Coal Ridge senior travelling a long distance to run |

Coal Ridge senior travelling a long distance to run

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent file

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came calling, and DaLin Murphy found a way to make it happen.

The Coal Ridge High School senior, a four-time state qualifier in cross country and two-time state qualifier in track and field, will test his legs and lungs Down Under this summer.

The distance-running dynamo will compete in the cross-country installment of the Down Under International Games, which brings young American athletes to Australia to test their skills against international competition.

Murphy received his invite back in the fall, and immediately started raising the funds to cover his journey across the pond. With business sponsorships serving as the foundation of his fundraising efforts, the trip’s cost quickly became palatable.

And Murphy expects the trip to be well worth it.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said, “just being able to plug into a new environment, to meet new people.”

The 10-day July trip will feature a pair of races, one that pits American racers against Australians and an all-American meet in which runners split up into teams based on their state of residence. The event is run by International Sports Specialists Inc. and is in its 12th year.

Murphy, who hopes to run track at the University of Northern Colorado next school year, simply hopes to hold his own against what will surely be top-notch competition.

“I just want to place myself, I guess,” he said, “against all the other people in the U.S. and Australia.”

If his track record to date suggests anything, Murphy’s goal is realistic.

He made it to state in cross country every year and, this spring, is hoping to advance to state for a third time in as many years in track and field.

Murphy didn’t run track and field his junior year, but made state in the 1,600-meter run as a freshman and ran the 3,200 there the following year.

As is the case with many, distance running and Murphy weren’t an instant fit when he first gave it a go as a middle-schooler. He excelled immediately, but wasn’t all that fond of the lung-punishing exercise.

“I caught on to it pretty quick,” he said. “It wasn’t my favorite at first, but I think it’s just one of those things. Not everyone likes to do it. I like trying new things, things people don’t usually do.”

Sticking with running has certainly served Murphy well, and he plans on savoring the once-in-a-lifetime journey that decision helped deliver.

“It’s definitely going to be a good experience,” he said.

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