Simpson’s distance runners have literally never been better


Submitted by Corinne Thomas

Storm Record Breakers Spencer Moon and James Murray

by Mo Marks, Staff Writer

In 1990, Madonna wrote “Vogue”, Germany reunified and Simpson student Dan Halferty ran the 1000 meter race in 2 minutes, 33 seconds and 35 milliseconds. 

While Vogue and Germany’s reunification slipped into memory, Halferty’s time was brought back to light last week when sophomore James Murray broke the school record it set, running the same distance 94 milliseconds faster. 

“I was pretty happy with breaking the record, especially in my debut. I had told a lot of my family and friends that it was a goal of mine this season and to achieve it straight away was pretty rewarding,” Murray said. 

Heath Moench, Director of Cross Country and Track and Field pointed out that Murray’s race wasn’t just impressive because it broke a record.

“He had a rough week of training; he was in a boot all week,” Moenck said. 

Murray was wearing the boot for an arch strain which had prevented him from running in the indoor track and field season opener. He still wasn’t at full health for the race where he broke the school record. In fact, he’s back in the boot now.  

“I’ve had to adapt to cross-training the past two weeks and this has definitely been mentally challenging – as well as setting me back two weeks of mileage and workouts,” Murray said.

He’s clearly up to the challenge though as he’s heading with the team to Northwest Missouri this weekend where he’s aiming to set a new personal best in the mile race. 

Unfortunately for Murray, Head Track and Field Coach Aaron Fuller points out that the American Rivers Conference Tournament doesn’t actually have a 1000-meter race. Instead, Murray has had to set his sights on the 800-meter race and the mile. 

Murray is also aiming for a spot on Simpson’s Distance Medley Relay (DMR) team at the conference tournament. Making that goal will be no small feat though. 

For one thing, the team is incredibly fast. They set a new school record just last season and are looking to qualify to nationals this spring. For another, it’s far from hyperbole to say that Simpson’s male distance runners are the fastest they’ve ever been.

The DMR team is anchored by Spencer Moon who also broke a school record at his most recent meet. While Murray and most of the Simpson Track and Field team were in Nebraska, Moon ran the 3000-meter race in 8:18.61 at a meet in Iowa City where he raced against Division 1 runners and beat the previous Simpson school record of 8:34.45. 

That 8:34.45 time? Also, run by Moon. His newest mark is the fastest time in the American Rivers Conference this season but Moon isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. 

“I just want to keep pushing that time lower,” Moon said.

Another good bet for the DMR team is Harry Dudley. Dudley was in Iowa City with Moon last weekend where he ran the 3000 in 8:37.73 setting a new personal best and earning the title of second in school history, just behind Moon. 

While it looks like Murray has a good chance at making the DMR team, the fact is that even if he doesn’t, his name – and the names of Simpson’s other dominant distance runners – are already etched in Simpson’s history books.