Fresh off the conclusion of their impressive indoor season at the New England Championships this past weekend, the Merrimack College men’s and women’s track & field teams combined for 10 student-athletes to earn 2016 Indoor All-Region distinction for their efforts during the winter season, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday afternoon.
The men boasted four All-Region selections, highlighted by junior John Braga (North Reading, Mass.) earning the distinction in three different events, while the women edged the men with six individuals earning the recognition, highlighted by junior captain Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) garnering all-region in an outstanding five different events.
For the second consecutive season, Braga earned all-region distinction in the high jump and pentathlon, while also earning the award in the long jump this year, as well. His school-record score of 5,307 points in the heptathlon at New England’s ranks fifth in all of Division II this season and is tops in the region. The junior earned All-Region in the long jump during his heptathlon performance, setting a school record and New England’s meet record with a 7.20m jump. His school record high jump from earlier in the year of 2.04m was also recognized.
The youth of the men’s roster shows a lot of promise for the future as the remaining three honorees are all freshmen. Juwan Hall (Waterbury, Conn.) was named All-Region for his performance in the 60m at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship, finishing second with a time of 6.91, which is third-fastest in the conference this season. Jacob Robinson (Riverhead, N.Y.) earned All-Region this past weekend at New England’s with his time of 21.99 in the 200m, finishing ninth at the meet. It’s the second-fastest time in the NE-10 in the event this season.Trevor Ciempa (Adams, Mass.) rounds out the men’s selections for his 1.98m high jump from earlier in the year, which ranks fourth in conference.
Of the 534 women nationwide garnering All-Region honors, Muscaro was one of just three of those women who were honored in at least five events, continuing to build on an already astounding junior campaign. She was recognized for her school-record time of 7.65 in the 60m, her school-record time of 24.10 in the 200m which ranks fourth in Division II, her New England Intercollegiate record of 52.43 in the 400m, the best in Division II this season, and her school-record time in the 800m of 2:09.69, which is seventh in Division II.
Muscaro would also be joined by fellow junior Olivia Downey (Melrose, Mass.), sophomore Kiana Weary (Brockton, Mass.) and freshman Mariessa Ricciardi (Holden, Mass.) in being recognized for their time of 3:44.89 in the 4x400m relay at New England’s, the seventh-fastest time in Division II this season. Downey would also be honored for her 1.61m high jump at the NE-10 Championships.
Junior Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) earned All-Region honors in three different events; the high jump, long jump and pentathlon. Barnett shattered her school record in the pentathlon with a score of 3,459 at the Harvard Mutli Meet earlier in the year, ranking 30th in Division II. Her long jump of 5.74m at NE-10’s, which ranks 26th in Division II, also garnered All-Region distinction while her 1.62m high jump at the Gordon Kelly Invitational was also recognized.
Freshman Michaela Pernell (Naugatuck, Conn.) capped off her great rookie campaign with All-Region honors in the 60m and 200m. The freshman ranked right behind Muscaro on the school record board in the 60m with a time of 7.67 at the John Thomas Terrier Invitational, ranking 37th in Division II, while her time of 25.06 in the 200m at the same meet is also an All-Region time.