Apr 13, 2014
When they were both seven years old, Nyheim Hines and his twin sister Nyah were running on a track at North Carolina State University, supervised by their father Darrin Hines. Like most brother and sister duos, the sibling rivalry between the two was heated.
"We raced and I beat her once," said Nyheim, recalling the day. "Then she took off her spikes and at about 50 meters she turned at me and said, ‘Bye-bye,’ and just ran away from me. Girls mature first. I’m not making any excuses or anything, but she was about my height and I wasn't even strong."
Now juniors in high school, Nyah is a successful track athlete and volleyball player at Garner. Nyheim is one of the most explosive high school running backs in the nation with college offers from Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke and Wake Forest, just to name a few.
Despite their individual successes, Nyah and Nyheim still share a close bond partly through competing together on Garner's track team. Saturday at the annual Wake County Track & Field Championship, Nyah placed fourth in both the 100 meter hurdles and triple jump. Nyheim placed third in the 100 meter dash, second in the 110 hurdles and first in the 300 hurdles.
"Siblings are nice but twins are even better," said Nyheim. "The whole twin thing and reading each other’s minds—that actually happens. When she’s about to run I know she’s about to run. Sometimes I won’t even be looking; I just feel it in my stomach."
The Hines siblings are some of the most talented track athletes in the area and both will likely be collegiate athletes, but Darrin had no idea their talents would reach such a high level when he put them both in spikes many years ago.
"They started running and I don’t think they took it serious the first year, but they had natural talent," said Darrin, who has competed in track either as an athlete or a coach his entire life. "I said, ‘Whatever you do, run track or play soccer, and you’ll be in shape for any other sport.’ They kind of kept that in mind and they both stuck with track."
Despite technically being two minutes older than his sister, it took a while for Nyheim to grow and compete with Nyah. He finally got the best of his twin during a race in third grade.
Ever since, the two have competed on and off the track. Nyah says she owes a good deal of her track accomplishment to the bond the two have created.
"We’re always competing, even at practice," Nyah said. "Everything we do; running, hurdling, doing anything. We’re always competing.
"I think we do make each other better. He knows my weaknesses; I know his. He knows my strengths; I know his. He can always help me. A coach has to learn about you, but he’s known me for so long."
Earlier in the school year, Nyheim smashed record after record on the football field during his junior season. The back accounted for more than 3,700 yards of total offense and rushed for a remarkable 49 touchdowns in 14 games, helping his Trojans to a 10-4 record before falling to Middle Creek in the third round of the playoffs.
For Nyheim, running track with Nyah has been a key to getting a step ahead of his competition on the gridiron.
"A lot of football coaches and players are all about football, football and football," Hines said. "Sometimes you need a break. Track’s going to help you with your speed and it’s a great competition."
Looking to the future, Nyheim says he hopes to put an end to his stressful college recruitment process by possibly making a commitment in September or October. He also says he hopes Nyah will be involved in the decision.
Several colleges have shown interest in both siblings; Nyheim as a football player, Nyah as a track runner.
It's a good thing the two like each other, because they may not be leaving each others' sides anytime soon.
"It’s great because you always have a friend and someone who’s always helping you and looking out for you," said Nyah. "I love running with my brother."
Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT
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