The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa third-year distance runner Max Murphy prepares for NCAA Championship

Murphy aims to be competitive against the best distance runners in the nation.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa’s Max Murphy competes in the 1,500-meter run during day two of the 2023 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Friday, April 28, 2023. Murphy finished second with a time of 3:44.83.

After Iowa third-year distance runner Max Murphy crossed the finish line at the NCAA Midwest Regional, he felt a wave of pride and relief. 

Murphy finally achieved a goal he has been aiming for since stepping foot on Iowa’s campus: earning a spot in the NCAA Championships.

“I’ve put in more time than anyone has any idea,” Murphy said. “There’s been small things I’ve done and big sacrifices I’ve made. That’s why it means a lot that I achieved this.”

Over the course of Murphy’s career, Iowa distance coach Randy Hasenbank believed Murphy could qualify multiple times. However, minor injuries and setbacks continued to plague Murphy’s chances of national qualification. 

“I think he’s been good enough to toe the line at the national cross country meet before this year,” Hasenbank added. “But that’s part of sports, and we finally got it right.”

Murphy’s race plan consisted of patience and leaving energy for a kick at the end of the race. 

“Out of 230 guys, he was probably in the bottom 75 about 800 meters into the race,” Hasenbank said. “He spent the next five and a half miles working his way to the national meet.”

Murphy couldn’t have executed this plan better. 

“I went out much more patiently than I have in my other races,” Murphy said. “I usually run better if I slowly work my way up and count the people ahead of me.”

Murphy crossed the line in ninth place with a time of 30:27.6. His race also earned him a spot in the Hawkeye record books as the seventh-fastest 10,000-meter time in program history.

Although this is an immense individual accomplishment for Murphy, he attributes much of his success to his friends, family, coaches, and teammates. 

“There are a lot of people both on the team and back at home that have helped me a lot,” Murphy said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Similarly, Hasenbank realizes college cross country programs cannot produce successful individuals without a strong team. 

“On the bus the other day, we had a brief conversation about this,” Hasenbank said. “This is obviously a wonderful accomplishment for [Murphy], but he wouldn’t be able to do it without his teammates.”

At the NCAA Midwest Regional, the Hawkeyes placed 12th with 368 points, an improvement from last year’s 17th-place team finish.

Murphy will take the course for the final time this season on Nov. 18 in Charlottesville, Virginia. While Murphy looks forward to enjoying the experience, he is also preparing his body for another big race against the toughest competition of the season. 

“This is something I have worked at for a long time,” Murphy said. “At the same time, I don’t want to go there just to run the race. I am going to focus on running a good race and one I am proud of.”

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About the Contributors
Mia Boulton
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
Mia Boulton is a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as exploring a possible double major in Sports Media. She works at the Daily Iowan as a sports reporter. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Mia has been a photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Record.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.