Sister Act: An Interview with Nadya and Nastia Bishton

 During the fall a pair of twin sisters from Arizona showed their dominance week after week in their home state, both putting up incredible times and both earning trips to Foot Locker Nationals. Nadya and Nastia Bishton (photo above by Margot Kelly, Nadya )are high school seniors at Mountain Ridge High School in Arizona. They've been running together for years and in their final season together they are looking to accomplish a lot. Read about their current results, their training and why they are going to seperate colleges next year.


An Interview with Nadya and Nastia Bishton (AZ)

MileSplit (MS): Congratulations on the great start to your big-meet outdoor competition at the Chandler Rotary Invitational [Nadya (#1584 in picture) won the 3200m in 10:42.84 and Nastia (#1595 in picture) finished second in 10:47.68]. Were you happy with your results there? Bishton (NadyaB): Thank you! I was satisfied with what I did at Chandler, not ecstatic, but satisfied. In the mile I had planned on getting a faster time, but the strategy my coach and I talked about suddenly changed five minutes before the race, so that sort of messed with my head. Also it had been only about two weeks since I really started doing workouts again since getting off a strained tendon in my foot. For the two mile I was pretty happy. I just planned on running fast. I feel like at that point I should have been running faster than 10:42, but then I have to remind myself of the foot thing.

Nastia Bishton (NastiaB): Not really because I was getting back in shape from an injury that took me out of training for two and a half weeks. I ran about the same time I did last year at that meet, and I always want to improve with every year, so that was tough.

MS: Moving forward with your season, what big meets do you have left? Are you going to race at Nike Outdoor Nationals?

NadyaB: Well the big meets I have left now are the State Meet, the Great Southwest and the Golden West. I don't plan on running in NON, because conditions there tend to be extremely humid. Also, it would be a pretty expensive trip and between graduation expences for trips, pictures, gowns, parties,'s getting pretty pricey for two people. Besides, the Golden West is supposed to be a very fun meet and a few of my teammates are planning on going.

NastiaB: I want to run a fast 1600m at the West Side Meet. It's not that big, but I haven't ran fast yet all season, so hopefully I will there. I also have State, the Great Southwest and then the Golden West to go to. And no, like Nadya, I don't plan to attend the NON meet.

MS: Not too many people know much about Mountain Ridge High School. Could you tell us a little bit about the area?

NadyaB: Mountain Ridge is in Glendale, Arizona. It's very close to Phoenix. It's not at altitude but it sure gets hot here! Yes, I would say there are a lot of good places to run here. Our school is right across the street from a big state mountain park (Thunderbird State Park). Finding good trail runs is a piece of cake.

MS: There are a lot of great female distance runners in Arizona right now. Do all of you talk and get along?

NastiaB: We really don't get to see each other that often, but whenever we do, we are really friendly and outgoing towards one another.

NadyaB: Yeah! Whenever we get a chance! I love seeing Jessica Tonn at meets. She's always so happy and runs up to everyone giving them hugs. Sarah Penney, Jessica and Lindsay [Prescott], and my sister and I are all friends on Facebook.

MS: What does a week of training look for the Bishton sisters right now?

NadyaB: Well a week of training is usually:

Monday: Light morning run, then an evening repeat workout.
Tuesday: Recovery run, strides, weight lifting.
Wednesday: Light morning run, either a speed workout or a duel meet.
Thursday: Recovery run, strides, and weight lifting.
Friday: Either a workout or a light run, depending on whether or not there's a meet the next day.
Saturday: Either a long run or an invitational.
Sunday: Sleep, eat, relax!

MS: Nadya, you've committed to the University of Wisconsin, while Nastia, you've committed to Arizona State University. Why did you two decide on seperate schools and why did you choose the schools you did?

NastiaB: I think both of us just want to break away from the security that our relationship has created. It's just too comfortable, and I don't think real life is like that. I'll miss her desperately, but it's time for me to live my own life right now. I chose ASU because I loved the laid back attitude of the team, and coach Quintana and coach Ryan are both amazing people. Also, I received the Provost's scholarship from ASU, so that is insurance if anything should happen to prevent me from running.

NadyaB: We knew we were going to different schools a while ago. The competition between us has gotten pretty intense over the last couple of years, so we're looking for a break from that. Also I would like to be viewed as an individual and not as a "twin," so I guess part of it is seeking our own identities. We're going to have to split up sometime. I was drawn to the University of Wisconsin because of the beautiful running environment, the outdoor lifestyle, the liberal views and the wonder coach and team. Also, the University of Wisconsin has, in my opinion, the best vet program in the country, and that's one of my biggest dreams. Becoming a vet with my own practice would be amazing!

MS: How did the two of you get in to running?

NadyaB: We started running because we had always been fast as kids. We loved to race others (and beat them). My mom had been a very good sprinter, so that's what we initially wanted to do. But, we tried to start running track in the fall of our eighth grade year and found out that there was only cross country. So, we decided to do cross to get in shape for track, and found out that we loved distance instead!

NastiaB: Honestly, we both wanted to sprint. We wanted to continue our mom's legacy of speed. She's a hero for us both. We went out for cross country simply to "get in shape" for sprinting in track, but when track started and they told us to split up into groups we naturally went to the distance group.

MS: What is it like running with your twin sister at the top level of your sport in the country?

NastiaB: It's intense to say the least. You're always questioning your performance based off of someone else (although I am not supposed to!). But, she keeps me going when everyone else seems to be slacking. She is always there to encourage me, or to tell me that it's ok to take a break. She helps me balance myself.

NadyaB: It's amazing! I have a training partner who experiences the same things as me, and who pushes me harder than anyone else. The drive to beat my sister is what gets me to run a lot harder than I had thought I could. I love her and hate her at the same time, but it's a good hate. I know I am going to miss her to death, and that I am gonna rack up a huge phone bill (sorry mom and dad).

Quick Six (Six quick questions, six quick answers)

MS: Favorite training shoes?

NadyaB: Pearl Izumis.

NastiaB: Pearl Izumis.

MS: Favorite food?

NastiaB: Anything ethnic.

NadyaB: Asian, Russian and ice cream!

MS: Mountains or Oceans?

NadyaB: I live next to the mountains, so I'll say oceans. But, if I lived next to an ocean it would be mountains.

NastiaB: Oceans.

MS: Favorite Band?

NastiaB: Don't really have one. Maybe Matchbox 20 if I have to pick one.

NadyaB: Nickelback.

MS: What kind of car do you drive?

NastiaB: A dented C-RV.

NadyaB: A silver Honda C-RV.

MS: Favorite runner?

NadyaB: Phidippides, first marathoner ever.

NastiaB: Ryan Hall. He is so humble and genuine.