Murphy had been chasing the undefeated junior every step into Friday's LHS Sweetheart Varsity race, but he held another gear in his back pocket, and waited, and waited, and waited to shift in the final mile.
The Fairview senior timed this one perfectly, because when he hit the track for the final 120 meters of the mostly grassy course nearly a mile later, he held a substantial lead.
In the final strides Murphy cracked a satisfied smile.
He crossed the finish line in 15:34 - the fifth-fastest time in all classifications.
Jackson Shorten suffered his first defeat of the season, but after setting a hot early pace he held on for a solid runner-up finish in 15:54 - his fourth time under 16 minutes this season.
Fossil Ridge senior Adugna Moritz finished third in 16:23. The transfer from Michigan soloed much of the way as Murphy chased Shorten.
With Murphy's one point the team race quickly shifted in favor of Fairview.
Next Page: Torres runs away with the victory