AVON-Relay races are about timing, technique and execution.
And for the Avon girls track and field team, they are also about family.
Sisters Lauren Sees, Alexa Sees and Courtney Sees are making relays a family affair for the Pirate girls track and field team this season. The three sisters make up three legs on three different relays for Avon.
"It's very exciting because I know most people don't ever get a chance to play with any of their siblings, and to be able to run with both of them, it's been a lot of fun," Lauren said.
This season was the perfect storm as it's the only season they will be able to compete on the varsity track and field team together. Lauren is a senior, Alexa is a sophomore and Courtney is a seventh-grader.
"It's been a really cool opportunity thinking that one is going to graduate next year and that this is our only year to actually get to do sports together," Courtney said.
The trio-along with teammate Shalayne Nagel-have qualified for the state track and field meet in the 4x400-meter relay. They are close to qualifying in the medley and 4x200-meter relays, which will be on their agenda at this weekend's Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls. They currently have the fastest time in Class B girls in the 4x400 relay.
"It's really fun because we are always pushing each other and we may be a little harder on each other," Alexa said. "But it just makes us better."
They've also gotten better at their handoff exchanges.
"Me and Courtney, our handoff at the beginning, it was not very pretty," Alexa said. "But then we just kept working at it and got better."
Courtney praised her older sisters for guiding her through the exchanges.
"I think it did have to take some time," Courtney said. "They had to give me a lot of hints on how to do it right."
The sisters said the exchanges are both second nature and developed through repetition.
"I know for some handoffs, they can be really bad and sisters bicker and fight and it just kind of gets a little messy sometimes," said Lauren, who has also qualified for state in the long jump. "But otherwise, for the most part, we know exactly what to expect out of each other and that helps quite a bit."
Lauren is the lead runner in the medley and the 4x400 relays, while she's the anchor in the 4x200 relay. Alexa is the second runner in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, while she's the anchor in the medley relay. Courtney runs the third leg in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays and is second in the medley relay.
They also recognize how valuable Nagel is to the relays. The freshman has also qualified for the state meet in the 400-meter dash.
"Shalayne is a lot of fun to run with, too," Lauren said. "She works really hard and even though she is not one of the Sees sisters, we are always pushing her and she's always pushing us, too."