Playing for years with the same teammates on either high school or college teams can create inseparable bonds. At some point, they go from being teammates to being lifelong friends.

That part comes easy for Courtney and Caitlynn Edon. The twins, the youngest of five, have been running cross country together since high school.

The sophomores continued their cross country career at Ball State.

Courtney began the sport first, running in sixth grade after her older brother Quay Edon convinced her to join.

“I’ve always loved it since I started,” Courtney said. “I was always fast as a child, playing games like tag.”

Caitlynn joined the cross country team her freshman year at New Palestine High School, because she needed a sport to play during the fall when tennis wasn’t in season.

The twins do their running workouts together as a way to keep each other company and push each other harder. Early morning runs are a staple of their summer together.

Courtney said those morning runs can be tough, especially for a new runner.

“It isn’t always easy to get up that early, but knowing the afternoon will be hot is good motivation,” she said. “She’s usually the one who sets the alarm. We really bounce off of each other in the morning to get ourselves ready.”

Although their household has two spare bedrooms, the sisters still share a room. They said they believe it’s made them closer, despite the occasional argument.

“We’ll fight about stupid things,” Courtney said. “One of us will do something annoying, but then 10 minutes later, we’re over it. As soon as we start fighting, we’ll be saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ almost immediately after we start fighting.”

Together, they push each other as hard as possible during workouts and at races. Caitlynn said when she’s starting to slow down, Courtney will yell to her to speed up and get back next to her.

Courtney said Caitlynn helps her loosen up mentally before a race, a problem she has struggled with since her days at New Palestine High School.

“I get really nervous before races,” Courtney said. “I’d get so nervous that I’d almost be getting sick at the line right before the race start. My old high school coach told me I needed to be more confident. So now before every race, I look at Caitlynn and say, ‘My name’s Courtney, and I am fast,’ and since I’ve started doing that, I‘ve never had a problem. She gives me a shoulder massage before every race, too, so that helps calm me down.”

The twins said the biggest difference between last season and the season that’s now wrapping up is coaching continuity. They said having two consecutive seasons under the same Ball State coaching staff helped them improve, specifically their endurance and mental fortitude.

Caitlynn said besides having different jobs, they mostly spend all their time together.

“When one of us has to babysit, we always go together,” she said. “We pretty much do everything together. We really are together 24/7.”

Courtney said she always has her best races when Caitlynn is cheering her on.

That bodes well for Courtney, because Caitlynn said she plans on doing that at regionals Saturday. Courtney will compete at the 2012 Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wis.