MOUNT PLEASANT -- Her given name is Rosa Marie Compton, but those who know the Wando High freshman call her Rorie, a nickname given to Rosa Marie shortly after her birth by her sister, Georgia.
“When my parents brought me home from the hospital, Georgia couldn’t say Rosa Marie, so she immediately shortened it,” Rorie told scrunners.com this week as the sisters get set to compete together for the first time this weekend at state.
Both young ladies will be running in the 4x800, 1600 and 3200, and if past performances offer any clues, the pair will do well at Spring Valley.
“Racing together gives us a sense of unity,” said Georgia, a junior at Wando. “We are both pushing ourselves to go as fast as we can.”
Though split apart in age by a couple of years, on the track the sisters run pretty close. Georgia’s PRs in the 1600, 3200 and 5K are 5:18, 11:19 and 18:45 respectively, while Rorie’s are 5:19, 11:30 and 18:59 at the same distances. It’s almost as if those outcomes are by design.
“Sometimes we will have short conversations during races to make sure we are going the right pace,” Rorie said, adding that she’ll even seek her sister’s advice in the middle of a race.
“I’ll ask her what the next move should be,” Rorie said.
The two also stay close pre-race and once they cross the finish line.
“We always pray before races,” Georgia said. “Praying for (Rorie) takes nerves away from me because I get nervous for her. I just tell her she has done the work and now she can run, because that is what we love to do.”
Rorie, who also enjoys painting and photography, said once a race is over “I normally just fall into her arms and tell her she did a great job.”
This season has been a rewarding one on more than one level for Georgia. Besides welcoming her sister to the Wando team, Georgia has enjoyed a solid rebound from a serious injury in 2011.
“Georgia had a hip injury last year that really got her down in cross country and still bothered her in track,” said her coach, Marie Domin.
Georgia came back this season “stronger than ever,” Domin said, finishing first for the Wando team in nearly every event including a new PR in the 5K at the Wendy’s Classic.
Georgia, who enjoys baking and dancing when she isn’t on the track, said she is thrilled with the injury rehab and points to her times as proof of that effort.
“It has been fun to see my times fall and the effort pay off,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rorie ran 18:59 at Wendy’s and 19:05 at state, where she finished 10th, a solid inaugural cross country season for the freshman.
“These girls are team players and bring great energy and spirit to the team,” Domin said. “They have changed the dynamics of the team with their dedication, intensity and team attitude.”
The coach said the sister’s hard work this year has paid off for them and the Wando team.
“It’s proof that working together as a team is stronger. (The Compton’s) mix passion, positivity and competitiveness into their training and racing. They don’t make excuses; they put the team first and they love it. It doesn’t get much better than that.”