It was fitting that twin sisters Destinee and Diamond Gause found themselves competing for a championship June 10 at the highest level of their sport.

During the 400-meter relay final at the NCAA Division I outdoor track and field national championships in Eugene, Oregon, Diamond helped the University of Alabama earn a runner-up finish while Destinee helped Florida place third.

It was a bit reminiscent of their days as high school athletes when they helped Reynoldsburg earn a spot among the state's top programs year after year.

Diamond ran the second leg of the Crimson Tide's relay that finished in 42.56 seconds while Destinee was the third leg for the Gators' relay (42.73). Kentucky won the event in 42.51.

Destinee later was the third leg of Florida's 1,600 relay that placed sixth (3:27.76).

It was the final collegiate meet for both Destinee, a 2012 Reynoldsburg graduate who redshirted during her 2016 outdoor season, as well as Diamond, a 2013 Reynoldsburg graduate who spent two years at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, and the last two at Alabama.

"I'm so happy because we're right there on the school record, and that was actually our (best time) with those four girls," Destinee said in a video on Florida's website. "I'm really happy about it, but at the same time I really wanted to get that win. I really wanted to end on a better note, but you can't really predict what's going to happen. I'm just happy I was able to end (my college career) with the girls I was able to end it with."

The sisters did have one final opportunity to run directly against each other during the 200 at the NCAA East Preliminary Round competition May 26 in Lexington, Kentucky, as Diamond finished third (23.13) and Destinee was sixth (23.67) in the second heat and the top three advanced to the quarterfinal round. Diamond ended up 20th (23.34) as the top 12 qualified for nationals.

In the 400 relay at the qualifier, Alabama took third and Florida was fourth to advance to the outdoor nationals.

"This year I felt really good," Diamond said. "I actually competed against my sister (at the Southeastern Conference meet) and I saw her indoors, but we really haven't run against each other since my sophomore year of high school. We just try to treat it like we're just another competitor."

Diamond won Division I state titles for Reynoldsburg in the 100 and 200 in 2013 and also joined her sister on the state-champion 400 and 1,600 relays in 2012.

She then earned three All-America honors at South Plains, including winning the NJCAA indoor national title in the 60 in 2015.

During her indoor season at Alabama in 2017, Diamond ran the third leg of the 1,600 relay that finished fourth at the NCAA meet in a school-record 3:28.62.

Also in outdoor this spring, Diamond ran the second leg for the Tide's 1,600 relay that qualified for the NCAA meet but didn't advance to the final.

Also, her track career isn't over yet.

"I will still be training and will probably try to make the world championship team this summer," Diamond said.

Destinee closed her prep career as one of the most decorated runners in state history.

While helping the Raiders win state team titles in each of her four seasons, she won four state titles in the 200, two in the 100 and finished with 12 titles overall including relays.

At Florida, she earned all-America honors in 2013 (200, 1,600 relay), 2014 (400, 400 relay, 1,600 relay) and 2015 (200, 400 relay, 1,600 relay).

After redshirting during the 2016 season, she ended her collegiate career with strong finishes at the NCAA meet.

While Diamond will graduate over the coming months, Destinee graduated in April with a degree in family, youth and community sciences.

"I wouldn't say (my track career) has been what I hoped for," Destinee said. "There have been some good experiences and some bad experiences, but I'm grateful anyway."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek