Best friends for life

This is the third installment in a series of profiles of brothers and sisters who play for the same athletic team at Northeastern. To read the previous two, click here and here.

Julia and Adriana Sepulveda, fraternal twins on Northeastern’s swimming and diving team, are wont to follow in each other’s footsteps.

In high school, they worked the same summer job, selling pretzels at a mall in Houston, Texas. At Northeastern, they share the same circle of friends, a similar fashion sense, and an academic interest in the music industry.

This semester, the Sepulvedas, AMD’15, are taking three classes together. In the past, they’ve roomed together. To sum up, they’re inseparable, doppelgangers both literally and figuratively.

“We’re pretty much the same exact person,” Julia says. Adriana agrees, noting that “We have the same interests.”

And yet differences do exist, slight distinctions found in both their personalities and swimming strengths. According to the Sepulvedas, Adriana is more outgoing, Julia more reserved. Head swimming and diving coach Roy Coates sees things a little differently, noting that the twins are “very shy and relatively quiet.” In his recruiting visit to their home, he says, the Sepulvedas’ parents did the majority of the talking.

In the water, Adriana specialized in the freestyle, Julia in the individual medley. After four years on the team, the Sepulvedas concluded their collegiate careers in March with a sixth place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship.

In her final season, Adriana placed second in the 500-meter freestyle in meets against Boston College and Brown University. Julia, for her part, finished second in both the 400-meter freestyle relay and 200-meter individual medley in a meet against the University of Delaware.

“Julia is a very versatile swimmer,” Coates says. “She’s doesn’t have a weak stroke.”  Adriana, he notes, is “very consistent and has excellent endurance.”

Adriana (left) and Julia Sepulveda.

Adriana (left) and Julia Sepulveda.

The Sepulvedas started swimming at age 5, urged on by their mother who recently took up running. In middle school, the twins kept in shape by playing basketball and running track in the off-season, but transitioned to swimming full time once they reached high school. “Our mom likes to say that we got her athletic genes from her,” Adriana jokes, “but my sister and I were the first in our family to play a sport seriously.”

Now that they’ve finished their swimming careers, the Sepulvedas have turned their attention to their professional goals. Julia received the 2014 Jeanne Rowlands Award as Northeastern’s top female scholar-athlete and both plan on working on co-op next fall, though it’s unlikely they’ll end up at the same company.

Maybe that’s a good thing. “Sometimes,” Julia says, “it’s OK to do stuff on your own and be your own person.”