Two of a kind

Lobos siblings key in relay teams success 

By Moses Leos III and Lisette Lopez

Like many siblings, Lehman High junior Bria Arrant and freshman Briannah Arrant know what to expect from one another.

That familiarity and consistency, along with a whole lot of speed and agility, led Lehman High’s track coaches earlier this year to place the Arrant sisters on consecutive legs of the 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay teams.

Now armed with a school records in both events, the duo, along with teammates Nikayla Fitzgerald and Briana Garcia, are looking to punch their tickets to the state meet this week.

But for the Arrant sisters, who are competing for the first time together at the high school level, running is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. A life instilled upon them by parents who themselves were track and field stars.

“I say it’s fun doing relays with my sister,” Briannah Arrant said. “I can work with her and realize who she’s been working with over the last few years. It’s fun.”

One of the primary motivators for the Arrant sisters were their parents, who excelled in track and field during their formative years. That success led their parents to earn track scholarships to Baylor University.

“They were good at track and they wanted to pass it down to our family and wanted us to be great at it, too,” Briannah Arrant said.

But Bria Arrant said her parents were also careful not to introduce sports until they were ready. It wasn’t until Bria was in the 7th grade and Briannah was in the 5th when they both began running in track and field in middle school and in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)

Going through AAU was an experience for both, as they learned not only the ins-and-outs of training for meets, but also how to push themselves against top-tier competition.

Of course, starting off on a new venture can also mean going through a learning curve as well. Bria Arrant recalled how she had forgotten her track spikes in her very first meet, which forced her to run in basketball shoes.

“It was funny, but it was also fun, because it was the first time I ran and everyone was into it,” Bria said.

Over the next few years, both Arrant sisters competed individually in AAU and in the Junior Olympics. As time wore on, Bria began to excel at the high school level, while Brianna also flourished in middle school and amateur track meets.

It wasn’t until 2017 that the two first raced on the same relay team. That dynamic carried over into 2018 when they both made the varsity Lobo track squad.

Michelle Garcia, Lehman High girls track coach, said she wasn’t surprised when they knew they were getting Briannah based on Bria’s performances and dedication to the sport.

“Bria has always been a stud, she’s ran fast and made it to regionals the last couple of years so it wasn’t a surprise when we knew we were getting her sister,” Garcia said. “We knew that our relays were going to be really good this year, and next year as well because they will both still be here.”

That success is based on taking the time to hone their skills and doing everything to get “faster and just be more athletic,” Garcia said.

“They put in a lot of work necessary to be good runners. I know that they’re aspiring to do this in college so they already have that mindset,” Garcia said.

For Bria, the communication aspect between herand her sister has been an asset during the relays.

“It helps a lot, especially when we’re together,” Bria said. “It helps us know what we’re doing. But without the coaches, it can be confusing, but other than that, you get the gist of it.”

Briannah still has time to learn and grow as a freshman, but together, and as a team, they know what needs to be done heading into the regional meet, Garcia said.

“I think the fact that they’ve broken records and they know they’re young, they get that they have something special,” Garcia said. “They know they can compete with teams like Judson and Steele and teams like that, so they’re up there and they’re confident and I think that’s what’s helping them right now.”

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