It all began with William Wallace and David Stroupe.
At Watauga High School in Boone in 1996, Stroupe and his cross country team watched "Braveheart" the night before the state championship meet. The next morning, donning plaid Scottish kilts and blue face paint, the team recited the "Sons of Scotland" speech and ran the 5k, continuously screaming "Freedom."
Stroupe and his teammates captured the state title.
Now, Stroupe is a junior running for the North Carolina men's cross country team, and this year his sister, Kristin, joins the cross country mix as a freshman.
And apparently, she shares his sense of style. She was decked out at Watauga High the day before the 2001 state championship meet in a prom dress, sports bra and tennis shoes.
"The (high school) team would always do something goofy," said David Stroupe.
"We'd always get the strangest looks in the hall," he said. "But it was fun, and it showed we were a team."
Minus the plaid and prom faux pas, the pair will be running in the UNC Challenge on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Finley Cross Country Course.
Although David Stroupe wasn't rumored to be 7 feet tall, and Kristin Stroupe didn't have to win best dressed, the two have brought a superceding sense of unity and family competition to the cross country teams.