There’s a special bond that comes with being a twin. There can also be some competition. That only gets magnified when both siblings play sports. That’s the case for Michael and Emma Ronan, 14-year-old twins from Northbridge. They both run cross-country as freshmen at Holy Name, and yes, it gets competitive.
“Sometimes, we fight in the car about it and brag,” Emma Ronan conceded.
Brother and sister have been successful while running for the boys and girls teams, respectively. Michael Ronan estimates they have beaten each other the same number of times this year. On Monday, in a meet at Crystal Park, Michael finished at 19:52, outside the top five finishers in the boys race. Emma, meanwhile, was the top overall female finisher with a time of 19:59.
“The other ones where she beat me, I did have small cramps,” Michael offered with a laugh.
Both of them, according to Emma, qualified for the New Balance Nationals qualifying round, a race for freshmen and sophomores from around the country.
Their father, an assistant coach with the Holy Name cross-country team, has been a huge influence for both Michael and Emma.
“He brought me into it when I was, like, 8 years old. I did 5ks with him,” Michael said. “After that, I really started liking the sport. I finally got [his sister] into, but then all of a sudden she started beating me.”
Emma said they would do “little kid races” when were younger, before it became a more serious endeavor.
“I didn’t start running a lot until 2012, and I really like it,” she said. “All of a sudden I was running and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m coming in first.’ I’ve been pushing and hoping to make it to states this year.”
Name: Michael Ronan
School: Holy Name
Favorite Subject: Probably right now it’s math.
Least Favorite Subject: Probably English
Favorite Hobby: I love fishing. A lot of rout fishing, bass fishing. Over the summer, I caught a really nice bass and a pickerel.
Favorite Sports Memory: When I was younger I did these 5ks. I didn’t think I would ever win my age group. MY first time winning my age group in a 5k in Uxbridge, I was 9 or 10. It was really nice.
In Their Words: I run because I just love the sport. Ever since I was younger, it really caught on to me. I guess I was good at it from a young age.
Name: Emma Ronan
School: Holy Name
Favorite Subject: Geometry
Least Favorite Subject: English
Favorite Hobby: I love animals and I love to take my dog on walks. I have a Shih Tzu.
Favorite Sports Memory: I should say last year, at a middle school championship, I was coming to the finish line. I was in first and I thought I was going to win. All of a sudden, a girl beat me right at the end … It made me learn a lot about running, to never give up and keep trying.
In Their Words: (Competing against my twin) helps push you. Without him, I would not be able to push myself. It does get really competitive. Sometimes, we fight in the car about it and brag.