Not many sibling student-athletes attend USD, but those who do love the experience.
Sophomore Nick Kopp and first-year Ben Kopp, members of the swimming and diving team, said they both enjoy encouraging and supporting one another.
“I would say we have a close bond,” Ben Kopp said. “We are super supportive of one another and we push each other to be the best we can be. I like that when I first got here, I automatically had someone to talk to and we were both able to make friends without depending on each other.”
Nick Kopp said their relationship also includes friendly competition.
“We are very competitive with each other, we even have competitions at meets to see who can win the most races and beat the other brother,” Nick Kopp said. “The thing I like most about being on the same team as one of my brothers is that we push each other harder than anyone else can, and that there is always someone around who gets my humor.”
Even though they’re student-athletes, they don’t discuss swimming when they’re away from the pool.
“We surprisingly don’t talk much about swimming outside of the pool, even when we are working out, we are talking about a game we are going to play later or we’ll casually talk about our scooters,” Ben Kopp said.
Senior Emily Lundstrom and her brother, first-year Erik Lundstrom, are both swimmers at USD. They’ve been playing sports together since they were kids.
“As kids, we played almost every sport available to us. Everything from soccer to baseball to football, for Erik, gymnastics for me, cross country, track and field. In high school, we were usually three-sport athletes every year,” Emily Lundstorm said. “Our parents really liked us to be able to do the things we enjoyed so we focused on our main sport, swimming, and then got to participate in one or two other fun sports.”
Emily Lundstorm said she appreciates the support of being on the same team as her brother.
“It’s great having my biggest fan on the team,” she said. “It’s like my best friend moved to college and now I get to see him all the time and I get to watch him swim again like I used to in high school.”
She believes she has a special bond with her brother because they’re both student-athletes.
“Ever since we were young we developed a very close bond, especially because we both chose to specialize in the same sport,” Emily Lundstorm said. “We both carry very similar traits, competitiveness, motivation, being high achievers and goal setters, that help us succeed in swimming, and getting to use those traits all the time help us be closer as well.”
Erik Lundstrom wasn’t available for an interview before this story was published.