Last Updated: Thu Nov 09, 2023 - 4:45PM
Very few young athletes have the opportunity to compete for their dream school but Hempfield Area's Peyton Murray is one of the exceptions.
The Spartans track and field star committed to Notre Dame last month.
“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he mentioned. “I could not ask for a better school, and I’m super excited about it. It definitely hasn’t set in yet.”
His love for Notre Dame came at a young age. Murray would go to watch his older brother, Alex, compete for the DePaul track and field team. One of those meets happened to be at Notre Dame.
When he arrived at the school, he immediately fell in love with the campus. As he grew older and his identity as a top-tier thrower increased, so did his fandom for the Fighting Irish.
“We had pictures of me when I was a little kid when I was there,” he added. “We retook the pictures when we went to visit this year. It was pretty cool.”
His goal was to go Power Five for throwing, and his focus never wavered. He was flooded by schools contacting him during the recruiting process. Eventually, he narrowed it down and took official visits to Indiana, Penn State, Pitt, Iowa, and Kentucky.
But, in the end, it was Notre Dame that stood alone on the mountain top.
Not only has Murray caught the attention of many with his throwing ability and his recent commitment, but also for who his coach is at Hempfield Area. His father, Dave, is the head coach for the Spartans, and has been at the helm for 24 seasons.
“It’s great. I couldn’t ask for a better coach,” he noted of competing for his dad. “He’s definitely the best throws coach in Pennsylvania, maybe the country; definitely top five in the country. He’s had a tremendous amount of state champions.”
One of those state champions stands out a little more than the rest, however. Murray was the PIAA Class 3A state champion discus thrower last year, after unleashing a throw of 185 feet and 9 inches.
“It meant so much to both of us,” he shared. “I know he’s very happy that one of his state champions is his kid. That’s one of the goals of his, and he’s very happy about it.”
As Murray prepares for one final go around with the Spartans, he’s hoping to be challenged by the opposition more this year. However, as he gears up for throwing at the Division I level, he’s aware that the challenge will be greater and the competition will rise to his standard.
“I’m looking forward to competing against the best of the best at every meet,” he explained. “I’m ready to be pushed in every meet and pushed by my teammates. I’m ready to be in that environment.”