Freshman off to fast start

It is very rare to see a freshman enter a collegiate sports program and instantly see success. Meghan Murphy is one of those uncommon exceptions.

Murphy posted two fifth-place finishes at the Oneonta and Oswego State Invitationals, the first two meets of her Oswego State career.

“I think [I’ve been successful] because I love [cross country], and I’ve been so lucky to find good teams and good coaches that I really like,” Murphy said. “I guess if you love it, you’re better at it.”

Murphy started running cross country during her sophomore year at Hill West High School in Long Island. She took it up as way to keep in shape during the fall and winter in preparation for softball season.

“I fell in love with [running],” Murphy said of her decision to change sports. “So instead of doing softball I did track, then I just continued to do cross country.”

It turned out to be a wise choice, as she was named to her local All-County team during her junior and senior years.

Murphy credits her father with sparking her interest in running, as he too is an avid runner.

The transition to collegiate cross country has been a smooth one for Murphy so far, as shown by her first-season achievements.

“College is much more of a commitment,” she said. “It’s a lot more running than I was used to, but I love it so I don’t really mind.”

In the three meets since her top-five finish at the Oswego State Invitational, Murphy has finished 22nd at the Houghton Invitational, 72nd at the St. Lawrence Invitational and 36th at the University of Rochester Invitational.

“The first two meets were for getting used to [running cross country],” Murphy said. “They were smaller meets…it’s a lot better competition toward the end of the season.”

But while her overall finishes have differed, one thing that remains consistent is her spot among her teammates. Murphy has been the top female runner for Oswego State in every meet the team has been a part of.

Her best finish in the standard 5k race came at Houghton, in which she finished in 19 minutes, 31 seconds. Murphy ran in the 6k race at St. Lawrence and finished with a time of 24 minutes, 46 seconds, which was good for ninth-best in school history.

Murphy is putting her success this season behind her now, as she sets her sights on the SUNYAC Championships, which will take place in New Paltz on Oct. 29.

She said that the team is preparing by lifting weights, eating right and making sure everyone gets enough sleep.

“I would like to be in the top 40,” Murphy said. “I think that’s where my coach would like me to be. I think that’s a good goal.”