Carolina Carmichael (newly) Moll is a record breaker. A state champion. An Olympic hopeful, who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials and has her sights set on the 2020 games.
At Lake Forest High School in Illinois, Carmichael Moll lettered in gymnastics, diving, and track and field. At the time of her graduation she held the school, county, and conference records for pole vaulting, so it made sense that she would choose to focus on that event in college, as a member of the University of Memphis Track and Field team.
It was at Memphis that she, presumedly, met Sam Moll, a 5’10” left-handed pitcher for the Tigers. Moll had been a solid starter during his freshman and sophomore years, but became dominant his junior year, with a 2.30 ERA and no home runs allowed in 94 innings of work. Following this standout season, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the third round of the 2013 draft and converted into a reliever shortly thereafter.
Throughout all of this, Carolina was wreaking havoc on the American Athletic Conference and throughout the NCAA. In her four years at Memphis she qualified annually for the NCAA Championships, and was recognized each year as an NCAA All-American. Tyler Frazier, the Tigers pole vaulting coach for over a decade, called her “the best to come through here,” and she set school and conference records in both the indoor and outdoor vaults.
As Sam worked his way through the Rockies minor league system, battling injuries and inconsistent command, compensated for with an above average curveball and the ability to throw 93-95 from the left side, Carolina consistently found herself near the top of college and world rankings. Throughout her collegiate career she was an indoor conference champion, three-time outdoor conference champion, and a three-time All-American. All this was also accomplished while maintaining a high GPA (she was twice-named to the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team), and she ultimately graduated from Memphis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Leisure Management and a Master’s in Sport Commerce.
Sam Moll’s status within the Mariners’ organization is largely unknown; though he’s spent the majority of his professional career as a reliever, it is believed that the M’s are planning to stretch him out again and see what he has to offer as a starter. As a reliever he has relied primarily on his four seamer and slider (his best pitch), but if he’s going to succeed as a starter he’s going to need to return to his change-up, used sparingly in recent years, but which LL emeritus Brendan Gawlowski scouted as a plus pitch.
Carolina Carmichael Moll’s status as a professional athlete is similarly unknown. She is committed to training and qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Trials, but it’s much more difficult for a woman to find long-term success as a professional athlete, particularly within a less popular arena like Track & Field. It will be exciting to see what the next few years hold for the athletically-gifted Moll family but, through record-breaking vaults and Major League appearances alike, it’s certain that they (and their animals) will be there to cheer each other on.