Penn’s prospects are doubling.
As the new admissions cycle begins once again at Penn, high school athletes across the nation are finding themselves welcomed into the Red and Blue class of 2020. Colin and Will Daly, twin brothers and newly recruited runners for the Quakers’ cross country program, are two such athletes.
No newcomers to the sport, the brothers are seasoned veterans of the Penn Relays, having led their high school — River Dell High School — to a fifth-place finish in the 4x800-meter championship at the 121st Penn Relays this past spring.
After announcing their college commitments to the Red and Blue on Sept. 30, the Oradell, N.J., natives will join the ranks of other twin athletes at Penn, including Cleo and Clarissa Whiting, twin sisters who are juniors on the women’s cross country team.
The two runners have also competed successfully in nearly every high school cross country and track and field meet in the state of New Jersey.
Yet on the transition to Division I competition, the brothers remained confident and determined.
“The best thing about a D-I school is the competition on the team and around you,” Will said. “There’s going to be an adjustment, but I think we’ll get used to it. Being able to practice on such a competitive team will make the adjustment easier.”
“We saw the team, and coach [Steve] Dolan has told us about other recruits,” Colin said. “I think there’s a capability for [Penn] to become a very dominant force.”
Looking at competition beyond athletics during their time here as Quakers, the twins hope to embrace the academic environment of Penn.
“In the classroom, it is definitely going to be a challenge to maintain grades,” Colin said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
“But it’s a good type of nervous,” Will added.
Within the pressures of competition in sports and school, both have found dependence on the chemistry they have with each other and are looking to use that force to find success at Penn.
“It’s really nice to have someone going through the same exact thing as you,” Will said. “We can experience success together, like deciding at the same time was really cool, but just talking about what we’re nervous about or not looking forward too.
“Being able to share the same emotions about the school with Colin is pretty cool. He has an edge to him. That helps me be a better runner.”
“We definitely push each other. It works out perfectly,” Colin agreed.
Despite sticking together in competition and their decision on Penn, the two are taking advantage of opportunities to personalize their own experiences. Will has applied to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, while Colin has applied to the Wharton School.
In the end though, the two will always be in it together.
“We were thinking about going to different places in the beginning, but then we realized we were looking for the same thing in a school,” Will said.
“We’re always running together,” Colin said. “Whether we get separated from or remain with each other at the beginning of the race, we just always end up right next to each other at the end of the race, and it just always worked out.
“We’ve always had a twin telepathy, which I really like.”
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