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Side by side, senior duo sings National Anthem for final time

Side by side, senior duo sings National Anthem for final time

Senior student-athletes and great friends Kirsten Kochel and Maddy Crawford are really in sync. Whether it’s playing basketball together, singing along with their favorite tunes on the car radio or harmonizing in their high school choir, they’ve been a dynamic duo since elementary school.

Especially when they’re singing the National Anthem before their home basketball games.

As the women’s team completed their usual pregame warmups before Wednesday night’s final home game, Kirsten and Maddy stepped to their usual spot near the bench for their final ‘Berg performance of the National Anthem – something they’ve been doing together since their sophomore year here.

When Coach Morgan Harrigan asked Kirsten to sing the anthem before games, she immediately thought of her friend, Maddy.

“I used to sing the anthem at home games in high school, and I wanted to continue singing before games in college,” says Kirsten, a forward for the Student Princes. “But I didn’t want to do it alone.” Their high school choir sang the anthem so often that the parts were committed to memory, said Maddy, who’s also a forward. “When we both ended up at Heidelberg, we thought it would be really special to continue doing that together.”

Wednesday night was Senior & Family Night for the women’s basketball team, so emotions were already running high. The pregame routine was even more bittersweet for Maddy and Kirsten.

“Maddy and I have played basketball together since we were in sixth grade. Getting to share a special moment before each game has been very meaningful to me,” Kirsten said. “Maddy has been by my side since the beginning of my basketball career and I’m honored to have her by my side as it comes to a close."

Maddy added, ‘It was very emotional of course, since it’s something we’ve done together for years. But it was also a great chance to reflect on how far we’ve come in these four years.

“If our high school selves could see us now, they’d be so proud!”

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