GORHAM, Maine -- Veteran head coach George Towle recently announced that three members of the University of Southern Maine women's cross country team, juniors Molly Carl (York, Maine), Ariel Howes (Farmingdale, Maine/Hall-Dale) and Brooke Madden (Dedham, Maine/Brewer), will serve as captains the 2011 fall season.
"All three have made a strong commitment to the sport and keep improving. All are coming off very strong (2010-11) track seasons," commented Towle, now in his 27th season at the helm of the Huskies' women's cross country program.
In her first year at USM after transferring in from the University of Maine Farmington, Carl came on strong during the 2010 cross country season to earn All-Little East Conference and All-New England Alliance honors. Carl emerged as the Huskies' top runner in the last four events of the season, including a 64th-place finish (among 336 finishers) at the NCAA Regional Championship.
On the track, Carl had a breakout season outdoors, qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships in the 1500 meters. She set school records outdoors in the 800 (2:16.75) and the 1500 (4:36.35), and along with Madden is a member of the outdoor record 4 x 800-meter relay.
Howes came on strong last fall finishing among the Huskies top seven runners in the final two events, including a 125th-place finish at the NCAA regional. She was an NCAA provisional qualifier during the outdoor season in the heptathlon.
Madden was USM's fifth finisher at the NCAA regional meet placing 129th overall, and earned All-New England Alliance honors in the 800 meters outdoors. She and Carl make up half of the school indoor record 4 x 800 and distance medley relays.
In the Huskies' opening two events this fall, Carl has won both races in impressive fashion. She finished more than a minute ahead of second-place runner in the season-opening event with Brandeis, and 25 seconds ahead of the runner-up, sophomore teammate Morgan Beede (Augusta, Maine/Cony), at the University of New England Invitational. Madden had a top-five finish in the non-scoring meet with Brandeis, and a top-15 finish last weekend at UNE. Howes was right behind Madden in both races.
The Huskies travel to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational this Saturday (11:00 a.m.).