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Seniors prep for final run as Falcons

October 12, 2007

For four years, running was not just a hobby, it was a passion. The feel of the path beneath their feet kept them motivated and made them strive for excellence. They ran and ran for fun, but also for the thrill of the race.

UW-River Falls senior Laura Murphy is running her fourth and final season as a member of the cross country team.

“It is very sad; I am going to miss the team a lot,” Murphy said. “I want to finish the season strong. Hopefully I will break my personal record for a 6K.”

So far Murphy’s best for the season is 27:22 at the St. Olaf Invitational Sept. 15; she did not run in the Ele Hansen Invitational at Carleton Sept. 7.

Murphy recalls the “team building sessions after the meets,” and said that “they were some of the best times [she] has ever had.”

Murphy wants to finish strong individually, but she also has high hopes for the rest of the team.

“I want the team to place well at the regional meet [Nov. 8],” she said.

Maria Michaud is the only other senior on the team this year, and has similar feelings to Murphy.

“I mostly feel sad or excited that it’s my last year,” Michaud said. “I do have sad moments whenever I think about not being able to race on a collegiate team.”

Michaud has been the Falcons number two runner all four years she has been on the team. She has also made the conference and regional teams all four years.

They both agree on how they would like the team to finish the season, with a good showing in regions.

“I do know how I would love to finish my last season, but I can’t say because I’m a little superstitious — sorry,” Michaud said.

Michaud and Murphy enjoyed their time on the team because of the people they met and the friendships they made. Both have advice they wish to pass on to their younger teammates.

“Have fun with your teammates while you can, because it all ends so fast,” said Murphy.

Michaud’s advice was aimed more at how to improve running.

“Just to keep running,” said Michaud. “Also to train in the summer because it’s a great opportunity to enhance your running abilities.”

For both women, running has been a part of their lives for so long that they couldn’t let it slip away after their graduation.

“I’m hoping to do the Twins Cities marathon next fall,” Michaud said. “I will definitely keep running.”

Murphy will also continue to run.

“I plan to run a marathon after this last season of cross country,” said Murphy. “If I like the first one I will do more, but for sure I will be running for the rest of my life.”