Pebbles and Bam Bam are heading to the state 5A swimming championships this weekend.

While only one will compete, the other will be there on the sidelines, providing encouragement and support.

It's the first time Pebbles - also known as Emma Pospisil - will compete at the state level for swimming.

She will take part in the 200 Free on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Edmond Aquatic Center.

Her brother, Sam - also known as Bam Bam - was one of the top qualifiers in the 50 Free at regionals earlier this month in Jenks.

The top 16 from the regionals at Jenks and Edmond are combined. The top 24 from both regions advance to state.

Sam missed the cut for state in the 50 Free by 17 milliseconds. 

Regardless of finish times, the twins will travel to state Friday along with their mom - and coach - Leigh Bode. 

"It's definitely nerve-racking, but I'm ready for it," Emma said with a grin, adding she will prep for her race in a quiet place, listing to music.

"I don't talk to anybody before any [race]," Emma said, adding her playlist includes a mix of vintage Miley Cyrus, country music, Ariana Grande and "a lot of upbeat songs."

Family that swims together

Emma and Sam began swimming at the age of 3. By 5 they were taking part in the summer league/competitive swimming. 

They credit their mom for getting them started in the sport. 

"[She] always wanted us to be doing something, and swimming was always something Sam and I enjoyed," Emma explained. 

Eventually the pair reached the level of competitive USA Swim level before moving to Grove in the fifth grade.

For the first two years, the pair traveled to Neosho, Missouri to swim with a USA Swim Team. 

When that team's license expired they turned to other sports, like track, for their athletic outlet.

Last year, during her sophomore year, Emma began swimming competitively for Grove High School.  She missed qualifying for state in her first year by less than a minute. 

"Swimming has always been an outlet for me to get away from everything," Emma said. "Track is fine, but it's not my calling. I enjoy track, but swimming is something I love."

Sam joined her this year, he said, to support his sister - and to give her a partner in the sport.

"Whenever I'm swimming, I feel free," Sam said. "I don't worry about anything or stress about anything. I step on the blocks and I'm not nervous."

Because Grove does not have a year-round swimming pool, the twins travel every day to the Northeastern A&M campus in Miami for their two-hour practice.

During the season the duo travel to the same competitions as the Owasso Swim Team, developing relationships which extend beyond the pool.

"It's one of the most family-orientated sports I've ever been in," Emma said. "If you swim year round, you see each other all of the time."

Lessons from the pool

Sam said swimming has taught him not to give up in life.

"At the beginning of the season I was out of shape and thought I wasn't going to make to regionals," Sam said. "Overall, it keeps me working at [my goals]."

Emma said swimming is a hard sport for some.

"It breaks you down mentally," Emma said. "It's so hard, so tough."

But having her mom and brother on the team helps. She said swimming has added a new dynamic in their family.

"My mom is my best friend," Emma said. "We've grown really close together."

Both admit sometimes it's hard to find balance between Leigh the mom, and Leigh the coach.

"Sometimes I want to strangle her and say, no, you are my mom," Emma said with a laugh. "But it's definitely brought us closer together."

Sam agreed, adding his mom is looking for USA Swimming options for their senior year, because she doesn't think she's hard enough on them.

"I'm grateful mom did this for us," Sam said. 

Emma agreed.

"She does a lot for us," Emma said. "She's one of the hardest working person ever. The reason I'm going to state is because of her."

Looking ahead

The twins have set the goal to return to state next year, their senior year.

After graduation, both would be interested in swimming at the collegiate level, if the opportunity was offered. 

For now Emma plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy, while Sam wants to go into civil engineering.