After battling adversity related to medical issues for nearly two years, Kate Murphy announced today via Facebook that she is retiring from her collegiate running career at the University of Oregon in an effort to prioritize her health.
The Burke, Virginia, native joined the Ducks after an illustrious high school career at Lake Braddock that included a 4:07.21 1500m at the 2016 Adidas Boost Boston Games—the third-fastest prep mark at that distance in U.S. history behind Mary Cain and Alexa Efraimson—as well as a qualification for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Murphy racked up further honors that summer by winning the USATF junior 3K title in 9:10.50, and a 12th-place finish at the IAAF World U20 Championships.
As a senior, she led her team to the national high school DMR record with a 4:38 mile anchor at the 2017 Virginia Showcase.
Although she was poised to continue her success into the outdoor season that year, Murphy's first major medical issue sidelined her. Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, a rare, painful condition that restricts blood flow through the popliteal artery in the lower leg, required her to undergo two surgeries to remove part of her right calf as well as the popliteus muscles in her knees.
Murphy's recovery proved difficult afterward, and required her to redshirt her freshman year with the Ducks.
In an August interview with MileSplit, Murphy reported she was running again and said she was optimistic about getting back to competing at Oregon, but also noted she was still experiencing pain.
"Right now, I'm at 20 minutes. I'm supposed to be going up to 30 minutes but I've been more conservative and run less because sometimes random things still hurt."