BRADENTON, Fla. – Junior captain Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) of the Merrimack College women’s track and field program reigned supreme once again, this time at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, defending her 400-meter dash national title with a time of 51.32 seconds – just .03 seconds shy of the meet record – ending her outdoor campaign as a national champion. The title marks the second individual national championship in Merrimack Athletics history, both of which belong to Muscaro.
Event: 2016 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships – Day 3
Top Competitors: Carly Muscaro (1st/8 400m Final) | Carly Muscaro (2nd/8 200m Final)
Location: IMG Academy | Bradenton, Fla.
How It Happened
The 400-meter Final marked the first of two championships races on the docket for Muscaro, as she also competed in the 200-meter dash on Saturday evening.
Racing out of the fourth lane, Merrimack’s All-American sprinted out to an early advantage, and never looked back, pulling ahead of the pack by a significant margin. As she crossed the finish line, its appeared that Muscaro had a shot at the meet record – a mark of 51.29 seconds set in 2006 by Davita Prendergast of Lincoln University – but the official posting had the two-time champion’s final time at 51.32 seconds.
Muscaro successfully defended her indoor national title in the 400-meter dash. That championship marked the first individual national title in Warriors history, across all programs, with the outdoor title marking the first in the spring season in women’s track & field history.
The 200-meter race pitted the Ashland native in the fifth lane, next to top-seeded Trisana Fairweather, the only athlete to post a faster time than Muscaro during the preliminary heats.
As the race started, three sprinters pulled ahead of Muscaro, who found another gear at 10-second mark and roared into second place. A neck-and-neck finish resulted, with Muscaro and Fairweather reaching the finish line simultaneously. The sophomore from Claflin University prevailed, however, registering a time of 23.21 seconds, a mere .01 seconds ahead of the Navy and Gold’s All-American.
Muscaro ended her sensational junior campaign as the first student-athlete in Merrimack College history to win individual national titles, doing so in the 400-meter dash during both the indoor and outdoor season. The All-American will return to action in July, when she will compete in the Olympic Trials in Oregon.