving me forward a little bit is a push of courage and motivation.”
Being together all the time is something Trevor and Evan are used to, but they do want their own space sometimes.
“I think with anyone, you can get tired of them at some point,” Trevor said. “At the same time, we don’t know any different. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a twin brother.”
“Or ever live alone,” Evan said.
Cross country isn’t the only sport that brings the two together. The twins from McAllen, Texas, are a short trip away from South Padre Island, where they spend the day together when they’re not running.
“We love the beach, and surfing we both have a passion for,” Trevor said. “It’s not so much competitive as it is an enjoyable pastime we can do together.”
Evan said having his brother at arm’s distance has benefitted his life in many ways.
“In my experience, it’s been cool to always have someone push you to be your best self,” Evan said. “I’ll hear him drinking water at his desk behind me and be like, ‘He’s hydrated. I’ve got to be hydrated.’ Every little aspect becomes competitive and a fun comradeship.