In high school cross country, it's not as much about which individual wins the race as it is about which team gets more runners across the finish line first.
"The big thing we talk about is pack time," said after his Redmen topped Haverhill, 23-34, to take their first dual meet victory of the season. "Pack time is the number of seconds between your first finisher's time and your fifth finisher's time. The lower your number, the better your team is."
On Wednesday, the delta between was a mere 25 seconds. As pack times go, it was the best performance by a Tewksbury team in close to a decade.
"Our goal for the season was to get our pack time under a minute," said Molloy, who is in his eighth year as the TMHS cross country coach. "Today we hit 25 seconds. That's the best pack time we've ever had since I've been here."
Amaral, a junior, led the way, finishing second overall against Haverhill, covering the 2.8-mile course at Lowell's Shedd Park in just 15:37. Kip Horahan, a senior, was Tewksbury's second finisher just five seconds later in 15:42, followed by senior Sean Foley in 15:58, junior Cory Thomas in 15:59 and senior Brendan Blair in 16:02.
"I'm very happy with the way these guys are competing right now," Molloy said. "In my opinion the teams we had in '05 and '06 were the two best teams in the history of the program. But this team is arguably just as good."
Tewksbury did not fare as well in the other side of the tri-meet against Lowell, losing to the defending state champions, 17-41. But Molloy wasn't nearly as concerned about the Division 1 Red Raiders as he was about the Division 3 Redmen, who avenged a tough loss to Haverhill in the match-up between these two teams last fall.
"Haverhill went 1-2-3 against us last year and then our guys took the next seven or eight spots, but 1-2-3 is an automatic win," Molloy explained. "So our guys came in with something to prove, and they did it. It was nice to see them focus like that and then actually apply the things they've learned."
In the girls side of the meet Tewksbury lost in all three match-ups. TMHS fell to Lowell, 17-45, lost to Haverhill 15-48 and lost to Notre Dame, 27-30.
Senior captain Christina Dick led all Tewksbury runners in 18:42, followed by sophomore Rachael McCabe in 20:44.
Junior Sam McGoldrick was third for TMHS in 21:04 followed by Sarah Parker, also a junior, in 21:18. Sophomore Bridget Blair was fifth for the Redmen in 21:54.
FIELD HOCKEY TEAM TOPS METHUEN, 3-1.
It took a little bit of a motivational speech from coach Pat Ryser at halftime, but got the message and broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of second half goals to lead the TMHS field hockey team to its second straight win, 3-1 over Methuen on Wednesday.
Bourne, who now leads the team in scoring with seven goals, also assisted on goal in the first half.
"Natalie is a fiesty little thing," Ryser said. "There's not much to her but she's not afraid of getting in there. She really attacks it."
It was Bourne's second multiple-goal game of the season. Bradley is also on a hot streak, having scored two goals and assisted on two others in the past two games.
Tewksbury took the early lead on Bradley's goal 10 minutes into the game, but late in the first half, Methuen tied the score, and Ryser wasn't happy.
"We had a little halftime talk about intensity and in the second half they came around and really put it together," Ryser said.
Senior midfielders Sheri Liggiero and Sarah Hogan had strong games against Methuen, as did junior defender Arianna Brown. Liggiero assisted on Bourne's second goal.
"Sheri and Sarah are the two keys to our team," Ryser said. "They control the middle of the field for us."
Tewksbury, now 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the Merrimack Valley Conference, hosts Lowell on Friday.
VOLLEYBALLERS PUT UP A GOOD FIGHT, FALL TO BILLERICA 3-0
The final score was a poor indication of the competitiveness of Wednesday's volleyball match between Tewksbury and Billerica.
The visiting Indians topped TMHS, 3-0, in Tewksbury, but all three sets featured multiple lead changes, and all were close. Billerica won the match in straight sets, 25-22, 27-25 and 25-19.
The turning point in the match came early as Tewksbury led 21-14 in the first set and allowed Billerica to come back and take the set, 25-22.
"It was a very good volleyball match, but set one hurt us," "We had them down and we let them back in it and we ended up losing the set. That's unacceptable."
Tewksbury almost pulled off its own comeback in the second set, trailing 17-24 at one point until junior hitter Missy Cordwell came off the bench to win five straight service points. Cordwell led the Redmen on an 8-1 run and a 25-24 lead, but Billerica won the next three points to pull out the second set win, 27-25.
"That was tough," Ray said. "And you don't get over things like that easily."
The Indians carried the momentum into the third set and ran out to a 9-2 lead, but Tewksbury's Alina Rosmarinofski had other ideas. The senior hitter jump-served five straight aces to bring the Redmen back to within two points of Billerica, only to see the Indians respond with a six-point run of their own on their way to a 25-19, match-clinching win.
"Alina played tremendously well in the second and third sets," Ray said. "She often times plays in the shadow of Allie Luppi, who is an incredible player and a tremendous person, but tonight she (Rosmarinofski) really emerged from that shadow and dominated."
Rosmarinofski finished with 10 kills and one block while Luppi had five kills and Kelli Sugrue and Liz McVeigh had three each.
Tewksbury falls to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the Merrimack Valley Conference.