WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Saturday, Oct. 29, will forever be a memorable day for the Murphy family of Lancaster, as senior Jonathan and sophomore Lydia, both competed at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships, and both performed at a very high level.
In fact, both recorded the school’s best-ever individual performances at the annual state meet, Jonathan placing 22nd of 151 division 3 boys, and Lydia taking the D3 state runner-up title among 149 runners.
“The cross country coaches were thrilled with Jonathon and Lydia’s performance at the state meet,” said Lancaster cross country coach Taylor Reynolds.
For Jonathon, his state time of 17:17.47 was considerably better than his sectional time of 17:33.4 a week before.
“We knew Jonathon would have to run tough to get in the top 25, as this year’s competition was stellar,” said coach Reynolds.
“Jonathon showed smarts and guts in his race. He made some big moves at some key times to keep himself in good position,” Reynolds said. “I love the way he fought and battled. It was a great way to finish his cross country career.”
Lydia finished her state race in a time of 19:26.98, which was 14 seconds behind Noelle Maire of Belleville, and four seconds ahead of Marissa Ellenbecker of Edgar. Murphy’s state time was a full second faster than her time at last week’s sectional meet.
“Lydia was also racing against a star-studded line up as well, including the 2014 individual state champ and several others who have finished in the top 10 in previous state meets,” said Reynolds.
“Lydia showed great patience and strategy early in the race, and I was very pleased with how she positioned herself the first mile. I was impressed with the guts and toughness Lydia showed in the middle and later parts of the race. She ran tougher, and with more heart than any other race I’ve ever watched her run. It paid off big time for her.”
“Being the runner-up and getting the silver medal is an amazing accomplishment,” Reynolds added.
While Jonathon concluded his senior cross country season at the state meet, his sister Lydia has now run there twice and still has two more years ahead of her.