MANSFIELD, Mass. – After the most successful season in the program’s history that saw its first-ever individual NCAA National Champion, the Merrimack College women’s track & field team garnered both Northeast-10 Conference yearly track awards for the indoor season, as junior captain Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) was named the NE-10 Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, while freshman Michaela Pernell(Naugatuck, Conn.) earned NE-10 Women’s Track Rookie of the Year honors.
This marks the fourth seasonal conference award for Muscaro and first indoor Athlete of the Year honor, as she was named Rookie of the Year in both the indoor and outdoor seasons as a freshman and earned outdoor Athlete of the Year in 2015 as a sophomore. This awards caps off an unprecedented season for the junior, as she became the program’s first-ever individual National Champion when she won the 400m dash final in Pittsburg, Kansas with the second-fastest time in Division II history in the event (52.34) to improve her New England Intercollegiate record.
The Ashland, Massachusetts native put together the most decorated season in program history in the first half of her third year. On her way to the national crown, Muscaro also claimed the New England title in the 400m, the NE-10 200m and 400m titles, as well as the NE-10 Co-Most Outstanding Track Performer. The junior also set two New England Intercollegiate records (400m, 500m) as well as earning two consecutive U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Athlete of the Week awards.
After bursting on to the scene early in the year with some outstanding performanes and finishing the year strong, Pernell was named the Track Rookie of the Year, giving the women a clean sweep in the track awards. Pernell earned the NE-10 Track Rookie of the Week in the first week of the season, and then went on to garner an overwhelming four of the first six weekly rookie honors.
The freshman bettered herself each week in the 60m, her signature event, culminating in an impressive eighth-place finish out of 93 runners at the John Thomas Terrier Invitiaional at Boston University with a blistering time of 7.67. That time ranked fourth in all of the NE-10 this season, and would have been a school record for Pernell had Muscaro not run the event in a time of 7.65 a week earlier. The Naugatuck, Connecitcut native went on to post two top-five finishes at the conference championships, finishing third in the 60m dash and fourth in the 200m.
Pernell and Muscaro were also both members of the first-ever relay team to make it to Nationals in the program’s history in the women’s 4x400m. Though Pernell did not run in the final, she was a crucial part of a team that went on to finish sixth in the nation.
The Warriors return to the track on Saturday to kick off the outdoor season at Bridgewater State University for the Bears Invitational.