Sean Kip and Matt Boscia are cross country brothers.
They are senior classmates and teammates at Roselle Catholic High School after being the same for many years at St. Michael grammar school.
Boscia won the Union County Conference Valley Division championship at Warinanco Park on Oct. 16. Kip finished second. Both RC runners turned in“PRs,” personal records, in the Valley Division race.
Boscia ran 16:50, 22 seconds faster than he ran in the same race in 2011, when he placed second in the Valley Division. He finished 15 seconds ahead of Kip, who also improved on his time from last year’s meet by 22 seconds.
The dynamic duo was back in action – along with their RC cross country teammates – at Warinanco Park on Oct. 24 for the Union County championship race. Kip was sixth in 16:38 and Boscia ninth in 16:46.
“I think as runners the thing that most allows Matt and Sean to be successful is the fact that they have each other to train with,” said Roselle Catholic co-head coach Paul Irwin, who guides the Lions with co-head coach Carmine DeNicola and assistant coach Mike Kennedy.
“The fact that they can push each other on a daily basis at a high level is a real advantage and luxury that many athletes on their level don’t have,” Irwin said. “It’s so much easier to work together than it is to work alone.”
Boscia followed in the successful running footsteps of two brothers – Travis and Tyler – at Roselle Catholic. He considers Kip a sibling, too.
In addition to walking through the same hallways on a daily basis, Kip and Boscia practice, train or race together six times a week. After playing basketball together at St. Michael’s in Union during grades three through eight, Kip and Boscia are now teammates on the Lions’ indoor and outdoor track teams.
“Sean and I have been friends since we were three years old and we’ve been in the same class since (pre-kindergarten), so we’ve been friends a really long time,” Boscia said. “He’s become more like a brother to me, so to also have him as a training partner is pretty cool.
“Although sometimes we wish there were a few more bodies on our runs, if I’m going to have to rain with somebody I’m glad it’s Sean.”
Kip echoed the same sibling-like sentiments about Boscia.
“My friendship with Matthew has always been strong, especially throughout high school,” Kip said. “We are great friends, like brothers, and I think that has helped with our training.
“We always run together and I’m sure that has made our friendship even stronger.”
Both runners are successful out of track uniform and in a Roselle Catholic school uniform. Boscia and Kip are strong students involved in multiple activities going on in the RC community, including a recent working visit to Esopus, N.Y., where they, and other RC students, helped build an outdoor chapel on Marist Brothers property where RC students often attend retreats.
“Matt and Sean are great kids who work incredibly hard, but always remain extremely positive and fun,” said Roselle Catholic guidance counselor Dave Stoto. “They are always smiling and have great senses of humor. They are willing to help out in any way when something is needed.”
And that includes the cross country course. Boscia and Kip have helped their younger and inexperienced track teammates this fall season.
Kip and Boscia helped the Lions finish third in the Valley Division standings, a strong showing for an inexperienced squad.
Roselle Catholic senior Khalil Davis and freshmen Alex Arias and Daniel Shirley finished the Valley Division race in personal-record times. A year ago, the Lions pulled out a dramatic, one-point victory against Oratory to win a division championship for the eighth consecutive year.
“The best way they lead the younger team members is by example,” Coach Irwin said. “I really believe that their work ethic and dedication has rubbed off on their younger teammates, especially Alex and Daniel. I think the real success that those two have experienced is a direct result of following Matt and Sean’s example of working hard every day.”
Boscia and Kip were just two of many RC runners who established PRs, at Warinanco Park on Oct. 16 Arias, Shirley, Nathan Pineda, Kyle Gniazdowski, Steven Darius and Mateo Acito all ran their best times at the UCC meet as did fellow Lions Ezine Ochuba, Dolapo Balogun, Christine Dementillo, Angelique Dementillo, Marsha Monel, Julia Soalheiro, Coralie Saint-Amand and Tolani Oawade.
“Matthew and myself have given tips on pacing and information on how our teammates can improve every day,” Kip said. “We really didn’t have much of a team at the beginning of the season, but our younger runners have really showed improvement, running hard behind us.” “I’ve tried to help the younger and new runners understand the dynamics and strategies of racing and training, so that when I’m gone they can continue to work hard and work smart, so they can ultimately succeed on their own,” said Boscia, a National Honor Society member who plans to major in chemistry or biology in college.
“I’ve also been trying to instill in them the tradition of Roselle Catholic cross country. What we’re all about, what’s expected of us and how we’re supposed to respond to all of that.”
Kip and Boscia have only helped enhance the rich Roselle Catholic cross country and track and field tradition.
“I’m so glad I came to Roselle Catholic and spent my four years running here,” Matt Boscia said. “These are four years I will always remember. RC is like my home, and the cross country team is like my second family.”
“Playing sports in high school definitely helped me make friends,” Sean Kip said, “and helped develop friendships that I hope to keep for years to come.”