The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Double trouble: How identical twins navigate W&L sports

While they face constant comparison, the Stone and Ramos twins enjoy competing as identical siblings
The Stone sisters share a chest bump at a high school volleyball match.
Lexie Stone
The Stone sisters share a chest bump at a high school volleyball match.

If you were to catch a volleyball game or a lacrosse practice at Washington and Lee University, you might rub your eyes because you think you are seeing double. Later that same day, if you were to attend a swim meet, you might notice doppelgangers racing down the lanes. However, you’d be gravely mistaken, because these student-athletes are the Stone and Ramos twins.

Having a sibling on the same team, let alone an identical twin, is a unique experience, especially at the collegiate level. Lexie and Katie Stone are first-year identical twins on both the volleyball and lacrosse teams. Noah and John Ramos are also first-year identical twins, but on the swim team.

Lexi and Katie played a wide variety of sports when they were younger. They both said their parents were pretty athletic and emphasized the importance of playing sports. Both were part of the high school basketball, volleyball and lacrosse teams at the Greenhill School in Dallas. They found success in all with league and conference championships and personal accolades.

Noah and John started as two-sport athletes between swimming and soccer when they were younger, but they said their swim teams were very close. That led to their decision to compete exclusively in swimming.

The Ramos twins both swam for Caldwell Academy in high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. The team won one conference championship and three state titles.

Each twin said they chose Washington and Lee independently of their sibling. Instead, having their twin play a collegiate sport with them was a bonus incentive to attend Washington and Lee.

“W&L gave me the most opportunities to further my education and swimming career,” John Ramos said. “I feel Noah felt the same way, not just because I was going here.”

Katie Stone agreed with Ramos.

“The school we wanted to go to most wanted both of us,” she said.

The sibling pairs said having an identical twin on the same team comes with some perks and some disadvantages.

One con they all mentioned was the constant comparisons. Despite swimming different strokes, Noah and John touched on the natural tendency of people to compare them to each other.

Katie and Lexie said the constant comparisons don’t acknowledge how the other twin feels. Many people will ask them who is better in order to divide them.

However, playing the same sport has allowed them to push each other in an iron-sharpens-iron relationship.

The Stone twins said playing together has constantly pushed them.

The Ramos twins indicated the support they provide each other when competing and how helpful that is. The natural competitive nature that forms between siblings has allowed them to push each other and become better athletes, outweighing the negatives of being compared.

The twins even said they’ve all executed some competitive trickery before, pulling off some swaps. The ability to swap in and out for each other or confuse the opponent on who is who, especially when the competition is tired, is a unique asset.

The Stone twins said they switched goggles while playing lacrosse to throw the other team off. They have different dominant hands, so it only worked briefly. Opposing teams identify them by their dominant hand in volleyball and lacrosse.

Noah and John Ramos said no one can tell the difference if they switch places when swimming but they only make the swap if the race is low stakes.

Noticing identical twins’ differences can be difficult, but these sets gave some advice on distinguishing who is who.

“I have heard that I am taller,” Noah said, with a quick rebuttal from John who said, “I don’t know about that.”

More noticeable though, they both mentioned John’s freckle on his nose that Noah doesn’t have. Their shoes are the best way to tell the difference when they aren’t in the water.

As for the Stone twins, Lexie is right-handed, and Katie is left-handed, which is a big differentiator on the court and field. Off the court, Lexie, unlike John, willingly conceded a slight height difference. Katie is an inch taller, she said, and has a slightly rounder face.

Try going to a volleyball match or some swimming races to see if you can spot the differences.

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  • G

    GammyOct 26, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Katie & Lexie are beautiful inside and out sight. They are different in many ways but they are both smart, kind, fun & very talented girls. They definitely have that in common. If you meet them you will love them both right away.