In the most visible of circumstances, Kirk and Daren Stonerock are identical twins, born just five minutes apart and graced with the same lithe figures, blonde hair and California-style good looks.
But aside from their love of distance running, the pair readily admits they're about as similar as oil and vinegar, salt and sugar or maybe new wave and heavy metal rock music.
"I'm KLOS. He's KROQ," explained Kirk, who preferred to draw an analogy between radio listening preference and their different lifestyles. "We are twins but we're not anything alike. We have different identities."
On the track, the Saugus High duo appeared strikingly similar Saturday afternoon, both winning their heats of the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs at the Southern Section 3-A track and field preliminaries at Gahr High in Cerritos.
The two persisted in living their chosen lifestyles apart from each other Saturday. They exited and entered the competition surface separately, and only after Daren had completed the family double-double in the 3,200-meter run did the pair get together in the smog and haze that beset the meet to discuss their day.
To their credit, they didn't just win their heats at Hanford Rants Stadium. They embarrassed the competition.
Kirk cake-walked through both his events, posting qualifying times for next Saturday's finals at Cerritos College of 4:21.03 (1,600) and 9:20.80 (3,200).
Daren, seven pounds lighter than his brother--"Kirk eats like a pig and likes to work out. I don't," he says--and consistently a few seconds behind him all season, posted a faster 4:17.63 in the shorter event, then blew away from a trio of would-be-challengers in the final lap for a 20-meter victory in the 3,200 with a time of 9:22.16.
Their performances highlighted the meet and set off a wave of speculation among opposing coaches that repeat performances next weekend could assure Saugus of the boys 3-A team title.
In all, Saugus qualified for 11 boys spots--and two girls places--in the finals. Yet, distance Coach Steve Spraker said he sees a challenge from Duarte.
"Duarte is tough," he said while watching the Falcons serve notice in winning the 1,600-meter relay that they'll press the Centurions next week. "How the sprinters do and how well we score in the shotput will be the biggest factors at the finals."
In the shotput Saugus' Lance Ane qualified for the finals with a toss of 50-11 1/2. That throw placed him third, behind Rick Fuller of Arroyo (51-8) and Shane Wiley of Hemet (52-7 1/2).
Another top performer for the Centurions was Rodney Bradshaw, who turned in heat-winning times of 14.58 in the 110-meter high hurdles and 38.62 in the 300-meter hurdles. And in the 800-meter run Mike MacClean won his heat with a time of 1:56.9.