Patriot to Bulldog: Murray’s race to Samford track

David Young, Campus Editor

Senior track and field runner Grayton Murray has officially committed to Samford University. An accomplishment years in the making, Murray announced his commitment to Samford’s Division I track and field team on October 18th on Instagram.

Murray’s journey to commitment began in middle school, where he ran competitively for the first time in seventh grade; it was his first opportunity to get on a team and run for his school. Early on in his career, Murray realized that he loved running.

“I found a great deal of excitement and pride from running,” Murray said. “I realized I had talent at a young age, and I found passion in it too.”

Track naturally takes excessive rigor and effort in order to succeed and thrive. Murray, however, enjoys this aspect of the sport.

“It feels really nice to just get working, to get better,” Murray said. “I really love the atmosphere of running. The support and motivation from others [is] awesome.”

This path hasn’t been without its bumps along the way. In his freshman year, Murray was injured. It was a major setback, considering it was his first year in high school track — a major step up from middle school in competition and rigor. Ultimately, however, the challenge proved to be a learning experience. 

“I was able to learn from that, the steps you have to take to get out [something like] that,” Murray said. “It was a huge step from there. After that, I was able to stay healthy for most of my high school running career.”

In his junior year, Murray attended the track state championship in Gulf Shores. He ended up finishing with a time of 4 minutes, and 18 seconds. One of Samford’s coaches confirmed the time played a role in his offer from the school.

Murray running in a state championship his junior year. (Grayton Murray)

The dream of collegiate track soon came to fruition halfway through Murray’s junior year. Coaches from different colleges began talking to Murray about the potential of continuing his athletic career in college. It was ultimately Samford, a Division I school, that caught Murray’s attention.

Grayton Murray

“Samford’s coach reached out to me and they were the first to offer me a spot” Murray said. “It was a pretty nice offer. I figured with all the pros of running for Samford I figured I would accept.”

Not only does Samford meet Murray’s interest in running Division I track, but it also meets his academic interests. He plans on pursuing a major in architecture or business and believes that Samford will help him thrive on that path. 

Murray is looking forward to what his future holds. He already knows some current Samford students, including runners on their track team.