Sports Spotlight: Twins Elliott and Cooper Kleckner have run into the record books in short time at South Central

Both are ECU commits joining the Pirates in the fall
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
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WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - South Central track and field and cross country teams got not one, but two major transfers last spring from Croatan. Twins Elliott and Cooper Kleckner. They have made a major impact there in a short time. We feature them in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

South Central distance running twins Elliott and Cooper Kleckner might be the best training partners around.

“It’s been awesome watching him run,” says South Central senior Elliott Kleckner, “I mean we train together every day we do workouts together. Sometimes he’ll be pushing me to go faster and start passing me in workouts. It’s always fun to run with him.”

Regionally dominant at cross country at 2A and now 3A, Elliot finished 29th as a freshman. He’s finished in the top 5 in the state meet each of the past three seasons. He set the South Central school record and took 3rd this year at state.

“I get to stare at the back of his head most of the time when I’m running,” says South Central senior Cooper Kleckner, “But I get to see him set all sorts of records and it’s really cool to see. His name is all over that board and I just try to stay as close as possible to him.”

Cooper not far behind in 10th overall at state cross country. The Kleckners helped South Central cross country reach new heights.

“It’s because of them that made a big impact on how our season was this fall,” says South Central cross country coach Lisa Cox, “My boys, I had some pretty fast boys... They kind of lead the team. It made my other boys even faster and it was the first year that South Central ever had a men’s team go to the state meet.”

“Highest place ever at states, and regionals, and it was just our best team ever,” says Elliott, “Everybody was doing great. We all work together and it was awesome to see the team accomplish things they never have before.”

The twins are humble. They are some of the states best on the track as well. They are two pieces to a new school record this month in the 4 by 800 meter relay.

“We wanted to go sub 8:10 and get the county record,” says Elliott, “We ended up going way faster and getting the 801. Which is still the best time in three A for the state.”

“It was The top time in the state for a day or two and then some other team broke it,” says Cooper, “but it’s still up there as one of the top times.”

They both hold track distance records individually at South Central.

“They have all the school records. At 4 x 8 was a school record but they hold the records in the mile in the 2 mile,” says South Central track and field coach Robert Wolbert, “And that tells you what type kids they are, they’re talking about the relay which is team.”

The twins both signed with ECU for both track and field and cross country in the fall. But for now they are excited to be included with the Falcons.

“Always love to race and compete against other people. It’s something I’ve always loved doing,” says Elliot, “and I love training with teammates and working to get better.”

Just a couple seniors, enjoying being part of something special, the exact type who thrive in the running community.

“We are friends with everyone but we’re competitive too,” says Cooper, “It’s a fun atmosphere we will be on the line joking and then about to race as hard as we can.”

The Twins both competed at the All American Track Classic this weekend. Both placed top 10 in the mile and two mile events. They were the only North Carolinians to compete.

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