Story Courtesy of Navy Athletic Communications
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Navy men’s cross country student-athlete Murphy Smith finished 105th among the 236 runners who finished the 10K race in the 2023 NCAA Cross Country Championship at Panorama Farm in Charlottesville, Va. The junior clocked a time of 30:35.8 in the final race of the season.
“Murphy ran tough today,” head coach Aaron Lanzel said after the race. “This is his first time on this stage. He belongs there and he ran like it. He was able to set things up for the first 5K just like he wanted. Not everything in his body cooperated so he could continue his momentum for several Ks after that. He still kept composure and challenged to the end. It’s amazing how far he has come since last year, and even since September to turn in another great race for Navy today.”
Smith started the race in 145th through the first 1,000m checkpoint with a time 2:38.6. Three minutes later (5:38.5), he moved up 19 spots to 126th through the 2K marker. At 3K, Smith had moved up another 14 spots to 112th with 8:40.7 of time elapsed. The junior broke into the top 100 through 4,000m, crossing the marker in 98th, up an additional 14 places. At the midway point, Smith had climbed to 92nd overall with a time of 14:47.3. He remained in 92nd through the 6K checkpoint, but dipped to 102nd through 7,000m. At the 8K marker, Smith remained in 102nd overall with a time of 24:18.0. In the final 2,000m Smith slipped to 105th overall, clocking a 10K time of 30:35.8.
A week earlier, Smith notched a third-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship to qualify for the NCAA Championship. His third-place finish earned him USTFCCCA All-Region and was the highest by a Navy individual since Jake Brophy (’20) finished second at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional as a senior.
Individually, Harvard’s Graham Blanks won the race with a time of 28:37.7, while New Mexico’s Habtom Samuel (28:40.7) took second. Stanford’s Ky Robinson (28:55.7), Arkansas’ Denis Kigngetich (28:59.7), and Northern Arizona’s Drew Bosley (29:03.8) all posted top-five performances.
No. 2 Oklahoma State won the team title with a low score of 49, while No. 1 Northern Arizona was second with a combined tally of 71. No. 3 BYU finished third with 196 points, while No. 7 Arkansas (211) and No. 17 Iowa State (230) rounded out the top five team scores.