Sophomore sprinter Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) of the Merrimack college women’s track & field team earned a spot on the podium and will be named an All-American for the third time in her career after running to a second-place finish in the 400-meter national finals at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Grand Valley State.
Muscaro, whose historic impact on a five-year-old program in only four semesters is unparalleled by any other student-athlete in recent school history, is the national runner-up in the 400-meter for the third straight semester dating back to the 2014 outdoor campaign. The only All-American in school history, she entered the weekend with the No. 1 time in the country coming in and posted the fastest qualifying time in Thursday’s preliminary race, as well.
Saturday’s final pitted Muscaro against a familiar field, running against the 2015 indoor 400m champion in Ayana Walker from Shorter University, and Quanera Hayes, last year’s outdoor winner from Livingstone College.
Muscaro would exact some revenge against Walker from the indoor season by finishing nearly two-tenths of a second faster, but Hayes would repeat as outdoor champion with a winning time of 51.93 seconds, the only sub-52 time in the nine-person field.
After never running a sub-53-second 400-meter dash entering last April’s Northeast-10 Conference Championship, Muscaro posted her third straight time under that threshold; she ran Saturday’s national final in 52.48 seconds, which was the second-fastest time in her career in the event. The only other time she ran the event faster was her historic 51.83-second performance at the New England Championships earlier in May.
The three-time national runner-up will now be named a United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American for the third straight semester. Her glorious career has been littered with accolades every since stepping on campus in the fall of 2013, and her list of accomplishments will only continue to grow after Saturday’s performance.
Before this weekend, Muscaro was named the USTFCCCA Regional Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and earned the same accolade from the Northeast-10 Conference, becoming the first student-athlete in school history to be named an “Athlete of the Year” award winner by either outlet.
Additionally, Muscaro was the 400-meter NE-10 champion during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and set a new facility record at the New England Championships two weekends ago to provisionally qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics and automatically qualify for this summer’s USATF Outdoor Championships. According to a local historian, her time at New England’s was the second-fastest 400-meter time ever at the event.
After a bit of down time, Muscaro will set her sights for the USATF Outdoor Championships, which will be held June 25-28, 2015, in Eugene, Oregon, at Hayward Field.