He was born four minutes earlier and makes sure she never forgets.
She was three inches taller when they were freshmen, that awkward "welcome-to-high school" stage when image matters. Her grin served as a roast-like reminder.
These days? The sibling rivalry for twins Tina and Marcus Rios, senior impact athletes at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove, is ripe and ready for more material.
Tina is a key cog for the Wolfpack's cross country team that competes in the Sac-Joaquin Section championship today in Folsom. Marcus will be there in support.
He is a nationally recruited cornerback for an upstart football program in its first postseason. Cosumnes Oaks opens Division III postseason play tonight at Manteca. Tina will be in the stands, twisting and turning on every play.
There's a friendly family feud brewing at home and on campus between the twins, but mostly, this is a relationship of adoration and admiration. Still, the laugh track rolls.
Tina likes to remind that she is a better student, sporting a 3.41 grade-point average to Marcus' 3.1. Marcus counters that he will graduate next month, meaning the chores will be left to Tina, who will graduate with her class in the spring.
The real dagger is this matter of the car keys.
"Oh, I'll be driving first," Tina assures with Marcus sitting next to her, studying her cackle. "He'll be the passenger. My parents would go with the one who's more mature."
Ba da bing.
The talk turns serious when the 17-year-olds look ahead. Marcus has scholarship offers from 17 colleges, including UCLA and Nebraska. Tina is fielding recruiting offers in cross country and track from Sacramento State, UNLV and Fresno State, among others.
For the first time, they'll soon go in different directions.
"We always tease each other about who's better, but we respect each other a lot, and we'll really miss each other," Marcus said. "It's been a lot of fun."
The Rios twins said they are especially proud of their impact at home.
Along with parents Ivy and Richard, the Rios family has for years opened its door and heart to foster children, more than 25 to be exact.
Four Rios-raised foster children are now in college. Four more teenagers are at home.
"It's something our family has always done," Marcus said. "Something to help. Anyone who can do it should do it."
"We give back, and we're thankful for what we have," said Tina.
Said Richard, an assistant football coach at Cosumnes Oaks: "Life is beautiful. It's a responsibility to give back. And we tell our kids that there's a responsibility to do well always. You have to do well in school, be a good citizen."
Richard added, "I didn't have a father growing up and understand that loss."
He hasn't missed a single event involving his kids, including oldest son Chris, a lead runner for the Sacramento City College cross country team.
"I can't get past the proudness of it all," Richard said.