Call a man of principle.
the TMHS distance runners, knows his boys squad has a chance at qualifying for the MIAA all-state meet this fall, and he's got the Redmen following a calculated training regimine designed to accomplish just that.
So rather than trying to rest his team for Wednesday's dual meet with Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 powerhouse Chelmsford High with a light workout on Tuesday, Molloy kept his eye on the big picture.
"Chelmsford came here yesterday and ran the (2.8-mile) course," Molloy said after his team fell just short of upsetting the 8th-ranked Lions on Wednesday. "Our guys went out and ran 7.2 miles. The thinking was that if we could win today, that's great. But we weren't going to sacrifice a day of deposit for a bigger withdrawal down the end.
"They're going to remember it if they qualify for (the MIAA All-State meet)," Molloy added. "They may remember a dual meet win over Chelmsford, but only two (TMHS cross country) teams in the history of the program have qualified for all-states. So to be one of those teams would be a far bigger accomplishment than winning any dual meet."
Still, though, the Redmen came within a whisker of knocking off Chelmsford, as Brian Amaral (second), Cory Thomas (fourth) and Kip Horahan (fifth) all finished in the top five in a narrow, 23-29 loss to the highly-regarded Lions.
Amaral, a junior, covered the 2.8 mile Livingston Street course in just 15:23, with Thomas, also a junior, just three seconds behind him in 15:26. Horahan, a senior, finished in 15:44 while seniors Sean Foley (15:51) and Brendan Blair (16:10) took seventh and 12th overall.
"Our top four ran really well," Molloy said. "We came within three points of Methuen last week, and they're ranked fifth in the state. Today we came within six points of Chelmsford, and they're ranked eighth. We've showed we can compete with teams of this calibre."
And the best part, according to Molloy, is that the Redmen did it without losing sight of their ultimate goal of qualifying for the all-state meet.
"The fact that we can be this close to some of the best teams in the state without sacrificing training to do it suggests a lot of good things moving forward," Molloy said. "And a lot of it's because they did their work. They ran this town inside out this summer, and they're fit. They're more fit than some of their competition."
For the Division 3 Redmen, competing against all of this Division 1 talent can only help when it comes time for the Division 3 state meet, according to Molloy.
"We're one of the top five teams in Division 3 right now," Molloy said. "They only take four to the all-state meet, so on the right day we have to be one of the top four. But it's realistic."
TEWKSBURY GIRLS LOSE TO CHELMSFORD
ran an extremely strong race and took fourth place overall against a talented Chelmsford squad in the girls side of the cross country meet on Wednesday, but the next nine runners were wearing maroon, as Chelmsford coasted to an easy 15-43 win over Tewksbury.
Dick covered the 2.8-mile course in 18:54 while Sammy McGoldrick finished in 20:41, good for 14th overall. Bridget Blair ws 17th in 20:18, Rachel McCabe finished 20th in 20:44 and Sarah Parker was 21st in 22:11.
"Christina ran a real strong race," said coach Peter Molloy. "She stayed right with (Chelmsford's) top three runners, and they're some of the best runners in the state. Sammy McGoldrick had a fantastic second half of the race, too."
The Tewksbury girls are now 0-2 in dual meets.
VOLLEYBALLERS BEAT METHUEN IN STRAIGHT SETS, 3-0
After facing some of the top competition in the state at the Milford Tournament last weekend, the returned to Merrimack Valley Conference action with a vengenace, easily besting Methuen High in straight sets, 3-0 on Wednesday.
Tewksbury won the first set 25-19, took the second set 25-15 and coasted in the third, 25-9.
"We played very well. We executed very well," said Tewksbury coach Jim Ray. "Methuen is in a rebuilding process and they're still having some growing pains. We were able to capitalize on that."
Senior outside hitter Alina Rosmarinofski had another impressive outing, leading the Redmen with 11 kills and five aces.
"Alina has stepped up and become an offensive and defensive power for us," Ray said. "She's determined to go on and play in college and I think she realizes she has to make the best of her senior year and make the impressions. And I think she's doing that."
Senior outside hitter Allie Luppi also played well with nine kills, while junior middle hitter Kelli Sugrue had five kills and two aces. Setters Liz McVeigh and Jess Bridle also got into the act, as McVeigh had six kills and Bridle had four.
"Overall, the team just did very well together," Ray said. "We were down 8-12 at one point but we took a time out and regrouped and refocused, and they went out and began to do the things we've been working on. They kept their composure and went out and handled it themselves."
Tewksbury, now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the MVC, visits Haverhill on Friday.