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Mother-Daughter Team: Track and Field Has Always Brought Tharan, Twentier Together, And It Does Again With Union/A-C Valley

FOXBURG, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Lexis Twentier has a lot of plates spinning at the moment.

Funeral director intern at Goble Funeral Home. Chief Deputy Coroner at the Clarion County Coroner’s office. Political chairperson.

And now assistant track and field coach at Union/A-C Valley.

She likes to stay busy. She thrives on it.

“I’ve always wanted to coach, but there’s never been an opportunity that was in the area that was reasonable for me until this year when A-C Valley and Union combined,” Twentier said.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

It’s special for another reason: Twentier’s mother, Shanna Tharan, is the co-head coach of the track and field team, along with Stacey Fox.

Twentier and Tharan both have rich athletic histories.

Tharan — Shanna Klingler in her days at A-C Valley — set records in the long jump and triple jump and was also a standout on the basketball court.

Tharan has been a longtime track and field coach.

Twentier began her high school career at A-C Valley before attending Keystone for her final three years. She played basketball, soccer and was a thrower on the Panthers’ track and field teams for three years. She also ran a leg of the 3,200-meter relay.

“I remember being on the track as a little kid when she was coaching varsity,” Twentier said. “I would do the varsity workouts with them, and that’s what sparked my interest in track to begin with. When I was in high school, she was one of my coaches for a couple of years. I believe maybe my junior or senior year she stepped down so she could really watch me in my events and she went back to coaching after I graduated.”

Twentier excelled in the javelin, shot put and discus. She qualified for the District 9 championships in all three throwing events and also in the 3,200 relay.

Sports have long been a big part of Twentier’s life. She’s happy to be involved in athletics again.

“I like to say it was my life, and now it’s back to being my life,” Twentier said. “I love that.”

Twentier threw the javelin at Clarion University for one year before a change in major forced her away from the runway.

Twentier decided to study to become a paralegal — an associates degree. Only four-year students can compete in varsity sports at Clarion.

“It was a hard decision for me to make, but ultimately I was looking at my future and what was financially more responsible,” Twentier said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Twentier, who will turn 24 in April, decided to change course again and become a funeral director. She is currently working toward her funeral director license and interning at Goble Funeral Home.

She’s also working as the deputy coroner for Clarion County.

“It’s definitely interesting. I can be a sad job, but it’s nice to be able to serve the community and the families in a way that not a lot of people can,” she said.

Twentier is also heavily involved in politics. She launched a campaign for mayor of Clarion Borough, losing to Jennifer Fulmer Vinson by a narrow margin.

“I’ve always loved politics and I’ve always been involved, but to run my first campaign — it was a smaller campaign — but it was exciting,” Twentier said. “I came up short to someone who was well known and slightly older than I was. It was a good first experience and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”

Twentier said she learned a great deal from her first political race.

“I definitely learned it all starts from the ground up, whether it’s knocking on doors and just kind of getting out there and talking to the constituents to asking those who are more well-versed for advice,” Twentier said.

She can apply the same lessons to her role as coach.

“She presents herself with confidence and she knows what she’s talking about,” Tharan said. “She’s able to demonstrate things when need be. For her being a little younger as a coach, I can see they respect her and she can also relate to them.”

The coaches on the staff fit together well.

Tharan is mainly responsible for the jumps. Fox oversees the sprints and hurdles. Twentier the throws. Other volunteer assistants fill in the other gaps.

The co-op has also produced healthy numbers and competition, doubling the size of the team.

Both Union and A-C Valley struggled to fill events last year with between 10 and 12 athletes on the roster. Combined, the numbers are well into the 40s this season.

Union will host all the home meets. Practices will alternate each week between A-C Valley and Union.

“We didn’t run any relays last year,” Tharan said of A-C Valley’s team. “We didn’t have the depth to fill it. There’s competition now. And it’s friendly, good competition.”

Tharan is hoping to send at least a handful of athletes to the PIAA Track and Field Championships this season.

Twentier is hoping to help bring that about as well.

“I think every coach’s dream is to have their student-athletes be successful,” she said. “As a coach we get to support, inspire and mold the students.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.