June 26th, 2013

Elementary Excellence: Notre Dame Academy

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Conor Revell

Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Notre Dame Academy
The Notre Dame Academy track and field squad / photo submitted by Mike Murphy

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Mike Murphy is the head coach of the Notre Dame Academy track and field team. His 5th/6th and 7th/8th grade boys’ squad won the CSAA Class A City Championship back in April. Murphy’s two teams won a total of 10 events.

“This team was one of the most talented teams that I have ever had since I’ve been coaching,” Murphy said. “And I’ve been coaching at Notre Dame for quite a while.”

Both the 5th/6th grade and the 7th/8th grade 4x100 relay team won their respective event. Sam Bearden, Caleb Bolus, DeShawn Ellis, and Luke Wiser ran for the 5th/6th grade team. Ashton Baum, Max Bearden, Alec Brothers, and Admad Johnson sprinted for the 7th/8th grade team.

“Our 7th/8th grade boys’ team had quite a bit of speed this year,” Murphy said. “We had four boys that all placed high in the 100 and 200. We had one boy placed second at the state meet. They just completed the state meet a few weeks ago. Like I said earlier, this is probably the most talented group of runners I’ve ever had.”

Johnson also won the 400 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, and the 100 meter dash giving him a victory in each of the four events he participated in. Max Bearden also won the 55 meter hurdle giving the Saints 7th/8th graders a total of five victories on the day.

For the 5th/6th grade team, Keeton Thornsberry won the 5th/6th 400, 800, and 1600 meter dash as well as the high jump.

“Keeton Thornsberry, our distance runner was undefeated this year,” Murphy said. He set a record in the mile race for the 5th/6th grade boys.”

And the coach has been working with this group of boys for a long time. The CSAA sponsors track for youngsters in the 3rd/4th grade.

“They started out as cross country runners with me starting in the third grade,” Murphy said. “So I’ve been working with them ever since. Some of them have been run track for me as well. Keeton Thornsberry is one of those that I’ve been with since he was in the third grade.”

This season proved to be filled with lots of joy for Murphy despite the CSAA only sponsoring one event. But at the end of the day, the Saints talent won them several events.

“We were only able to run in three meets this year besides the city meet,” Murphy said. “They did very well against the local county schools as well. But it was a pretty exciting year. And it was so great to have a bunch of talent and we were able to compete against the bigger schools. That’s a great accomplishment when you’re running against teams that have two or three times as many students.”


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