Cross country: Valparaiso’s Reed twins have always competed, but now share common goal
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent October 17, 2012 11:08PM
Valparaiso's Peyton Reed and Xavier Reed lead Chesterton's Andrew Kearney in the 3200 meter run Wednesday afternoon during the Boys DAC Championship at Portage High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
New Prairie Semistate
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
Where: New Prairie High School
Teams: Crown Point, Hobart, Munster, Lowell, Lake Central, Valparaiso, LaPorte, Portage, Chesterton, Wheeler, West Lafayette, McCutcheon, Lafayette Jeff, Frankfort, Twin Lakes, Warsaw, Rochester, Western, Culver Acadamies, Carroll (Flora).
Individual qualifiers: Jon Hogg, Boone Grove; David Kampf, New Prairie; Alec Kostelnik, Ben Savage, Morgan Township; Tyler Gray, Merrillville; Zach Glick, Highland.
Runners to watch: Zach Bencur, Zach Hupp, Lake Central; Tom Bolanowski, Ryan Kritzer, Manny Lopez, Steven Burgwald, Munster; Alex Ray, Daniel Walters, Tom Cierniak, Crown Point; John Petroskey, Alex Cordova, Brent Dunn, Zach Spain, Alek Seeley, Hobart; Kyle Eller, Brian Blaylock, Jeff Potat, Lowell; Kevin Kenney, Mitch Wilborn, Chesterton; Anthony Didion, Kevin Hucksted, LaPorte; Anthony Best, David Clegg, Dustin Balboa, Portage; Taylor Bissachi, Ari Coulopoulos, Peyton Reed, Xavier Reed, Andrew Lyp, Landon Davison, Pat Dalton, Valparaiso; Joel O’Shea, Alex Nader, Nick Cinko, Wheeler.
The skinny: Valparaiso, the second-ranked team in the state and defending champion of this race, will face some of its toughest competition yet, led by sixth-ranked Warsaw. Peyton Reed and Kyle Eller each won their regional race last week and will compete with runners like Alec Kostelnik (second place last year) and Ari Coulopoulos (fourth place) for the individual crown.
Updated: November 19, 2012 3:40PM
VALPARAISO — Forget Bears-Packers, Michigan-Ohio State or Yankees-Red Sox. Some of the fiercest sports rivalries feature a wide range of sports and opponents who share the same home and the same last name.
And when the athletes are twin brothers with an identical competitive spirit, you end up with athletes like Peyton and Xavier Reed, a pair of seniors on the Valparaiso cross country team.
“I think if you asked anyone about it, they’ll say that we’re the most competitive guys on the team,” said Xavier. “It doesn’t matter what sport. Even in random things like party games, we’re so competitive.”
The Reeds moved to Valparaiso from Ohio while they were in eighth grade. And without knowing anyone in their new hometown, the siblings started a summer-long basketball duel.
“I think we played about 100 one-on-one basketball games,” recalled Peyton. “Each game was to 100. We definitely got into some heated arguments; there was a lot of pushing and shoving.”
Early into their high school years, some of the Reeds’ newly-acquainted teammates were introduced to the sibling rivalry, as fellow cross country runner Ari Coulopoulos remembered.
Coulopoulos teamed up with Peyton while Xavier partnered with Pat Dalton — another cross country teammate — in a three-hour tennis marathon.
“We kept playing best-of-three matches because they kept losing, and Peyton and Xavier kept going back-and-forth at each other,” Ari said between laughs. “They were so mad at each other. After we played, Xavier left and went to Pat’s house because he didn’t want anything to do with Peyton, who came to my house.”
“We probably said some things we shouldn’t have,” Peyton added with a wide grin.
But as their high school careers have evolved, the Reeds’ rivalry has evolved from its high-stakes, competitive nature into a more amicable rivalry.
“It’s come to be all friendly and about helping one another reach their goals,” said Valparaiso head coach Mike Prow. “They’re both naturally gifted runners. Peyton is the guy that’s usually the winner and Xavier looks up to him for any words of wisdom that he can get. But there have been a few times where Xavier has run real well, too.”
One of those instances took place at the team’s race to “Hell’s Point” at Pokagon State Park in August. Xavier won the race, to the surprise of many of his teammates — and himself.
“I hadn’t beaten Peyton in a long time. That felt good,” he said. “It was nice to be ahead of him for once. It definitely gave me more confidence for this year.”
It was Peyton who was back in front at last Saturday’s New Prairie Regional, however, as he crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 15:37. His individual title was coupled with a regional team victory, as well. Both Reeds and the rest of the Vikings now shift their attention to this Saturday’s New Prairie Semistate, but the season-long goal for Valparaiso has been even beyond that.
“Our main focus is on state,” Xavier said. “We want to run well in each round, but our main focus is that everyone has their best day in the state meet.”
Each of the twins will set their rivalry aside as the Vikings adhere to their usual tactic of pack running. But, an ideal finish for the siblings would have both of them at the head of that pack, as Peyton explained.
“I want Xavier to do real well. I’d love it if we could finish a race side-by-side … but I win by 0.1 seconds.”