Junior Maggie Mullins of Andover High won the Merrimack Valley Conference Girls's Cross Country Championship race yesterday.

Andy Baumgartner
Staff Photographer

Haverhill's girls cross country team was a little down early in the season, but the Hillies proved yesterday that they definitely weren't out.

The Hillies went out fast and didn't let up on the way to their sixth straight Merrimack Valley Conference meet crown, finishing with 73 points, 19 in front of runner-up Andover.

"It was a good effort one through five and I was very happy with the way we ran," said Haverhill coach Mike Maguire. "I told them to force the pace in the beginning and that's what they did. With Sam (Kelleher) and Jillian (Meserve) back in the lineup, we're getting better and better."

Senior Julie Solimine, who was in first place after the first mile, led the way, finishing third in 19:13 over Chelmsford's 5K course, while junior Bridget Twomey (20:08) and freshman Riley Gilmore (20:12) were 11th and 12th respectively. Kelleher and Meserve settled for 21st and 26th after being in the top 20 through two miles.

While Andover couldn't quite keep pace with the Hillies, the Golden Warriors had something to celebrate as junior Maggie Mullins came in first individually with a superb time of 18:45.

Mullins and Tewksbury junior Laura Patriarca trailed Solimine early, but they made their move in the last mile to pull away. Mullins, in her first year of cross country, held off runner-up Patriarca by a second.

Voorhees, Andover runners-up

Andover senior Simon Voorhees ran his heart out, but fell just short of Lowell ace Michael Giardina at the boys MVC meet in Chelmsford.

Giardina finished in 16:16 on Chelmsford's 5K course, holding off a furious charge by Voorhees by just one second. Lawrence senior Luis Cruz was the next local finisher, taking fourth with a fine 16:41.

"That was a great race (between Giardina and Voorhees)," said Maguire. "They were shoulder to shoulder the last mile and really going at each other — a very exciting race.

While Voorhees was right on Giardina's heels, Lowell won the team title handily by grabbing five of the top seven places for 22 points. Andover was runner-up with 69 followed by Methuen (107) and Central Catholic (125) in the 10-team field.

Ryan Cooney, Evan Gaj and Mike Maldari finished 13-15-16 for Andover while improving sophomore Mike O'Donnell and Lucas Parsons led Methuen by finishing ninth and 11th respectively. For Central, Mike Vitulli was 12th and Adam Gidley came in 14th.

Morse second in CAL

Pentucket junior Rebecca Morse gave it her all before finishing second at the Cape Ann League Open at Bradley Palmer yesterday.

Morse was in a fierce battle for first with Hamilton-Wenham's Alison Lanois most of the way before Lanois finally pulled away to take first in 18:35 over the 2.95-mile layout, 10 seconds ahead of Morse. North Andover's Olivia Marshall was the only other local runner in the top 10, finishing sixth in 19:43.

Hamilton-Wenham won the team title with ease, placing five runners in the top nine for 29 points. Masconomet was a distant second while Pentucket was third and North Andover came in fifth.

Rollfs runner-up for Hornets

North Reading senior Mark Rollfs continued his fine season by coming in second yesterday at the boys Cape Ann League Open at Bradley Palmer.

Rollfs finished with a time of 16:11, trailing just Ipswich standout Kieran Kinnare (15:51).

North Andover, which finished fourth as a team, claimed the next three local places. Griffin Coakley was eighth (16:27), Alex Sullivan came in 13th (16:43) and Tim Coppa (16:46) took 15th.

