Growing up and playing sports side-by-side was something that came naturally for sophomores Cameron and Hunter Flamm, and while in high school, they tried out for both the basketball and baseball teams and joined crew.
“We’ve always done the same things and have had similar interests,” Cameron said. “Rowing was just the thing we wanted to do. We both liked it as much as the other and decided to pursue it.”
Besides the Flamms, there is another set of twins on the men’s crew team — freshmen Evan and Seth Ormsby.
Evan and Seth started rowing in eighth grade after their parents and the rowers at their high school introduced them to the sport.
Having two sets of twins on an athletic team is very uncommon. Of the 25 varsity sports at Ithaca College, men’s crew is the only team that has more than one set of twins. Baseball and women’s lacrosse each have one set of twins and football has a set of triplets.
Dan Robinson, men’s crew head coach, said that having twins on the team can make his job easier.
“I do think there is a little bit of ‘as long as you take care of one, the other is going to follow,’” Robinson said. “It is a little less maintenance from a coaching standpoint. I’m not really coaching four guys — I’m coaching a couple pairs of guys.”
Robinson said Evan and Seth row together in the Varsity 8 boat because their high school emphasized the same motions in their technique that Robinson does, so they were able to fit in quicker.
Seth said he enjoys being on the same team as his brother because he knows he will never be alone.
“It’s no different than having a friend on the team,” Seth said. “There is always one person you can stand with during a meeting or something. It’s one way to always have a friend with you.”
During Hunter’s freshman year, he did not have his brother at his side because Cameron went to Rutgers University.
“Every time I was enjoying myself or I accomplished something in crew or I had a good time with my teammates or someone said something funny or I did something that was really fulfilling, it felt a little empty because my brother wasn’t around,” Hunter said.
Cameron said that once he arrived at Rutgers, he knew he was going to transfer because the school was not what he wanted, and so he could be with his brother.
“He is my other half,” Cameron said. “We know what each other is thinking before they say it. We get along. We live together — we are roommates. We’ve never had problems with each other.”
Unlike the Ormsbys, Hunter rows in the Varsity 8 boat, while Cameron rows in a different boat each race. Robinson said that Cameron’s not being in the varsity boat stems from Cameron and Hunter’s high school program having a different rhythm than what is done here. In crew, the rowers have to move exactly the same way, so Cameron has to get used to the movements that Ithaca rowers do.
“There are little technical things we wanted to get them to incorporate with us,” Robinson said. “Hunter has done it — he has been here for a whole year. Cameron has taken a little bit of time.”
Evan said part of his strength comes from how competitive he and Seth are with each other.
“We both need each other to push ourselves,” Evan said. “If we have a test and I beat him, then the next time he is going to try to beat me. If he doesn’t, it just pushes him more. We have probably one of the strongest competitions on the team.”
Cameron said he and Hunter aren’t as competitive but try to feed off each other.
“We encourage each other and get better together,” Cameron said. “We aren’t trying to beat the other. We are trying to get better together.”
Robinson said he has seen the Flamms and Ormsbys compete and work together naturally because they are twins.
“If they were two guys who are really close, then I would be saying, ‘You have to stick next to them,’ and pushing them to help each other out,” Robinson said. “But they are brothers, so you don’t have to say that — they’ve been doing it their whole lives, so we don’t say anything and just watch them help each other out.”