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Riverdale's Faith Jackson qualified for state in the Class 1A discus competition, but did not advance to today's finals at Eastern Illinois University's O'Brien Field. That leaves her rooting for her twin, Hope, who sits fifth in the discus heading into today's finals. 

CHARLESTON — No matter what happens at the IHSA State track meet, twins Hope and Faith Jackson will continue to support each other. That’s what family does.

Hope qualified for the finals today in discus with a throw of 125 feet, 8 inches, however Faith missed the finals cutoff with a throw of 111-5. Faith is keeping her head up and her energy now goes into supporting her twin sister.

“I’m pretty happy with how I did on Thursday,” Faith said. “I wasn’t throwing at the state level until I got to sectionals, but it’s good to be back here. The state meet is a different atmosphere that you can’t replicate.”

Hope, who placed fifth in last year's discus competition, was exceptionally proud of how her sister performed on Thursday.

“She did well; it was one of her better marks of the season,” Hope said. “She shouldn’t be upset. No matter what, she’s still going to be with me on Saturday.”

Hope’s throws on Thursday weren’t quite what she was hoping for, but she’s looking forward to today’s throws with the mindset of getting on the podium with a top nine finish.

“After Thursday, I was sitting in fifth, which is great because I got into finals but I knew I could do better,” Hope said. “I was waiting all day to throw. Our flight was scheduled to go at 1, but due to lightning delays, I didn’t start throwing until 6. I wasn’t feeling my best by the time I got into the ring.”

The Jacksons always will support each other, but that doesn’t stop them from being competitive.

“We’re definitely competitors in the ring,” Hope said. “I’ll cheer for her and be supportive, but I’m also trying to do my best.”

“The competition makes me set higher standards,” Faith said. “Whether it’s hope or the rest of the competition at state, it motivates me to throw harder and do better.”

Faith and Hope are identical twins and to this day they still get mistaken for one another.

“We’re always together, so it isn’t a big deal if I get called Faith or she gets called Hope,” Hope said. “We get mixed up almost every day. It’s easier to tell us apart when we’re together, but when I’m alone it’s harder for people to recognize the differences.”

Hope looks to improve on her placing today and Faith will be right there with her, supporting her all the way.

“I will always be supportive of her,” Faith said. “I do wish I was able to compete alongside her, but I’m very proud of what she has accomplished.”

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