The Duke Blue Devils have grabbed their first male commitment from the high school class of 2016 with NCAP’s Chris Murphy. He announced his verbal commitment via Twitter and Instagram.
Excited to say that I have verbally committed to swim at Duke University! Go Blue Devils! https://t.co/ATMRmThBMZ
— Christopher Murphy (@chrismurphy304) July 21, 2015
Murphy is a rising senior at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia, and he recently had a strong showing at the 2015 Virginia 6A High School State Championships. He placed 2nd in the 100 backstroke (50.24) and 3rd in the 200 freestyle (1:40.92/1:40.49 prelims), while swimming on McLean’s 6th place 400 free relay and 17th place 200 free relay.
Duke, who competes in the ACC with teams like UNC, NC State, and Virginia Tech which house incredibly talented swim programs, has made significant strides with their women’s team in the last two years and is looking to do the same with their men. Murphy’s strengths lie in the backstroke and the distance freestyle, where the Blue Devils could certainly use some depth.
Murphy’s best times:
50 back – 23.43
100 back – 49.62
200 back – 1:47.88
500 free – 4:28.66
1650 free – 15:39.75
Comparing Murphy’s bests with Duke’s top times from the 2014-15 season, he would have ranked 2nd in the 200 back, 3rd in the 500 free, 3rd in the 1650 free, and 5th in the 100 back.
Murphy isn’t quite ready to contribute to the Blue Devils’ scoring at the conference level, but he’s very close. To make the C final (which you can score a minimum of 1 point in) at the 2015 ACC Champs, it took a 4:26.32 in the 500, a 15:32.00 in the mile, a 49.14 in the 100 back, and a 1:47.50 in the 200 back. With the mile and the 200 back both on same day, and seeing how much closer Murphy is to scoring in the 200 back, it might make sense for him to focus on training mid-distance free and backstroke. In addition, he’s also fairly close to scoring in the 100 back and 500 free, while many top 1650 swimmers at the NCAA level tend to stick with distance free only with the occasional 400 IM or 200 of stroke.
With the class of 2018 coming in hot, the two freshmen-to-be that might train best with Murphy are Max St George from Wheaton, IL, and Riley Hickman of Davis, CA. St George is a 48.0-1:49.8 backstroker, while Hickman is a mid-distance freestyler with bests of 1:38.27 in the 200 and 4:29.49 in the 500. Murphy still has a full year before he gets to Duke, where he will join a young team with lots of growing talent and potential to move up in the ranks of the ACC.