MATTAPOISETT – This was a season of firsts for Old Rochester sophomore Emma Carroll.

As a first-time cross country runner, there was the first race, first invitational meet, first South Coast Conference Championships, first Div. 4 Championships.

After all that came her first Standard-Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year recognition.

“This was her first year of cross country, so it was a learning year for her,” Old Rochester coach Cindy Tilden said. “She became our No. 1 runner from her very first meet, which was a lot of responsibility for a newcomer, nevermind a sophomore. She stepped into the role and filled it easily.”

Not bad for a former soccer and lacrosse player, gymnast and swimmer.

“I was always moving and tried every sport,” Carroll said. “I did track last winter and I really loved it. I ran track in elementary school when I lived in Attleboro.

“As a freshman, I played soccer and enjoyed it, but my passion lies here. After the track seasons (winter and spring), I knew I’d choose cross country in the fall. I noticed it had a different vibe to it.”

Carroll credited part of that track vibe to her senior teammate from last spring, Madisen Martin, the 2017 Standard-Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

“She was enlightening and very motivational,” Carroll explained. “She’d push me to be my best and I wound up loving it.”

Teammates in the 800 meters, Carroll finished sixth in the Div. 4 Meet in 2:24.70; Martin was ninth in 2:28.21.

Carroll also was part of the 4x400 relay team that competed in the New England Meet at the University of New Hampshire. She ran the opening leg, followed by Rachel Fantoni, Lea Bourgeois and Meg Hughes.

“That was pretty cool,” Carroll recalled. “During the race, it’s pretty nerve wracking, but, once you finish your leg, it’s kind of thrilling.”

The Bulldogs team finished in 4:05.46, good for 11th place out of the top 29 teams in New England.

“A couple of days before a meet, we’d all get together for a meal and everyone would bring a main dish,” she said. “It was a good community and really rewarding.”

After concentrating on the 800 and mile in the spring, making the jump to 3.1 miles for cross country in the fall seemed like a big change, but Carroll took to it.

At the South Coast Conference race in Wrentham, she showed determination and that little extra.

“I ran neck and neck with Peyton (Ewan of Apponequet) for a while and I passed the girl from Somerset Berkeley (Jordan Ramos) and Peyton at the finish line,” Carroll explained.

Carroll finished third in 20:36, Ramos was fourth in 20:37 and Ewan was fifth in 20:38.

“She is hard working and eager, and a lot of fun to have around,” Tilden said. “She's the kind of athlete coaches are lucky to get on their team.”