The 5-foot-11-inch, 145-pound senior distance talent won the NCHSAA 4A state title this past season, breaking the tape with a time of 15:44.65 and leading the Knights to third place as a team. A two-time All-State selection, Smith was also the state’s top finisher at the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships, crossing the line in a personal-best 15:07.98 (47th overall), which was the fastest 5K time by a North Carolina prep boy in 2020. His state meet speed rating according to Dyestat and TullyRunners.com ranked No. 88 among the nation’s Top 100 fastest competitors.
Murphy has maintained a weighted 4.43 GPA in the classroom. He will attend the US Naval Academy this fall, where he will compete in cross country and track.
A member of his school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, Smith has also volunteered on behalf of the Ardrey Kell student service club Knights in Action. He has performed nearly 100 hours of community service for causes such as the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the Carolina Thread Trail, the Pineville Neighbors Place, Hands on Charlotte and the Isabella Santos Foundation. He has also donated his time to Promising Pages, Ballantyne Elementary School, Classroom Central, the Polo Ridge PTA, the Running Works program for the homeless and the United Way, in addition to serving as a youth track meet official and as a peer tutor.