The first two ACU cross country runners to attend a post-conference competition are sprinting into a new future with the same passions.
Allie and Michaela Hackett, both in graduate school earning their Masters in accounting, are twins in many aspects.
“It just happened that we had the same interests and everything; we are both accounting majors, and we’re pretty identical in every aspect.”
Last fall during cross country season, ACU was able to compete in post-conference competition for the first time since the Div. 1 transition. Because the Hackett twins wanted to have the chance to compete in more than conference, they redshirted their senior year and chose a track allowing them to stay for five years. After placing fifth and sixth, respectively, the twins and the team competed in regionals.
In the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky, Allie placed 94th out of 250 female runners. With only seven seconds between the twins, Michaela placed 117th.
“There were so many runners, and everyone is good, so it’s not like it was a big meet and you could pass a bunch of people,” Michaela said.
Allie said the race required more of a strategic approach than most races.
“You had to be skilled in those kind of meets to get out hard, but not too hard,” Allie said. “I think it was good for us that we had that experience, but we could have done a lot better if we had that experience before.”
In addition to their athletics, the twins are pursuing accounting careers. Last summer, Allie and Michaela interned for Ernst & Young, one of the “big four” accounting firms. In the mornings, the twins said they woke up at 5:15 a.m. to run up to 10 miles, and would be in the office by 8 a.m. In the evening, they would finish their day at home by 6 p.m. and be in bed by 8 p.m.
“That gave us a taste of what our life would be like if we wanted to keep running after college during work, but I’m all for it,” Michaela said. “I want to keep doing it and see what opportunities rise.”
Using their time management skills from being student athletes, the twins said they want to continue running competitively after graduation.
“Running is a huge passion of ours; we couldn’t imagine life without it,” Michaela said. “So ideally after college we’ll still run competitively. We want to get some kind of sponsorship, be on a team or semi-professional runners. It’s definitely in reach, to be ‘partly’ professional runners, but it’s really hard to make a living off of that, so we have to have a real job, and we’re really excited about working for Ernst & Young.”
The two will be working in the Boston office, only an hour away from home. Michaela said that while they will be around the New England culture they missed during their college years, Texas has become their second home, and they can’t wait to visit.