Beckman twins stick together in final year

The twin sisters are both nursing majors and compete in the indoor pentathlon.

by Ryan Falk

Gophers redshirt seniors Alex and Amanda Beckman grew up together, attended class together and appeared on Minnesota’s record books together.
The twin sisters both compete in the pentathlon for the women’s track and field team and are among the top-10 performers in program history in the event.
This past weekend, the pair placed in the top 10 in the event at the Jack Johnson Classic.
“It’s a nice accomplishment for them,” head coach Matt Bingle said. “They had to be taught all the events, so it’s a great accomplishment for them to have learned everything and to have become top 10 all-time. It’s a tribute to their work ethic.”
Alex Beckman placed fourth last weekend with a career-best 3,749 points in the pentathlon, making her the third all-time best Minnesota performer in the event. Amanda placed seventh with a career-best 3,624 to move to 10th all-time.
The two have competed alongside one another their entire lives, and it’s something that has helped them both. 
“It’s nice to have that constant companion and partner,” Amanda Beckman said. “Sometimes doing our best means we have to beat each other, but we want each other to do our best.”
Alex Beckman also added that the pair’s relationship has changed over time as they’ve become more independent. 
“Yeah, we obviously want each other to do well,” Alex Beckman said. “Now, we can focus on ourselves more. We can be OK if the other has a bad meet.”
Along with sharing an event, the twins also share a major. The sisters study nursing, which can be demanding in the middle of the season, but they have found ways to juggle their responsibilities.
“Luckily, our coach was great about it. He knew nursing was going to be a career for us, and there have been a few tears, but for the most part, it’s been a great experience,” Amanda Beckman said.
Alex Beckman said Bingle has even helped rearrange practice to help them balance school and track.
The two are going into different areas of nursing, as Amanda Beckman is focusing on oncology nursing and Alex is focusing on neonatal intensive care.
Their respective paths are one way to tell the two apart, something Bingle admitted he struggled with at first.
“[In the beginning], their mom told me how to figure them out,” Bingle said. “If their backs were turned, I had a hard time in the first few months, but for a long time now it’s been no issue. They’re like your family now.” 
Amanda Beckman said telling the two apart eventually becomes easy.
“We’re different in our personalities and the way we interact with people,” Amanda Beckman said. “It’s a light bulb moment when people distinguish between us.”