A bond that's thicker than water

The McKinley triplets—Mia, Tim and Sophie—are part of the Mason swimming and diving team. Photo by Lathan Goumas.

The McKinley triplets will always have a special bond, they said. But Mia, Sophie and Tim, sophomores from Sterling, Virginia, have found their own identities as members of George Mason University’s swimming and diving teams.

“I don’t feel as much like ‘the triplets’ as I did in high school,” Tim said. “Everyone seems more mature. People see that we have different personalities.”

“People don’t expect us to be together all the time anymore,” Mia said. “I do feel like an individual on the team.”

As individuals they made their own decisions to attend Mason.

Sophie, a criminology, law and society major, was the first to commit to the university at the end of her junior year in high school. Mia, also a criminology, law and society major, and Tim, a business major, said they were originally unsure if they would follow their sister. But a campus tour convinced them Mason was the right fit as well.

They began swimming for Mason as freshmen. Mia competes in the backstroke, Sophie and Tim in freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly. Mia and Tim were named to the 2018-19 Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Sophie had six podium finishes, including a win in the 400-meter individual medley race against the University of Delaware.

They competed in November in the annual Patriot Invitational at the Aquatic and Fitness Center on the Fairfax Campus. Also competing were American University, Drexel, Florida Atlantic, Richmond, Seton Hall, Shippensburg, UMBC and University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Sophie took second in the C-Final off the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:24.44.

The triplets also have different friends and hobbies. Tim likes to fish on the Potomac River. Sophie enjoys hiking with friends. Mia enjoys cooking.

One thing they do have in common is their enthusiasm for the swimming season that got underway at the beginning of October.

“I’m excited,” Sophie said. “We brought in some freshmen this year, and I look forward to racing with them. We have [nine] away meets, so I’m looking to going to new places.”

And experiencing them with her siblings.

“We have a really close bond,” Sophie said. “We know how to support each other, and we look to each other. It’s fun when we’re all together.”