Murphy Smith talks to us after his 2020 NCHSAA 4A Cross Country championship
Ardrey Kell's Murphy Smith has announced his decision to attend the Naval Academy this fall! Smith really broke out this season and emerged as one of North Carolina's best. His cross country personal best of 15:07 lands 23rd all-time in North Carolina.
"It came came to where I could see myself and what I thought would be the best fit. After the Naval Academy reached out to me, I began doing more research and realized that it was a great option. I still left other doors open and looked at traditional colleges too, but there was always the draw to the Academy for me. This was because of the amazing opportunity of being able to serve my country. This was very appealing to me. And as I talked with Coach Lanzel, Men's Cross Country Coach, I realized that I could still have a very competitive career as a student-athlete. I felt Navy was the place I could get the best education, learn valuable leadership skills, get faster, and positively impact the world. I know this path won't be easy... it wouldn't be worth it if it was."
Murphy was able to get a visit up to Annapolis, Maryland in November and loved his first experience.
"I was able to get on campus this past November and I loved it. Due to NCAA rules, I couldn't meet with the coaches but it was great to see "The Yard," (what the campus is called) and experience Annapolis. While I was on campus there was a sense of pride that was very inspiring to me. I believe this is due to the rich history of the academy and knowing all of the heroes who have attended USNA. As I visited campus I was in awe of the beauty as well as it is situated where the Severn River meets the Chesapeake Bay. Due to this, USNA also has one of the best indoor track facilities in the country as it overlooks the campus marina. As a whole, the visit offered me the reassurance that this was the path for me."
Murphy will join Providence Day School senior and NCISAA Cross Country 4A state champion Christian Landis next fall at the Naval Academy.
"Christian and I have talked about it a lot. I first started looking into the academy right before 2019 Team Cross Regionals and we talked about it first there. I was still pretty new to it all but it was really exciting to hear that he was looking at the Naval Academy too. Ever since then, we have texted about it and talked about the Academy at races. I texted him soon after I committed and told him that we would be teammates for the next four years. I'm looking forward to being pushed each day by Christian and working towards my goals."
A fun fact about Murphy is that he has a bearded dragon named Nola and he says she's pretty cool.