Pridetime Reporter: Jack Keller
To most, Akeim Murphy is a level-headed, reserved 16-year old boy. He can be seen during the day roaming the halls with his headphones and rasta-colored jewelry on, keeping to himself. But, for those who stay at McMahon past 2:15, he cannot be missed.
Akeim Murphy is considered by many close to the track team as one of the team’s hardest workers. He runs all three seasons of track, and treats the time in between the three seasons simply as an extension of the off-season. He doesn’t take time off from improving himself.
A typical day for Akeim goes as follows: he wakes up, makes himself breakfast (usually eggs), begins his long commute from Bridgeport to McMahon at around 6:20, goes through the school day, goes for his run/running workout, goes to the weight room to get a lifting workout in, makes his way back home, showers, eats dinner, works out again at home, does his homework, and unwinds by hitting up his Snapchat Streaks and plays Need for Speed (not the new one, he hates the new one) on Xbox.
Akeim’s remarkable productivity and motivation comes from within. Most high school students wouldn’t hesitate to complain or look for corners to cut if they lived Akeim’s lifestyle. When asked about what motivates him to continue pushing the way he does, Akeim paused and looked around Mr. Bradley’s classroom, glancing over the various track memorabilia on display. He then smiled, and humbly responded “I just want to be better than I was, I guess.”
Akeim’s humble and calm candor, in addition to his craving for success on the track, all contribute to the one quality that comes to mind when people get to know Akeim: confidence. Akeim rarely doubts himself, but he’d never tell you that.
Recently, at the Class LL State Championship meet, Akeim was in the second-fastest heat for the 600m run. For the first 400m, Akeim was in fifth out of six runners, with the gap increasing. His time to make a move was running out, but that didn’t stop Akeim from pushing himself to an all-out sprint on the final 200m of the race, advancing to second place, and nearly catching the leader. His time of 1:26.98 was fast enough to claim him a spot in this weekend’s State Open Meet, asserting himself as one of Connecticut’s top middle distance runners. When asked if he was panicking or nervous during the race, before he made his move to claim second place, Akeim said “I was calm. I knew I had a lot left.”
Akeim Murphy is not only a rapidly rising star of McMahon Athletics; he’s also a great kid. He inspires others around him to work harder, and makes friends with almost anyone he briefly meets. An athlete who not only excels at their own craft, but also excels in sportsmanship seems to be a rare find in today’s day and age, and that’s exactly what makes Akeim so special. According to Patrick Bradley, the Boy’s Track Coach, Akeim is the “Pride of McMahon.” But according to almost everyone else, he’s simply Akeim the Dream.