Twin sisters cheer on opposite sides of Bedlam rivalry
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11/24/12 at 7:07 AM
Find more Bedlam coverage: Read all of this week’s preview stories and analysis on the Bedlam football game.
One of the first things people ask Catherine Thomas when they find out she has a twin sister is whether she's identical.
"To which I say, 'No,' " the 19-year-old said. Generally, that's followed by a sigh of disappointment from the inquirer.
Whereas both are shy and intelligent, she and Victoria - Catherine's younger sister by a few minutes - are otherwise different, from looks to interests.
"Cat," as Victoria calls her, is a talented violinist who listens to the Beatles and Frank Turner. Victoria, who was active in Future Farmers of America, prefers "old country," like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard.
"Even our taste in food is different," said Catherine, whose favorites are Mexican and Thai. Victoria's is barbecue, which Catherine refuses to eat.
So it doesn't come as a surprise to friends and loved ones, they said, that Catherine chose the University of Oklahoma, while Victoria opted for Oklahoma State University.
And both will probably watch Saturday's Bedlam game - scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Norman - from their family's home in Broken Arrow.
"Nearly every time I tell someone about my twin sister that goes to OU, they have the same flabbergasted reaction," Victoria said. "Most people assume that we aren't close twins or that the school rivalry has driven us apart - it hasn't."
The twins were born Feb. 17, 1993, to Gary and Sheril Thomas. They have another daughter, Elizabeth, who's a junior at Fort Lewis College - and, joked Victoria, is a "Colorado hippie."
As Elizabeth is relatively close in age to the twins, all three were often mistaken for triplets, Victoria said. But the two youngest have always been best friends and even shared a room growing up.
As elementary-aged kids, they did many activities together, like soccer and Girl Scouts. That changed in third grade, when Victoria played basketball and took horseback-riding lessons, while Catherine was in school choir and took up violin.
The twins rarely argued, Victoria said, but that didn't mean they weren't competitive.
"There would frequently be times when one of us was like, 'Haha! I got a 98.5 in that class, and you only got a 98.3,' " Catherine said.
She and Victoria graduated from Broken Arrow High School in 2011.
After a hectic senior year of the college application process, Catherine was accepted to numerous colleges, but she always liked OU. It didn't hurt that the school offered her a great scholarship for being a National Merit Scholar. Her major is environmental engineering.
Victoria considered many out-of-state schools, but OSU offered the degree field in which she was interested - and it was close enough to Broken Arrow to visit on weekends, said the biochemistry and molecular biology major.
Because they go to different schools, they usually only see each other during breaks, holidays or their birthday, Catherine said.
"One of my favorite parts of winter and summer break is being able to see Cat every day," Victoria said.
They'll have this weekend, too, when they watch the game - the outcome of which will probably prompt one twin to text the other.
Last year, when Victoria went to Bedlam, she sent Catherine a message reading "OSU!! OSU!! OSU!! WE BEAT YOU!!"
"After my initial moment of glee, I calmed down, and we joked about it," said Victoria, who's hoping for a Cowboy victory this weekend.
Not surprisingly, Catherine feels differently.
"When OU wins, I shall commence making snide comments to Victoria and brag about how awesome OU is - and, thus, me - in every way," she said.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
When: 2:30 p.m.
Where: Owen Field, Norman
Television: ESPN (Cox cable 25)
OU radio: KMOD fm97.5 and KTBZ am1430
OSU radio: KFAQ am1170
Original Print Headline: Sisters divided
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Twin sisters Victoria (left) and Catherine Thomas laugh as they walk across the Oklahoma State University campus before a football game against Texas Tech in Stillwater on Nov. 17. Although the sisters are twins, they are on opposite sides of the Bedlam rivalry because Catherine goes to the University of Oklahoma. MATT BARNARD/ Tulsa World
Twin sisters Victoria (right) and Catherine Thomas (center) share a laugh with their mother, Sheril Thomas, in Victoria's dorm room at Oklahoma State University before a football game against Texas Tech. Although the sisters are on opposite sides of the Bedlam rivalry, they don't let the division tear them apart. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World