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Gottschling sisters piling up points on RCB track

by Rob Peirce

SPORTS WRITER

Like she was released out of a chute, Liann Gottschling was off to a quick start in Tuesday's 100-meter hurdles. She made the race seem like a light jog, as she finished a full hurdle ahead of her nearest competitor.

Meanwhile, her sister Celia, breezed through the 200-meter dash, leaving everyone in her wake.

Without a doubt, the Gottschling sisters are a large part of the Robert C. Byrd girls track team's success this year. In Tuesday's six-team meet, each scored 25 points to tie for second in the high-point standings.

"I am so blessed," RCB coach Midge Zinn said. "This is the first year that I've had girls who want to work and work together so well. Liann has just been wonderful, and we're building on the future with Celia."

Liann Gottschling is a senior hurdler; Celia is a freshman sprinter. They both team up to form half the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. And Tuesday, they combined to represent 37 percent of the Eagles' points in a second-place team finish.

Most recently, at the Cline Stansberry Invitational in West Union, a 12-team meet, Celia won the 100 and 200 with 13.3 and 27.8, respectively. Liann won the 100 hurdles with 16.4 and placed second in the 300s.

The 4x100 relay won with a 54.2, and the 4x200 relay was second.

The siblings have a chance to qualify for states in all six events, Zinn said. Nicki Rogers and Lydia Williams would accompany the Gottschlings to Charleston in the relays.

It was after Liann Gottschling established herself that Celia decided to follow in her footsteps.

"After she started running, I just sort of followed along," she said. "My parents said, 'Try it, and see how you like it.'"

And they both like it just fine. Although there's not the natural internal sister rivalry one might expect.

"We never race (each other), because we don't want to make each other look bad," Liann Gottschling said. "But in cross country we had to race against each other."

There is a friendly competition to see who can score the most points, however, Zinn said.

"I think so, because I've seen it," she said.

They both will be serious threats to lead the scoring field today at the Cline Stansberry Invitational in West Union.

Sports writer Rob Peirce can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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