Sports are enjoyable to play, but even better when you are sporting a sibling teammate. At Cal Poly, several students share a sibling on the field.
Lindsey and Zach Chalmers
Both junior starting pitcher Lindsey Chalmers (softball) and freshman pitcher Zach Chalmers (baseball) showed an early interest in America’s greatest pastime. They also fell in love with the San Luis Obispo area and the athletic programs they now play for, which were two major factors when committing to Cal Poly.
As the only siblings in their family, Lindsey and Zach have strengthened their bond that started in their hometown of San Ramon, California once moving to San
“It’s comforting to have family really close and I think it’s brought us closer so far,” Lindsey said.
“Yeah, it’s nice to have someone who has experienced college and be able to ask them questions,” Zach said.
The Chalmer’s don’t consider themselves competitive towards each other. Their biggest arguments when they were little were over the TV remote.
“Parents would have to intervene,” Zach said. “We would get a yell from upstairs.” “We’d have to hug it out,” Lindsey said.
Instead of bickering over which show to watch, the sister and brother now support each other’s future endeavors.
Zach wants to continue his baseball career outside Cal Poly and possibly get drafted into Major League Baseball. Lindsey agreed that he was capable of doing so.
“He’s just been known to be big and strong for his age,” Lindsey said.
Despite both having seasons in the spring, the Chalmers siblings are still able to cheer each other on because Lindsey frequently plays morning games while Zach’s games usually start in the evening.
Traveling to watch his older sister play is not unfamiliar for Zach, as he traveled a lot with their parents to watch Lindsey play the last three years.
“[Lindsey] is calm-minded, not a lot bothers her, which helps during the game,”
Taylor and Darren Nelson
For freshman pitcher and designated hitter Darren Nelson (baseball) and his sister, senior setter Taylor Nelson (volleyball), athleticism and competition run in the family. These two of the three Nelson siblings followed in their parent’s footsteps, attending the same college and playing the same sports.
“Since we’ve been able to walk, we were put into sports,” Darren said.
Parents Rich and Vera Nelson both sported green and gold jerseys, playing baseball and volleyball respectively. Coincidentally, Vera played on the same team as outside hitters Adlee and Torrey Van Winden’s mom, Kelly Stand Van Winden.
The siblings joked about their competitive nature and said it’s never clear who the true winner is when it’s time for family game night.
“I just always win,” Darren said.
“No way!” Taylor fired back. “None of us are very good losers in the family.”
The Nelsons have developed an even tighter bond while being together at Cal Poly, especially when they are missing their family back in Granite Bay, California.
“It’s nice just to have a family member here,” Taylor said. “Whenever we’re homesick, we’ll cook dinner together or go grocery shopping.”
Taylor shares her car and runs errands with Darren since freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus this year.
Darren added that he is thankful for his sister’s presence at the school.
“I’ve always wanted to come here since I was a little kid and once [Taylor] came here, I just knew it was another plus to it,” Darren said.
Despite their playful sibling rivalry, they still attend and support each other at their sporting events as much as they can, even though Taylor still thinks she could beat her younger brother in Nintendo Wii Baseball.
Dynn and Lynn Leaupepe
Senior guards Dynn and Lynn Leaupepe are the two stars of the Cal Poly women’s basketball team after years of sharing the court. This past month, the twins were chosen for the preseason All-Big West Conference women’s basketball team for their impressive seasons last year.
Dynn broke the single-season school record for free-throw percentage last season while also averaging 14.8 points. Lynn tied for second-most double-doubles in the conference with nine and recorded 14.7 average points per game.
The Leaupepes look to each other for inspiration and support but also constructive criticism.
“It’s really fun. You always have someone there with you and someone there always to critique you on whatever you’re doing,” Dynn said. “Getting that feedback is super helpful.”
Even though they frequently compete for the same accolades, such as Conference Player of the Week, the sisters recognize the other’s strengths.
“For [Dynn], it’s definitely her jump shot, off the dribble,” Lynn said. “I really enjoy watching her do that.”
“And for [Lynn], her intensity and relentlessness on the [offensive] boards, call her Superwoman,” Dynn said. “So you guys have to watch out for that.”
Lynn humbly smiled and shook her head.
According to both Dynn and Lynn, even head coach Faith Mimnaugh sometimes calls them by the wrong name.
“If people aren’t sure at all they’ll just call us ‘the twins,’” Dynn said.
They have a powerful unspoken language on the court that helps them create an advantage over their opponent.
“A lot of people don’t expect it, but we’re the only ones who know it’s coming,” Dynn said.
Both players are excited about their senior year on the team as they start their conference play in January.