NORTH ANDOVER — Only a fool would say he saw this coming.
It just doesn’t happen that an 18-year-old Massachusetts girl has a senior year best time of 60.09 seconds in the 400 meters and in just two-plus years is among the fastest runners in the world.
Except once in the bluest of blue moons it does. Carly Muscaro, who just completed her junior year at Merrimack College, has proven that.
“I never thought I’d be at this point,” admitted the 21-year-old speedster from tiny Ashland, Massachusetts.
Sometimes a coach can see what an athlete can’t.
Merrimack sprint coach Peter Early of Haverhill said, “I don’t think anybody saw it coming.”
NO. 16 IN WORLD
Last weekend in Bradenton, Florida, Muscaro won the NCAA Division 2 400 meters in 51.32 seconds. She won by 1.10 seconds and just missed the 10-year-old meet record of 51.29.
She also placed second in the 200 meters in 23.21 seconds.
May 13 at the New England Championships at Southern Connecticut State, Muscaro ran a 51.17 in the 400. That ranks her ninth overall in the country this year (all divisions, professionals and amateurs) and 16th overall in the world.
The NCAA win was her second. She won the indoor 400 title (52.34, just off 19-year-old meet record of 52.22) as well.
She also has four second-places at Division 2 NCAAs, three coming prior to that championship this winter.
“The first time (second place as a freshman) it wasn’t expected at all,” said Muscaro. “I was happy. The next two it started to sting and burn. It made me hungrier for that national championship. When I won that first national championship, that was my greatest moment.”
She dethroned defending champion Ayana Walker to do it.