Highlighted by graduate sprinter Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) being named the Women’s Track Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Athlete of the Year, four members of the Merrimack College women’s track & field team were named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic selections.
Combining their accomplishments in the classroom and in competition during the recently completed academic year, these four women were the most exceptional among a group of 471 women who earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors.
Scholar Athletes of the Year were selected as the highest finishing performers at the NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships who achieved All-Academic status. Those who won individual championship titles ranked higher in the tie-breaking process and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final advantage.
Muscaro graduates not only as the most decorated student-athlete in Merrimack College history, but arguably in Northeast-10 Conference history, as well. The Ashland, Massachusetts, native won four more national championships over the past academic year, claiming the 200-meter and 400-meter dash titles at both the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships to run her career total to six. She also ran the fastest indoor 400-meter time in the history of Division II and was named the USTFCCCA Division II Women’s Track Athlete of the Year during both seasons, becoming the first student-athlete in school history to do so.
In total, Muscaro was an All-American in 12 different events over her career and is also a five-time USTFCCA Regional Track Athlete of the Year, earning her third straight accolade for the outdoor season two weeks ago. An eight-time USTFCCA All-East Region honoree, Muscaro is also a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree. She was also named the Honda Athlete of the Year (top female student-athlete in Division II) back in June, and she garnered a plethora of additional school, league, region and national accolades along the way.
In addition to Muscaro, fellow graduating seniors Olivia Downey (Melrose, Mass.) and Kiana Weary (Brockton, Mass.), as well as rising senior Carol Dimaiti (Medford, Mass.) earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for their performance on the track and in the classroom.
Those four were among 471 women nationwide that earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors during the 2016-17 track & field seasons. To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have reached a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships in either the indoor or outdoor seasons.
Dimaiti earned USTFCCCA All-East Region honors and was one of Merrimack’s four honorees on its stellar 4×100-meter relay team. The junior and her three other teammates placed second at NE10s with a blistering school-record time of 46.97 seconds, the second-fastest in the region to date, which helped her garner all-conference second team honors in the process. A week later, she was part of the winning relay team at the New England Championships in the same event.
Downey was an all-region performer for the sixth time in her illustrious career, as she was recognized in both the 400-meter hurdles and on the 4×400-meter relay team. Downey had the region’s second-best time in the former event, posting a school-record 1:01.63 mark at the NE10 Championships to earn all-conference second team distinction. Then, at the New England Championships, her efforts as part of the 4×400-meter relay team led to another second-place finish against the top teams in all three Divisions after running a combined time of 3:45.45. That came a week after that same relay team won the event at NE10s. She was also an all-region honoree in the indoor campaign for her efforts in the 4×400 event.
Weary was also part of that aforementioned 4×400-meter relay team with Downey and Muscaro, which won the title at the conference championship meet. She was also a top-15 finisher in the 400-meter dash at both the NE10 and New England Championships. Altogether, she was part of 10 top-10 finishes over the course of the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Finally, the women’s team as a whole was named a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. Merrimack was among 115 other women’s teams nationwide to earn the honor for having a team-wide cumulative GPA over 3.00.--
Mike McMahon has covered Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune since 2006 and he also has been a senior writer at College Hockey News since 2005.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN and you can follow the site @TheMackReports.