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Swimming Sisters (Alex and Liz Hoffman)



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SDSU and USD have a long history of sports rivalries, but as Jason Anschutz tells us, our Taco John's Athletes of the Week have added their own chapter to this epic story.

During warm-ups, one side of the pool is blue and the other is red. But there are two swimmers who share a different rivalry than the usual one between Jackrabbits and Coyotes. Alex Hoffman swims for SDSU. And her sister Liz is a coyote.

Alex Hoffman says, "She was four and I was six years old and we have always been on the same team. We ran track and cross-country against each other in high school and while we did compete against each other in high school, we always knew that we were for the same team."

Now that's not the case. At a dual meet in December, with their family decked out in their own specially made outfits. Alex and Liz each swam multiple events. Liz won three of them. Alex won four.

Brad Erickson says, "They're both very talented athletes. Alex is probably one of the hardest working student-athletes that I've had in recent memory."

Jason Mahowald says, "All of the individual accolades she gets I think mean, I think they're nice for her to get, but when it comes down to it she tells you that she swims for her team and that she wants to score points for her team."

All their lives, Alex and Liz were on the same team in Eureka. Now though, they don't mind being on opposite sides of the pool.

Alex Hoffman says, "When we hit the water, the competition is definitely on."

And the bragging rights are up for grabs.

Liz Hoffman says, "I kinda picture us as the old ladies rocking in our rocking chairs at the nursing home saying, 'Hey, remember at that swim meet when I beat you?' And hopefully I'll be the one saying that."

Swimming isn't the only thing the sisters have in common though. Both have competed in, and won beauty pageants. In 2008 Liz was Miss Teen South Dakota, while Alex won Miss South Dakota and went to the Miss America Pageant. And she admits her swimming background did help a little bit.

Alex Hoffman says, "Ever since I was six years old I have been in a swimsuit in front of people and I just, I feel comfortable in a swimsuit. I mean, I wear a swimsuit two to four hours a day. So to be completely honest with you, yes, the swimsuit competition was easier for me."

Liz on the other hand, says her pageant days are over.

Liz Hoffman says, "I think I'm a little too much tomboy for that, you know. I prefer to be in sweatpants and a baseball hat rather than getting dressed up and walking around on stage."

In the pool though, they both feel at home. And even if they are competing against each other, the Hoffman’s know what's really important.

Alex Hoffman says, "Someone's gonna win, someone's gonna take second, but I think in the end, we know above everything else, we're still sisters."
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