MVC Girls Meet

at Chelmsford (3.1 miles)

Team scores: Haverhill 73, Andover 92, Lowell 96, Billerica 96, Chelmsford 114, Tewksbury 132, Central 153, Methuen 164, Dracut 213, Notre Dame 282

Winner and top area finishers: 1. Maggie Mullins (And) 18:45, 2. Laura Patriarca (Tewk) 18:46, 3. Julie Solimine (Hav) 19:13, 6. Kelsey Kowal (CC) 19:48, 11. Bridget Twomey (Hav) 20:08, 12. Riley Gilmore (Hav) 20:12, 13. Meghan McPhee (And) 20:16, 14. Marwah Haq (Meth) 20L25, 17. Leila Aruri (And) 20:52, 21. Samantha Kelleher (Hav) 21:03, 22. Petty Kim (Meth) 21:06, 26. Jillian Meserve (Hav) 21:16, 27. Eliza Lewis (And) 21:25, 29. Katisha Bellegarde (Meth) 21:27, 30. Courtney O'Leary (Central) 21:29;

MVC Boys Meet

at Chelmsford (3.1 miles)

Team scores: Lowell 22, Andover 69, Methuen 107, Central 125, Chelmsford 127, Tewksbury 171, Billerica 182, Haverhill 184, Dracut 230, Lawrence 264

Winner and top area finishers: 1. Michael Giardina (Low) 16:16, 2. Simon Voorhees (And) 16:17, 4. Luis Cruz (Law) 16:41, 9. Mike O'Donnell (Meth) 17:01, 11. Lucas Parsons (Meth) 17:04, 12. Mike Vitulli (CC) 17:17, 13. Ryan Cooney (And) 17:20, 14. Adam Gidley (CC) 17:22, 15. Evan Gaj (And) 17:27, 16. Mike Maldari (And) 17:29, 17. Will Cuneo (Hav) 17:30, 18. Garret Hammond (Hav) 17:32, 21. Conor Clark (Meth) 17:38, 23. Charlie Schleifer (And) 17:42, 24. Connor Habib (CC) 17:44, 26. Cam Kelley (Meth) 17:46, 31. Tim Allen (CC) 17:53, 32. Tim Lyman (And) 17:54

Boys Cape Ann League Open

at Bradley Palmer (3.1 miles)

Team scores: H-W 51, Newburyport 62, Masconomet 101, North Andover 114, Triton 138, North Reading 152, Ipswich 155, Manchester 186, Pentucket 204, Lynnfield 271, Amesbury 335, Georgetown 352, Wilmington 357

Winner and top area finishers: 1. Kieran Kinnare (Ipswich) 15:51, 2. Mark Rollfs (NR) 16:11, 8. Griffin Coakley (NA) 16:27, 13. Alex Sullivan (NA) 16:43, 15. Tim Coppa (NA) 16:46, 22. Liam Cregan (NR) 17:13, Greg MacArthur (NA) 17:25, 33. Pat Clerkin (NR) 17:46, 34. Jason Cox (Pent) 17:46, 36. Ben Lane (Pent) 17:59, 40. Matt Okscin (NR) 18:05, 43. Cam Doe (Pent) 18:17, 44. Tom Lebrecque (Pent) 18:20

Girls Cape Ann League Open

at Bradley Palmer (2.95 miles)

Team scores: H-W 29, Masconomet 95, Pentucket 125, Wilmington 126, North Andover 136, Newburyport 161, Lynnfield 163, Ipswich 166, North Reading 193, Triton 226, Amesbury 299, Manchester 310

Winner and top area finishers: 1. Alison Lanois (H-W) 18:35, 2. Rebecca Morse (Pent) 18:45, 6. Olivia Marshall (NA) 19:43, 22. Laura McBride (NR) 21:14 , 23. Katelyn Thomas (NA) 21:15, 25. Shannon Lozier (Pent) 21:31, 27. Lauren Iola (Pent) 21:34, 29. Kathleen Kaeplinger (NR) 21:42. 30. Kiera McManus (NA) 21:43, 32. Dori Sarkis (Pent) 21:59, 35. Julia Varoutsos (NA) 22:03, 37. Brianna Goddard (NA) 22:06, 39. Emma Marchant (Pent) 22:07, 42. Alexandra Swanson (NA) 22:17

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