For The Tribune
Tim Molinari prefers running shorter distance races when it comes to track and field, so he wants to specialize in running the 800 and a leg on Seymour’s 4×800 relay team this spring.
“The 800 goes by so fast,” Molinari said. “Once you get done with the first lap, once your adrenaline goes away, you just have one lap left and it’s perfect. I feel I do a lot better in the 800. My times have all been within a second of each other.”
The senior said his best time in the 800 is 2:12.
“My hope at sectionals is to go 2:05,” Molinari said. “That was the sectional champion last year. A 1:03 would be just about right, especially if you have competition right behind you. They’ll push you.”
In middle school, Molinari played recreational soccer before a friend later invited him to try cross-country.
He continued to play soccer through the fall of his freshman year at Seymour, then came out for track the following spring.
Molinari switched to cross-country that fall and has been a distance runner ever since.
The past three seasons, Molinari helped the Owls advance to the semistate.
His career-best time for cross-country was 16:33, which places him 12th on the school’s all-time leader board.
Molinari ran his best time at Brown County, which is his favorite course.
“Looking over my three years, my best times were at Brown County over each season,” Molinari said. “I guess my body gravitated toward that course because is it nice and flat.”
He said when he first started running, he ran according to how his body felt, but beginning with his junior year he knew he had to go out with the leaders in order to have a chance to win.
On the courses, Molinari liked to be around 5:10 to 5:15 for his first mile.
“The middle mile is one of the most important ones because that will set you up for the fast mile with the correct time,” Molinari said. “At the two-mile I knew if I was somewhere between 10:35 and 10:40 I knew I would have a good race.
“A lot of people think it is just a race and you go run, but during the race besides thinking why are we running, we’re not thinking just ahead toward the next step, but we’re thinking several steps ahead, and how we’re going to have enough energy to finish.”
He said he liked cross-country more than track because of the different of courses he ran on.
“You’re not bound to an oval,” Molinari said. “I feel like when I run the mile or two-mile it kind of makes it unbearable.
For Molinari, practice is important in all sports — especially with distance running.
“You can’t do well without the training.,” Molinari said. “For the training portion, I like it being hot because it puts more stress to even working harder, and by the time it gets cool, you’re already feeling confident, you’re feeling ready to go.
“Practice is pretty important. You don’t want to lose focus on why you came out for this sport in the first place.”
Having a strong head also has aided Molinari’s running career.
“I try not to put too much thinking into it because then I’ll start getting fireflies in my stomach,” Molinari said. “All I think about is what can I do to put myself in position for our team to win. What can I do to catch the guy in front of me?
“I’d say the mental part of sports is about 90 percent. You have to be calm and you have to believe in yourself. Confidence is crucial.”
Name: Tim Molinari
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Timothy and Bridget Molinari
Siblings: Christina, Scot
Sports: Track and field, four years; cross-country, three years; soccer, one year
Athletics highlights: Cross-country, HHC champions 2015, all-conference 2015, honorable mention 2014, semi-state qualifiers 2013, 2014, 2015; track, sectional champions 2013
Organizations: Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout)
Plans after high school: Attend Indiana State University for aviation management or flight tech
Favorite food: General Tso’s and Italian
Favorite TV show: “Chicago Fire”
Favorite singer: Coldplay
Favorite movie: “National Treasure”
Favorite team: Oregon State Beavers, Pittsburgh Penguins
Q: What was it like running at Bulleit Stadium?
A: “The home meets are nice. I like the home atmosphere, and especially after other sporting events are over, the kids on those teams would come over and it was nice to showcase everyone’s talent. It will be really nice to see the venue upgraded.”
Q: What is one of your fondest cross-country memories?
A: “Winning (HHC) on the home turf was definitely a huge highlight. That meet defined how good of a team we were, and it really shot the confidence up in all of us. We had our best races as a team all the way during the entire course.”
Q: Do you enjoy attending Seymour High School?
A: “I like the diversity here and what SHS has to offer. If you get off on the right foot your freshman year then all four years go by in a breeze. Anyone thinking about running cross-country or track should definitely do it.”