Twin sisters Alli and Grace Bookin-Nosbisch help each other to breakout seasons for Iowa track and field

The mid-distance runners said they perform at their best when they run together.


Jerod Ringwald

Left: Iowa’s Grace Bookin-Nosbisch leads her heat of the women’s 800-meter premier during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the Iowa Indoor Track Facility in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Nosbisch won her heat and finished third overall with a time of 2:10.82. Right: Iowa’s Alli Bookin-Nosbisch competes in the women’s 800-meter during the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the Iowa Indoor Track Facility in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Bookin-Nosbisch placed seventh with a time of 2:06.59.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Iowa sports teams are famous for their family ties. Iowa football coaches Kirk and Brian Ferentz and basketball brothers Connor and Patrick McCaffery command most of the attention, but twin sisters Alli and Grace Bookin-Nosbisch are making noise of their own for the Iowa track and field team this season.

The juniors are both having breakout years running mid-distance events for the women’s squad. The pair have run side-by-side since high school in Ottumwa, Iowa, where they decided to continue running at the University of Iowa because they know they perform at their best with one another.

“Going into college, we knew that we wanted to go to the same school,” Alli Bookin-Nosbisch said. “That was 100 percent because we work the best when we’re together. We definitely push each other each day to be our best, but we also want to see each other succeed.”

Alli Bookin-Nosbisch said having her sister on the team is a mix of competing against her and pushing her to succeed.

“It is cool competing with Grace and getting to come to college and run with her,” she said. “It’s a different aspect of athletics that a lot of people don’t get, competing with your sibling every day.”

Grace Bookin-Nosbisch said it’s a win for both her and her sister when either performs well.

“She pushes me every day, and she’s helped me PR along the way,” Grace Bookin-Nosbisch said. “I know that when I grow, I’m growing because of her and my teammates as a whole. We all work really hard together, and she’s just my biggest inspiration, and I’m proud of everything she’s done.”

She also thinks there isn’t a ceiling for her or her twin sister this season.

“I love watching Alli exceed, but it only makes me want it more,” Grace Bookin-Nosbisch said. “I think together, not just the two of us, but our top four in the 800, we’re going to go for it, and we’re going to make that impact to help us win the Big Ten this year.”

Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said the sisters bring fun character to the Iowa track and field team, noting how they often each other’s sentences.

“They’re both really good leaders for that event group, but they’re just fun to have on the team and in the program, and they’re both great competitors,” Woody said. “They’re super supportive of one another, but they also talk trash to each other. I think that’s a fun group of girls to be around.”

Woody said both the Bookin-Nosbisch sisters have their respective strengths that have developed in their junior seasons this year.

“I think Alli’s got a little more foot speed, but Grace has really good endurance qualities,” Woody said. “You can see both of their times are dropping, especially this year.” 

Alli Bookub-Nosbisch ran a 2:06.59 in the women’s Hawkeye Pro Classic 800-meter at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Jan. 21, moving her from seventh to fourth on the Iowa all-time record list in the event.

“It’s not what I was expecting, so it was a nice surprise to look at the board and see that, but it was really cool,” Alli Bookin-Nosbisch said. “I’m just excited to see how that puts me for the season and where I’ll end up going.”

Grace Bookin-Nosbisch ran two personal records so far this season — one in the 600-meter with a 1:32.95 at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational and the other in the 400-meter with a 58.27 at the Hawkeye Invitational. She also sits second all-time at Iowa in the distance medley alongside Emma Gordon, Amber Aesoph, and Mariel Bruxvoort. 

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She said her goal for this season is to keep running personal records.

“I want to be a big contender in the Big Ten,” Grace said. “I want to support my team and put in my effort to make that difference so we can be a number one team in the Big Ten and win.”

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