Jan. 30, 2013
Hello Rambler faithful! I am Declan Murray, senior middle distance runner on the Loyola track & field team. I grew up in Strongsville, Ohio and went to high school at St. Ignatius in Cleveland. After four years at a Jesuit high school and having an older brother on the track team at Loyola, I knew this was the place for me. I have had a different experience at Loyola, compared to most student-athletes, since I had an older brother with me for two years and now have my younger sister, Brigid, on the team with me. Hopefully my youngest sister, Ciara, will continue the dynasty as a Rambler in the fall!
If you haven't noticed, Loyola track & field has been off to a hot start this indoor season despite the frigid Chicago temperatures. The Runnin' Ramblers returned from Christmas break rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever came our way. After exciting weekends in Iowa City, Iowa and Bloomington, Ind., we have already put 62 new marks on the Top-10 boards and have broken twelve school records. Did I mention it's only January?
The exciting weeks of indoor track are finally upon us as we get to travel throughout the Midwest with all of our event groups. Due to the strenuous cross country schedule in the fall, many of our distance runners take a few weeks off before heading into battle. As we approach championship season, more and more of the LUTF crew will get the opportunity to travel and compete again. With a Loyola jersey in virtually every race or field event there is hardly a dull moment for our coaching staff. At a typical meet you can find Coach Bob near a pit of sand and Coach Pat scoping out the largest of our competitors. If you're looking for the most recent school record that was broken, find Coach Hasenbank and the Top-10 list on his clipboard. Coach Jackie is always checking in on the distance runners to make sure they are out for their warm-ups and doing their cool-down routines, while Coach Wakenight is usually chasing down a sprinter that forgot their spikes. Needless to say, it's quite a task looking after 70 athletes.
My final note for this week is one of thanksgiving for the great support that we have from our alums. At the Iowa Open, I was attempting to take down a record set in 1977 by John McCabe, the father of one of my former teammates Matt McCabe. Two and a half years ago, I called Mr. McCabe to let him know I had replaced him on the Top-10 list in the 800m run. When I crossed the finish line three Saturdays ago he was there to shake my hand as I moved to the top of the 1000m list. With him was Jim Rhode, Holly Rhode's dad, who ranks 10th in Loyola history in that event. Having such great support from our alumni has made chasing Top-10 marks and records that much more meaningful. The great tradition of Loyola track & field has made my experience as a Rambler quite a unique one. I look forward to the day when I can stand at the finish line and shake the hand of the next guy to break that record...But with the way things are shaping up, that day won't be more than a few years away.
Check in next week to keep up with the latest in Rambler track & field!