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

Max Murphy’s individual NCAA Championship qualification stems from team effort

The Hawkeyes assist Murphy in accomplishing his national cross country dreams.
Jerod Ringwald
Iowa’s freshman Max Murphy set a personal best and etched himself third in Iowa history with a time of 7:59.296. Murphy finished 4th overall during the Hawkeye B1G Invitational track meet at the University of Iowa Recreation Building on Saturday, Feb. 13 , 2021.

With the help of his teammates, Iowa third-year cross country runner Max Murphy officially punched his ticket to the NCAA Championship meet.

Since his qualification, Murphy has earned praise from his friends, family, coaches, and most prominently, his 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.”

Second-years Brayden Burnett and Will Ryan and third-year Aidan King ran alongside Murphy during the NCAA Midwest Regional race. While the team fell short of qualification, the trio of distance runners spoke about the amount of pride they feel to have the Hawkeyes represented at the national meet.

“It validates what we are doing here at the University of Iowa in our cross country and distance track programs,” Ryan said. “Having a guy like [Murphy] do so well makes us believe more in ourselves and the training we put in. It makes us feel like maybe we could be up there too.”

“I totally look up to [Murphy],” Burnett added. “The way he balances his success on and off the course or track is very inspiring.”

King believes Murphy’s NCAA Championship qualification is blazing the trail for the Hawkeyes to eventually earn a spot in the national meet.

“This is the first step to getting a team down there,” King said. “We’re starting to do really well in these championship meets, and it starts with really good individual leaders like [Murphy].”

Individually, Murphy finished ninth place with a time of 30:27.6. This race also rewrote the Hawkeye record books, with Murphy securing the seventh-fastest 10,000-meter time in program history.

“That’s just a testament to him,” Ryan said. “I don’t know anyone who works harder or wants it more than him.”

As a team, the Hawkeyes earned 368 points and a 12th-place finish in the NCAA Midwest Regional. However, only the top two teams in the region receive an automatic spot in the NCAA Championship meet.

“I think we finally performed to our capabilities as a team,” Burnett said. “We all competed our best at the end of our season.”

A few Hawkeyes are making the trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, to support Murphy in his race while others plan to cheer from home. Despite their proximity, each of Murphy’s teammates are eagerly awaiting the moment the gun fires and Murphy’s dream finally comes true.

“The race itself will be exciting, but I think seeing him on the start line will be the part that is craziest to me,” King said. “I know how much that kid has been through, and I am going to feel so happy and proud.”

Although Murphy is excited about that moment as well, he believes it is important to recognize his teammates’ contributions to his qualification.

“It’s definitely a team achievement,” Murphy said. “All of my teammates have helped me a lot with training and making running fun. They make it all worth it.”

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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.
Jerod Ringwald, Creative Director
Jerod Ringwald is the Creative Director at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. He was previously a managing editor this past summer as well as a former photo editor. During his sophomore year, he worked as a photojournalist covering news and sports.