2020 - 2021 NORTH CAROLINA
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
MURPHY
SMITH
DISTANCE RUNNER
ARDREY KELL HS
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
SENIOR
HEIGHT: 5-FOOT-11
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HIGHLIGHTED STATS
1ST - 15:44.65
NCHSAA 4A STATE TITLE
47TH - 15:07.98
RUNNINGLANE NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
“I can’t think of a better candidate for Gatorade Runner of the Year. I’ve had the opportunity to watch Murphy compete for four years. He has a work ethic like no other and his dedication and commitment to running exceeds anyone’s expectations. He’s grown a great deal as a runner and as a person. I also admire his enthusiasm to inspire and lead his teammates, especially during these unprecedented times.”
Steve Touranjoe
Head Coach - Providence High head coach

Athletic Excellence


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.

Academic Achievement


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.

Exemplary Character


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.