BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Junior Molly Carl (York, Maine) became the sixth women's cross country runner in the history of the University of Southern Maine program to qualify for the NCAA National Championship when she finished 11th at the NCAA Regional Championship held Saturday at Bowdoin College.
Carl is the first USM female runner to make the national championship since Penny Osborne accomplished the feat in 1999. Carl will attempt to join Osborne as USM's only cross country All-Americans next weekend when she races in Winneconne, Wis. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is hosting the national meet. The complete field for next weekend's NCAA championship will be announced on Sunday.
Led by Carl's 11th-place finish, the Huskies finished 15th among the 51 scoring teams in the regional meet scoring 574 points. Middlebury College won the regional edging out rival Williams College, 55-60. Middlebury and Williams automatically qualify for the national championship. M.I.T. was third (134 points), with Amherst College (142) and Tufts (181) rounding out the top five teams. Those three teams will wait for Sunday's announcement of at-large invitations to the national final.
Carl, who also received All-New England honors for finishing in the top 35, covered the 6,000-meter Bowdoin College course in 21 minutes, 42.15 seconds. Sophomore Chiara Del Piccolo of Williams was the individual winner with a time of 20:52.43.
Sophomore Morgan Beede (Augusta, Maine/Cony) was the second USM runner across the finish line coming home in 89th place with her time of 23:35.74. Junior Brooke Madden (Dedham, Maine/Brewer) finished in 154th place tripping the timer in 24:38.58. Freshman Hannah Wiley (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) was four spots behind Madden in 158th place with a time of 24:41.24. Wiley had a time of 24:41.21. Freshman Emily Panciera (Monson, Maine/Foxcroft Academy) was the fifth scoring runner for USM placing 162nd with a time of 24:44.96.
Also competing for Southern Maine were junior Ann Knausenberger (Litchfield, Maine/St. Dominic) who came in 192nd with her time of 25:08.73, and freshman Anna Whitaker (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) who placed 267th with a time of 26:51.48.