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Liam Murphy Shatters Villanova 5k Indoor Record

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Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Murphy’s time this past weekend was the third-fastest time by a Villanova runner in the 5k.

This past Saturday, senior Liam Murphy took a solo trip to Boston, Massachusetts. The Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener at Boston University kicked off the indoor track and field season. Murphy was the only Villanovan in attendance. Head coach Marcus O’Sullivan was in Ireland recruiting, but did give insight on the process leading up to Boston.

“We gave [the team] a legitimate break coming out of the cross-country season,” O’Sullivan said. “I told [Murphy] if he did not want to go, we would not send him, but he was confident in his abilities.”

In just his second-ever college 5000m (5K), Murphy broke the school record for the indoor 5K by 16 seconds. He finished the race in eighth place, with a time of 13:21.20. Murphy’s time was enough to shatter the school’s previous indoor record of 13:37.73. The previous record was set by Olympian Patrick Tiernan on February 14, 2014, at Iowa State. O’Sullivan was very confident in Murphy’s ability leading into the event.

“He is in superb shape,” O’Sullivan said. “This event sets him up to have a shot at qualifying for nationals. It would be much harder if he waited until later in the season to try to get these qualifying races in.”

Murphy was less than six-tenths of a second away from surpassing the absolute school record, meaning both indoor and outdoor 5000m times. The absolute school record of 13:20.63 was set by Sydney Maree on June 2, 1979. The 44-year record remains one of the longest-standing distance records in Villanova’s history. 

“To come so close to breaking a 40-year-plus record is great,” O’Sullivan said. “It just goes to show how much work [Murphy] has put in.”

O’Sullivan also set a Villanova school record in Boston. In 1983, he ran the school’s fastest 5-mile at 22:48.5. It sits as another 40-year record that is still unbeaten.

Murphy’s performance this weekend is the third-fastest time by a Villanova runner in the 5K. While Maree holds the record, Tiernan is the absolute runner-up. He ran 13:20.88 on June 29, 2016.

Murphy’s only college 5K before this was during the past outdoor track season. He finished the race in 13:43.32, which won him a Big East title. His time this Saturday was 22 seconds faster.

Murphy will join the rest of the team on a well-deserved break.

The rest of the track and field teams, both men and women, will open the indoor season on January 13, 2024. They will compete in the Penn 10-Team Select meet hosted by Penn at the Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex in Staten Island.

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