Identical twins bring intensity, determination to track

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Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Anginae Monteverde vaults at the West Preliminary Round of the 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Alyssa Monteverde-Dalton lept through the 60m hurdles in a mere 8.28 seconds at the New Mexico Classic over the weekend. She ran the fourth-fastest 60m hurdle in BYU history.

If one runner’s athleticism in the family wasn’t enough, her identical twin sister and teammate holds a BYU record too.

Anginae Monteverde has the second-highest pole vault in BYU history with a mark of 4.27 meters (14 feet).

“They can be very charming and fun,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said about the Monteverde sisters. “But when competition comes, there’s definitely a Monteverde game face that comes on and a level of intensity that you tend to see only with very elite athletes.”

Alyssa and Anginae, seniors from Fresno, California, both have high goals for their last indoor track season.

“Right now I’m focusing a lot on the NCAA aspect, trying to get that goal,” Alyssa said. “When I came in, I was like ‘Of course I’m going to get to the NCAAs, I’m going to train like that,’ but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Last year, Alyssa finished in 13th place by two one-hundredths of a second. Only the top 12 qualified. Though it was frustrating, Alyssa was happy she was able to come so far after an ACL injury.

Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Alyssa Monteverde-Dalton runs at the West Preliminary Round of the 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

“It’s going to be hard, but I’m faster than ever and more ready than all the years before,” Alyssa said about making it to indoor nationals. “Last indoor season was really disappointing. To put it in perspective, my fastest time last year I haven’t even ran that slow yet this year.”

Anginae, an all-American who qualified for the NCAA’s last year, hopes to return to the national meet and place in the top eight. With another .03 meters (1.25 inches), Anginae will tie for the first place BYU indoor pole vault record.

“It’s so very competitive in both of their events and they really need to bring their A-game, but they are certainly capable of that,” Eyestone said.

The Monteverde sisters both graduate in April with degrees in exercise and wellness. Post-track goals include preparation to compete in the Olympics as well as professional dreams.

“A lot of it depends on this season,” Anginae said. “I actually have to get surgery when I’m done on both of my ankles, so that’s coming. But my goal after the NCAAs is to get to the Olympic trials for this year. Then get surgery and recover and train for the next Olympics.”

While Anginae moves on to Olympic training, Alyssa will compete in one more outdoor track season after this year because of two season-ending injuries. Her performance this season will determine what she does with track after college.

“This year will be a big deciding year to see if I will keep going and keep training,” Alyssa said. “But we’ll see.”

Alyssa, who married teammate Chase Dalton in August 2014, is working on getting her teaching credentials. Inspired by her high school coach, she hopes to coach and help runners prepare to compete in college.

Both athletes attribute their success to support from a twin teammate.

“We have this actual support, family is always there,” Alyssa said. “Someone is always watching. I can always count on her to record my races and I always record her jumps.”

Alyssa and Anginae both competed for the University of Oregon before coming to BYU. Anginae transferred a year before Alyssa did. She said BYU felt like a family.

“One of the biggest things I noticed coming from a different program is that they both have different dynamics,” Anginae said. “BYU I feel like it’s a family and we are all there to support each other. We push each other and work together and make each other better too.”

The Monteverde sisters will compete in the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 12–13.

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