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BOSTON, Mass. – Junior John Braga (North Reading, Mass.) came in first in the heptathlon at the Harvard Multi-Meet while junior captain Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) won the 800m with the fastest time in Division II at the Tufts Invite to highlight a great weekend for the Merrimack College men’s and women’s track and field teams to open 2016.

The Basics
 Harvard Multi-Meet | Tufts Invite
Top Finishers:
 Men: Braga (1st – Heptathlon) | Women: Muscaro (1st – 800m)

Links: Harvard Results | Tufts Results (Men) (Women)

What They Said
Head coach Jacky Mendes, “Overall I am very pleased with how our multi event athletes performed at Harvard this weekend. Both are NCAA provisional qualifiers who also did a phenomenal job representing Merrimack and Division II at this elite meet.  Braga and Barnett are setting themselves up well to make an NCAA appearance.”

“It was great to have Merrimack back on the track from winter break at Tufts. This was a great opportunity for everyone to get back and see where they are at. We had some incredible performances on the women’s side by Muscaro and Pernell followed by some strong marks by the women in the 600m. We are very much looking forward to how the Warriors continue this momentum through our toughest meets to come.”

How It Happened
Warriors were dispersed across two different meets this weekend as Braga and junior Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) competed at the Harvard Multi-Meet while the rest of the team was at the Tufts Invite. Braga’s winning score in the heptathlon was also a school record and NCAA provisional qualifier, ranking fourth in Division II. Barnett posted a fourth-place finish in the pentathlon with school records in the shot put, 60m hurdles and long jump. Her overall score in the pentathlon was also a school record and NCAA provisional qualifier.

While Barnett and Braga were putting in great performances at Harvard, the rest of the team was doing the same at Tufts. Muscaro would headline for Merrimack there, winning and posting the fastest time in Division II in the 800m, the second event in which she has posted the fastest Division II time this season (500m). Her time of 2:09:69 converted is also a school record and NCAA Automatic Qualifier.

Also putting in solid performances for the women were freshman Michaela Pernell (Naugatuck, Conn.), who continues to thrive in the 60m, and junior Olivia Downey (Melrose, Mass.) in the 600m. Pernell posted a NEICAAA qualifying time of 7.77 in the 60m, ranking second on the school record board and in the event. Downey posted a time of 1:40.20 in the 600m, winning the event and also ranking second on the school record board.

On the men’s side, sophomore Connor Murphy (Paxton, Mass,) set a school record in the 1000m with a time of 2:35:08 to highlight some strong performances at Tufts. The men’s 4x200m team of freshmen Aidan Friend (Mansfield, Mass.)Tyler Lebel (Saco, Maine), Jacob Robinson (Riverhead, N.Y.)  and sophomore Fred Johnson (Baltimore, Md.) won their event, recording  a time of 1:34:01 and ranking second on the school record board.

Up Next
The Warriors return to action Saturday when they head up to Brunswick, Maine for the Bowdoin Invitational.

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