Brother Bears Lead Cal Swimmers

By Alisha Roemeling

Having your brother attend the same university as you has the potential to be pretty irritating. What about being on the same collegiate sports team?

Ben and Adam Hinshaw, brothers from Saratoga Calif., both decided to sign with the Cal swim team right after high school.

"At first I was a little concerned with how I was going to handle it, but it's turned out to be an awesome time," said Ben. "We're pretty good friends and we've been swimming with each other for a really long time. We've been on the same team before, and I think being in college we've become closer."

Adam, the younger brother, says having his older brother on the team doesn't bother him either.

"It's fun being on the same team as Ben. For the first two months I just treated him like a normal teammate and went in thinking that we didn't have a relationship and since then we've gotten closer," Adam said. "It's nothing new practicing with him though, we're used to each other."

The two grew up with a pool in their backyard and were inspired to start swimming by their father Brad, who swam for UCLA, and also by each other.

"It was my brother Ryan who swims for Indiana that got me started swimming," Ben said. "I watched him do it for years and then decided I wanted to pick it up."

Ben, who earned honorable mention All-America honors, placing 12th in 400 IM and was a member of the 800 free relay that was fifth at the 2011 NCAA championships, also has the school's third-best all-time mark in the 400 IM (3:45.30) and seventh-best mark in the 200 IM (1:45.08).

When the two brothers compete, it's a sight.

"If we're doing long distance type of stuff, Adam is definitely going to beat me," Ben said. "If we're doing shorter distances I usually win. But I think I have the upper hand between the two of us. I love to compete with my brother."

Adam owns Olympic Trial standards in the 200, 400 (3:57.05 LCM) and 1500 freestyles (15:38.78 LCM), and the 400 IM (4:28.92 LCM).

Both of the brothers have been competing on a swim team since they were very young, Ben starting at the age of 7 and Adam at 6. Both enjoy being on the same team, and believe that it helps them to be better athletes.

"We compete in the same events, and race against each other in practice, but we've been swimming together for years so it's interesting. The coach definitely gets a laugh out of it," said Adam.

While neither of them has declared a major quite yet, both of them enjoy watching hockey and both have great things to say about Cal.

"The coaching staff here is phenomenal, and the team is a really great group of kids as well. The academics at Cal are out of this world. It's also really close to home. We really like it," said Ben.

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