They’ve been billed as the fastest twins in the state, record-makers sharing a track and a birthday. But for Delvin and Kelvin Furlough, the times and the awards are secondary to something else: beating each other.
“Between us, it was always competition. I never wanted him to beat me, and he never wanted me to beat him,” says Kelvin, a recent Woodrow Wilson High School graduate.
Their competition, it seems, served them well — in this year’s state championships, each twin won first place in his region’s 400m race (Delvin attends school in Austin), and each holds a number of first-place medals from the regular season. Still, a friendly rivalry remains between the two, who compare practice times even while attending different schools.
“It’s hard [to compete with Kelvin], because my brother is really fast, but it was always like, ‘Who’s faster?’” Delvin says.
Delvin doesn’t dwell on the fact that he is deaf, because he doesn’t see his disability as an obstacle. There are “some challenges,” he says, “but I get around them. I can still see. I can see the crowd; I can see the smoke from the gun. And sometimes the guy does a hand signal when he starts the race, which makes it easier.”
Delvin transferred to the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin for his last two years of high school, leaving home and his training partner for a curriculum designed for his needs. He now competes for the TSD Rangers in events ranging from the 100-meter dash to the 4×400 relay.
While each brother has done remarkably well on his own, the separation between the two ultimately may have hurt their seasons — though the twins still challenge each other by spending the occasional weekend training together and comparing meet times, it’s difficult to race against someone who is 200 miles away. According to Woodrow men’s track coach Lawrence Wells, Kelvin’s state championship time, which was only a few tenths of a second off the school’s record time, wasn’t as fast as he could have run.
“I was telling everyone before the race, ‘Watch lane four, watch lane four, that’s Kelvin,’ but then he started out just jogging. He says he runs faster when someone’s in front of him, so he let everyone pass him at first, then ran the last 140 meters.
“If Delvin had been there, he would have been running the whole time, competing. He could have broken the record, but he doesn’t care about records. He just wants to win.”
Luckily for Furlough twin fans, a reunion is in store this summer, when Kelvin and Delvin will be competing against each other as members of the Dallas Mustangs Track and Field team. Then it’s back to school, for Delvin his last year at TSD, and for Kelvin his first year in college. The twins hope to attend the same university to major in sports management and run track, but are undecided as to which school they will attend.
“They’re good kids,” Wells says. “Good students, good athletes and good leaders to their friends and teammates. Everyone respects them a whole lot.”
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