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Alle-Kiski notebook: Riverview track star Murphy moves to Colorado

| Monday, July 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Riverview junior Tyler Murphy runs the Class AA boys 300-meter hurdles final at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday, May 25, 2013, in Shippensburg.

Just a couple months after returning to Oakmont with PIAA track and field gold, Riverview's Tyler Murphy waved goodbye again — and he said he wouldn't be back anytime soon.

Murphy, a rising senior, moved to Colorado to live with his biological father, Scott Mills, in July. He will attend Cherry Creek High School in suburban Denver and plans to stay the entire school year.

In May, Murphy won the PIAA Class AA 300-meter hurdles title at Shippensburg. He was Riverview's second state champion and first since 1990.

“I figured I'd accomplished everything I could imagine here,” Murphy said. “I liked and will miss Riverview. But Colorado in general is just a perfect place. And I think athletically, it's going to take me to another level just because of the altitude training.”

Murphy, who also won the WPIAL 300 hurdles title, said during the past few years he considered moving to Arlington, Va., where Mills lived. He viewed his senior year as his final opportunity to make the move, so he followed his father when Mills relocated to Colorado this summer.

“He's developing me,” said Murphy, who, with guidance from Mills, has begun to lift weights on a regular basis and develop optimal diet habits.

Murphy said he plans to run cross country, wrestle and compete in track for Cherry Creek, which has a reputation as a statewide powerhouse in a multitude of sports, including track and field.

Cherry Creek's athletic success is just one attribute that excites Murphy, who participated in cyber school while living in Oakmont. The school also has a student enrollment of more than 3,500 — and more than a few of those kids are track diehards like Murphy.

“The caliber of this track team, it almost is like a Division III team right now,” Murphy said. “It's like a whole new level of track I'll be competing in. I think it's going to make me 10 times better.”

He expressed mixed emotions about the idea of not defending his state title.

“I feel like some part of me should've stayed because it's an honor to be a state champ, and it's an honor to defend it,” said Murphy. “Now the Colorado title is my goal.”

Fields in Fargo

Valley rising senior Terrell Fields considers himself more talented in freestyle wrestling than in Greco-Roman. His body just hasn't given him many chances to prove that on a national level.

Fields, competing in the 182-pound weight class this past week, placed in the USA Wrestling Junior National Championship's Greco-Roman tournament for a second straight year, but an injury again limited him in the freestyle event that followed at North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D.

Last summer, Fields, competing in the cadet division, placed sixth in Greco-Roman, and a knee injury led to an early exit in the freestyle competition.

This year, he took eighth in Greco-Roman, and injured ribs hampered him in freestyle.

“It's just so much wrestling,” said Fields, who went 5-3 in Greco-Roman and 0-2 in freestyle. “It was really unfortunate, because I feel like my freestyle game is better than my Greco game.”

Fields was one of 55 competitors in the Greco-Roman 182-pound weight class. Fields hopes his performance will encourage more colleges to look his way this winter. He aims to build off a junior season in which he placed sixth at 182 in PIAA Class AA.

More Fargo fun

Lower Burrell native Zach Kelly, a rising junior at The Kiski School, surged his way into the medal rounds of the USAW junior freestyle tournament and placed third in the 152-pound weight class Saturday. He tied Minnesota's Jake Hart for the top point total in pool B, but Hart won a tiebreaker match between the two. Kelly defeated California's Anthony Valencia in the bronze-medal match.

Also, Oakmont native Eric Hong placed third in the Greco-Roman cadet division's 113-pound weight class and fourth in the freestyle cadet division at Fargo. Hong, a rising freshman, will attend Georgetown Prep in Maryland.

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