SHORE ATHLETIC CLUB SALUTES MR. LIAM MURPHY AND HIS VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY TEAMMATES CHARLIE O'DONOVAN AND SEAN DOLAN !!!
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
ALL THREE WILDCATS dipped under the one-magic four-minute mark for the mile in an historic team performance at the Sykea and Sabock Challenge Meet at Penn State University's Horace Ashenfelter Indoor track last Saturday, Jan. 29 !!!
O'Donovan and Dolan had boken four previously but it was the first sub-4 by Murphy and he thus joined the truly elite group of those who have broken 4 - indoors or outdoors - since the performance was first achieved by Dr. Roger Bannister at Oxford, England, May 6, 1954.
Furthermore, Murphy,a resident of Millstone Township, N.J. and an alumnus of Allentown High School, joins the small, elite sub-group of sub-4 runners to emerge from the Monmouth/Ocean County - Shore area of New Jersey over the years.
He is the fifth runner - from a fifth different high school - to have achieved the feat.
His Shore area HS Alumni sub-4 predecessors have been Robby Andrews of Manalapan HS, Craig Forys of Colts Neck HS,, Rob Napolitano of Red Bank Catholic HS and Tim Gorman of Christian Brothers Academy.
Murphy, who has redshirt freshman status at Villanova, was honored as a scholastic athlete of the year by Shore Athletic Club after his brilliant, state-championship senior year at Allentown High School.
Here, courtesy of Villanova University, are further details:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- It was a historic day for Villanova at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track as three Wildcats posted sub-four minute times in the Mile in the same race at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 29. The trio of senior Charlie O'Donovan (Cork, Ireland), junior Sean Dolan (Pennington, N.J.) and redshirt freshman Liam Murphy (Millstone, N.J.) all crossed the finish line in under four minutes to add to the Villanova legacy of one of the most distinguished achievements for a distance runner.
Murphy becomes the 44th member of the Wildcats celebrated club of sub-four minute milers, joining O'Donovan and Dolan on the current roster as well as dozens of world-class runners who came before them. Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan, one of only three athletes ever to run more than 100 career sub-four races, has now coached the 18 most recent sub-four Villanovans. O'Donovan first achieved the feat in Boston in February 2020 and Dolan registered the first sub-four miles of his career during the 2021 indoor season.
In Saturday's race at Penn State it was O'Donovan who led the Wildcats trio with a time of 3:57.46, while Dolan was just behind him in 3:57.59 and Murphy posted a time of 3:59.63. Pending the outcome of other races around the country this weekend, O'Donovan and Dolan currently rank 13th and 15th on the season's NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying List. They each now own two of the 10 fastest indoor Miles times in school history. The top 16 The top 16 declared athletes in each individual event contested at the NCAA Championships will be selected for the national meet in March.
O'Donovan came in second in Saturday's race, followed by Dolan in third place and Murphy fifth in a field of 37 runners. The first five runners across the finish line in the fastest heat of the Mile broke four minutes, with the three Villanova runners accompanied by athletes from Penn State and Penn in posting historic marks.
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