For as far back as either can remember, these two Van Alstyne twins have played together, trained together, and competed together on cross-country courses and tracks for the Panther programs.
After the conclusion of the 2017 track season, and when college classes being next fall, Jacob and Hannah Taylor will start down differing paths.
Separated by about 140 miles of Oklahoma and Kansas highways, the Taylors will continue their athletic and academic careers, while exploring new trails.
Hannah will be running for Rogers State University in the historic town of Claremore, Oklahoma.
Claremore is the home town of noted entertainer and philosopher, Will Rogers, and is the setting of the musical, Oklahoma.
“The town and college just have a comfortable feel, and lots of historical significance,” Hannah said.
After considering some other offers, Rogers State, an NCAA Division II school, was an easy choice for her, both on what the sport had to offer as well as her future academic pursuits.
“I want to major in criminal justice and they have a very strong program for that,” Taylor said.
She has always had an interest in investigations and solving perplexing issues, although she eschews the “Holllywood” style such as NCIS, favoring instead true-life stories as told on “Forensic Files.”
Hannah hasbeen a three time state qualifier from cross-country, and hopes to add track to her resume this season.
“I’m just concentrating on the 3,200-meters this year, that’s my best event and I want to see how far that will take me this season,” Taylor said.
On April 6, Hannah recorded her first, sub-12 minute run in the 3200-meters at the Farmersville Invitational.
Hannah held interest from Texas A&M Commerce, St. Edwards University in Austin and Cowely Community College in Kansas, but felt Rogers State was the best fit.
“I wanted to go to a four-year school, and someplace small, so Rogers fit what I was looking far.” Taylor said.
Her brother Jacob picked Cowely County Community College for some of the same reasons Hannah chose Rogers State.
A two-year school located in Arkansas City, Kansas, it has a “homey” feel according to Jacob and it offers a good academic start for his chosen field—Mechatronics.
Yes, look that one up like we did. It’s a multidisciplinary field of science that combines the features of mechanical engineering, electronics and computer engineering.
Jacob had his most memorable moment in sports earlier this school year when he, his sister and the Van Alstyne boys’ cross-country team qualified for the state meet in Round Rock.
“That had always been a goal for me, and when we qualified as a team it was the greatest feeling,” Jacob said.
He has been running both distance events this season and on April 6 at Farmersville, Jacob recorded his personal best 3200-meter time of 10:47.
“Today was almost perfect from a weather standpoint and there were a lot of good runners in my heat and that always helps,” Jacob said.
His best time in the 1600-meters is a 4:50, and he hopes to beat that in the district meet.
Jacob was contacted by Oklahoma Christian University, but the school, town and future teammates that he met at Cowely sold him on attending the school.
The latest in a long line of distance standouts at Van Alstyne, Hannah and Jacob Taylor take the next steps in their sports and educational careers.