Murphy races her way into the record books


photo courtesy of Gregg Zelkin

Kate Murphy runs in a race on Jan. 15 at Liberty University. Murphy has been climbing the national indoor track rankings for the past several weeks.

Sophomore Kate Murphy has recently shot up in the ranks in cross country and track, setting new records and obtaining the status of being the 53rd fastest cross country runner in the nation.

Murphy started her running career last year for LB, participating in cross country and then in indoor and outdoor track. She has made a name for herself after attending meets in Oregon, Florida and Kentucky, this year, placing high in all of them.

“I love being able to run with my team,” Murphy said. “Having other people to push you is really helpful and running overall just makes me happier.”

Murphy’s inspiration for running is graduate Hannah Christen, who was her senior [buddy] when she was a freshman and helped her learn a lot about running. She inspired Murphy to push her self and become ranked fifth in the region and state and 53rd in the country. While over half of the teams across the country do not have an indoor track team during the winter, Murphy says that the competition is still tough.

“I just try to block out the competition as much as possible because it just causes more thinking that I don’t need to be doing,” Murphy said. “I just have to be focused on what I’m doing and not what they’re doing.”

Murphy ran a 10:40 in her 3200 meter race (two miles) on Dec.13 and has a mile time of 5:01 for indoor track. At states for cross country, Murphy ran the 5k in 17:53, placing second. She also attended the Nike Nationals in Oregon for cross country, getting the opportunity to meet and run against some of the fastest individuals from around the country.

“After my race at cross country nationals, I think that’s when I realized I can hopefully go far,” Murphy said. “I thought that I would be really far back in the race, but getting 24th really opened my eyes that I could race against top girls in the U.S.”

For the Nike Nationals, Murphy said that the road getting there was bittersweet when both she and senior Alex Corbett got the opportunity to head to nationals but were disappointed when their whole team couldn’t go. As far as competition goes, Murphy has a lot of competition ahead of her in the country but has only five places before she takes over the top title in Virginia.

“I try not to think about [being one of the fastest sophomores] because I know there is so much competition that’s better than me,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that she loves being able to run with her team and that her motivation is not only self improvement but also to help her team. As far as junior and senior year, Murphy hopes to keep running and setting new personal records.

“I don’t have a specific goal by senior year; I just hope to improve each year,” Murphy said. “I just focus on specific goals one season at a time.”