Senior Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) qualified for the 400-meter dash finals for the seventh straight season – indoors and outdoors combined – while sophomore Michaela Pernell (Naugatuck, Conn.) also made her debut at outdoor nationals, as both members the Merrimack College women’s track & field team wrapped up their opening performances at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at IMG Academy in Florida.
Meet: 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Host/Location: IMG Academy | Bradenton, Fla.
Top Performances: Muscaro (400m Prelims)
How It Happened
- Competing at the NCAA Championships for the eighth and final time as a Warrior, Muscaro – who qualified for both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes in the final semester of her legendary career – set the tone with a blistering time that would not be surpassed in the first heat of the preliminary round.
- The Ashland, Massachusetts, native clocked a 52.28 in her first outing of the weekend, marking her second-fastest time in the event this spring. Her only faster performance was in the preliminary round at the New England Championships, when she posted a time of 52.06 seconds.
- Her time was nearly seven tenths of a second faster than the next-closest competitor, which was Mary Bergman of Southwest Baptist, who ran a preliminary time of 52.97 seconds.
- Fellow Northeast-10 Conference competitor Shatajah Wattely rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 53.85 seconds.
- Meanwhile, Pernell became the first student-athlete in program history to compete in the 100-meter dash – men or women, indoor or outdoor seasons – at the NCAA Championships on Thursday.
- The sophomore concluded an incredible outdoor season in 18th place in the preliminary round with a final time of 11.88 seconds.
- Pernell, an all-region and all-conference first team performer, was the 100-meter champion at both the NE10 and New England Championships and was part of the 4×100-meter relay team that won the New England crown and a 4×400-meter relay team that was a conference champion, as well.
Muscaro will next run in the preliminary race of the 200-meter dash tomorrow at 6:25 p.m. Regardless of that result, the senior will go for her fourth straight national title in the 400-meter dash on Saturday at 6:15 p.m., and should she qualify, the finals for the 200-meter dash would take place at 7:45 p.m. that same night.