Gregg Zelkin

Kate Murphy breaks Virginia high school record

February 8, 2016

A former Olympic swimmer and world record holder Mark Spitz once said, “Records were meant to be broken.” Kate Murphy, LB student-athlete, did just that.

On Jan. 30, 2016, Murphy ran 4:43.87 to break the VA high school state record in the indoor mile.

“Going into the race, I didn’t even think about the state record,” Murphy said. “I was just going in focusing on what I wanted to accomplish, and if I executed, then I wouldn’t need to worry about the time or record.”

However, this race was unlike any other that she had raced in before. She was racing against professional runners in the Camel City Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, NC.

“I think that each race shows something about yourself and teaches you where you currently are, what you need to work on, [and] what you need to change,” Murphy said.

IMG_2442 (1)Gregg Zelkin
Preparing Murphy for the race was different than preparing for a typical high school indoor track meet, LB Indoor Track and Field head coach Mike Mangan said.

“The superstar runner in that race gets to tell a paid pace-setter to run the first half of the race at a particular speed,” Mangan said.

Shannon Rowbury, two-time Olympian and American 1500m record holder, picked the pace and won the race.

“The good news was we knew how fast it was going to be,” Mangan said. “The bad news was it was really really fast…We spent time trying to run intervals at that pace to give her an idea of what it would be like.”

Despite the professional atmosphere, the Bruins believed in her. Mangan watched Murphy’s race live at Ben Fogg’s, one of Murphy’s teammates, house with 30 other bruins.

“We knew about the record, but we also knew that Kate was capable of running way faster than the record,” said Mangan.

Murphy was proud of her accomplishment, but remains humbled by her run and determined to set more records.

“Breaking the record is cool and all, but I know if I can race to my potential, I can set my own records and not have to worry about getting a record,” Murphy said.

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