Because they have been involved in different sports while growing up, twins Jared and Lauren Imlay largely have been spared the bouts of sibling rivalry.
But when it comes to miniature golf competitions while on vacation in Florida, all bets are off.
The Columbus North seniors admitted to being a little competitive with each other and with younger sister Morgan, a sophomore, and brother Nathan, a fifth-grader, on the putting greens.
But back in Indiana, Jared’s competitiveness has come mostly in the swimming pool and on the golf course, while Lauren’s has manifested itself on the softball field.
“I just feel like the past four years, all my training (in golf) is starting to come together,” Jared said. “Learning from all the older guys my freshman and sophomore year is a big improvement from where I was.”
Jared, whose father Rusty is an assistant swimming coach at North, swam all four years and was part of state-qualifying relay teams as a junior and senior. He also ran cross-country last fall for the first time since his eighth-grade year and nearly made the varsity on a team that finished in the top 10 at state.
Last year, Jared spent most of the golf season in the varsity lineup. This spring, he’s the only Bull Dog to play in all 12 matches and is averaging 41.2 in six nine-hole matches and 89.0 in six 18-hole matches.
“Golf is harder to be consistent,” Jared said. “As long as you train hard in swimming, you’ve got it.”
Lauren played softball until seventh grade, then stopped to play basketball. She played basketball through her sophomore year but didn’t make the team her junior year when North won the Class 4A state championship.
After that, softball coach Robyn Coffer, who also is the school’s athletics trainer, talked her into giving softball another try.
“With not making the (basketball) team last year, Robyn talked to me and was like, ‘You should try this out,'” Lauren said. “So last year, it was a lot of learning to get used to the speed of fast-pitch.”
Although she wasn’t a starter last season, Lauren did a lot of pinch running. This year, she is the Bull Dogs’ starting left fielder.
Going into today’s Conference Indiana tournament at Franklin Central, Lauren ranks second on the team with nine RBIs and fourth on the squad with a .298 batting average.
“It’s a lot of learning still and listening to the coaches, and going along with the game and seeing what they want to do,” Lauren said. “In practice, they teach me a lot of new things that I never knew before. It’s a lot of fun.”
Lauren’s competitive athletics career may be soon be coming to an end. She plans to attend Anderson University and major in nursing but does not plan to play softball.
“I’ve built a lot of friendships over the past two years with the girls,” Lauren said. “We have eight seniors, so seeing us all split is going to be really sad.”
Meanwhile, Jared’s golf career is just getting going. He plans to play golf and major in business at Cincinnati Christian University.
Jared learned of Cincinnati Christian through its affiliation with his church, East Columbus Christian Church. He is friends with Columbus Christian graduate Nick Bridgewater, the son of pastor Ron Bridgewater and a freshman golfer at CCU.
“It’s definitely going to be different because they have a fall season,” Jared said. “I won’t have that huge break from spring all the way to the next spring. I’ll have this summer, and then I’ll be back at it again. It will be a lot more competition, too.”
Whether that competition will be greater than what his twin sister gives him on the mini-golf course remains to be seen.
Conference Indiana softball
Today at Franklin Central
Columbus North vs. Terre Haute South, 1 p.m.
Franklin Central vs. Bloomington North, 1 p.m.
Championship and third-place games, 5 p.m.
Conference Indiana boys golf
Monday at Smock, 10 a.m.
Teams: Columbus North, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Franklin Central, Perry Meridian, Southport, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South