When Molly Carl graduated from York High in 2009, she did not give much thought to running, even though she had been the state Class B 300 hurdles champion.

A little over two years later, Carl is more than just a runner. She’s an All-American.

“I never thought I could be at the level I am now,” said Carl, a junior at the University of Southern Maine.

Carl earned her All-American status by placing 27th overall out of 277 runners at the NCAA Division III cross country championships last Saturday in Winneconne, Wis., finishing the 6K race in 21:35.48.

Carl’s performance is a result of her evolution from casual to elite runner.

She enrolled at UMaine-Farmington her freshman year, running cross country, but not track since the Beavers don’t have a program.

Motivated to run more, she transferred to USM, which has both cross country and track.

This year, Carl said she set more ambitious goals, improved her diet and created “a clear vision of what I wanted each race.”

In other words, “she has adopted a runner’s lifestyle,” USM Coach George Towle said.

That vision came into focus at the nationals.

“I was just going to give everything I had, race as hard as I could,” Carl said. “I went out with the main pack. I usually feel things out, but I didn’t have a choice. I just went for it.”

That she did.

 

ANOTHER ALL-AMERICAN named at the cross country nationals was Bowdoin sophomore Coby Horowitz of Stow, Mass. Horowitz finished 13th in the men’s race with a time of 24:30.55 in the 8K race.

Bowdoin placed 15th as a team. The Bates’ men finished seventh, the Bobcats’ best showing since a sixth-place in 1977.

In the women’s race, two Bowdoin runners, like Carl, qualified as individuals. Madelena Rizzo finished 71st (22:06.78) and Olivia MacKenzie of Buxton (and McAuley High) placed 92nd (22:15.48).

 

BOWDOIN VOLLEYBALL celebrated its first All-American selection as senior Kristin Hanczor was named to the second team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Hanczor, of Redding, Conn., was also the Co-Player of the Year in NESCAC. She set the career school record in blocks (401) and ranks second in kills (1,119).

 

APPALACHIAN STATE football coach Jerry Moore sounded a lot like Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove when learning that his Mountaineers will get a bye in the upcoming NCAA playoffs.

Maine will play at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., in the second round on Dec. 3.

Cosgrove said his Maine team could use the extra week to heal after a long season. Ditto, Moore told the Watauga (N.C.) Democrat newspaper.

“We’re beat up,” Moore said. “We’re playing and moving guys all around. I don’t mean to be singing a sad song because I’m sure everybody that’s been in a tough league is that way, but we need some rest. I didn’t care who we played as long as we got a bye.”

 

MAINE HOCKEY is coming to Portland this weekend to play Clarkson at the Cumberland County Civic Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.

On Friday, the team will be at Family Ice Center in Falmouth for the popular “Skate with the Bears” public skating event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

BOWDOIN HOCKEY got off to a slow start with a 3-3 tie with Williams, then a 7-1 lopsided loss to Middlebury.

The Polar Bears (0-1-1) have dropped out of the Division III national poll.

Bowdoin has upcoming home games at 7 tonight (University of New England) and 4:30 p.m. Sunday (an exhibition vs. the U.S. under-18 team), and then 7 p.m. Dec. 3 against Colby.

While Bowdoin athletic events are free, a ticket will be needed for the Colby game because of its popularity.

Those free tickets will be distributed to the public at the athletic department office, beginning 8:30 a.m. today.

 

TODAY FEATURES some good local basketball games, highlighted by the St. Joseph’s men’s team (1-0) at Bowdoin (2-0) at 7:30 p.m.

In women’s basketball, Bowdoin (2-0) is at the University of New England (2-0) at 5:30 p.m.

And the University of Southern Maine (2-1) plays host to Bates at 5:30 p.m. in the Bobcats’ opener.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH