Murphy runs strong at NCAA championshipsMurphy runs strong at NCAA championships

Kauai’s Pierce Murphy was a top five finisher in two races to earn All-American honors at NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

The senior was the University of Colorado’s top runner in both events and one of the few to double up in the championships.

Murphy placed third in the 5,000 on Friday, clocking 13:52.22 to finish behind Edward Cheserek of Oregon in 13:47.89 and Thomas Curtin of Virginia Tech in 13:50.70.

He returned Saturday to finish fifth in the 3,000 in 8:02.40, while Cheserek again won, this time in 8:00.40.

Kauai resident Basil Scott watched the 5,000.

“He persevered through some challenges and it was a great race for him,” Scott wrote.

Three runners shot away to build a big lead, while Murphy and a pack of runners ran patiently as they gave chase. Murphy was boxed in about 3,200 meters.

“He didn’t really get free until about 300 meters,” Scott wrote. “He was at the front of the chase pack at the bell. He won the sprint from the chase pack, but just missed catching the Va. Tech runner.”

His performances earned him All-American honors at both distances. It was his third time being an All-American in the 5,000. Murphy is also a three-time All-American in cross country.

This was Murphy’s final appearance in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.

Murphy is an Island School graduate and the son of Shawn and Doreen Murphy of Kilauea.

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