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Park Rapids first grade class has seven sets of twins

Century first grade "Twins team members" are front, from left, Danielle and Kordell Preston, Jordan and Gavin Ball and Nadia and Aidan Yliniemi-Hensel, back, Matthew and Dawson Dahring, Derek and Erika Sellin, Katrina and Kayla Olafson and Jasmyn and Jayden Maurstad.

Century first grade teachers are seeing double. Last names, that is.

A remarkable seven sets of twins head to the first grade pod each morning. None of them share the same teacher, but each of them holds a common birthday.

"I was born first," seven declare proudly.

"We wrestled in Mom's tummy," Gavin Ball declares of sharing embryonic space with Jordan.

They chat at lunch and recess, first grade teacher Brianne Morris explained. But because a single teacher does not work with both children, it's difficult to define their parallel and dissimilar characteristics.

"We like wrestling," Matthew Dahring said of his commonality with Dawson. "And I have a glow-in-the-dark shirt for scaring my brother."

Nadia and Aidan Yliniemi-Hensel share a fondness for football - and the same names, backward and forward, Nadia points out.

Katrina and Kayla Olafson have a fondness for treasure hunts.

The two formed a strong bond, transcending their young age, when Katrina underwent a kidney transplant, Morris said. "She missed her sister."

"We like being together," Kayla said.

"It's special to have a twin," Katrina agreed.

"Monopoly," Derek Sellin said of time spent with sister Erika.

"Playing outside in poison ivy," Gavin Ball joked.

Jasmyn and Jayden Maurstad partake in pillow fights.

"But we like planting a garden together."

While the numbers of multiple births have been on the rise since the mid- 70s, the Century first grade demographics certainly defy the odds.