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Samma and Murtagh will compete May 21-23

Brian Murtagh '09 (left) and Alex Samma '10.
Brian Murtagh '09 (left) and Alex Samma '10.

For only the second time in Connecticut College history, two Camels will be heading to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field championships.

Junior Alex Samma recently secured the program's first All-New England Individual Championship in six years, setting an outdoor school record and automatically qualifying for the 2009 NCAA Championship with a triple jump of 49 feet, 2 1/4 of an inch. Senior Brian Murtagh garnered All-New England Honors in the 5k and set a personal record with his seventh place run in 14:56.93.

In other words, Samma can leap the length of a Mack truck and Murtagh can run a 5k in less time than it takes most people to shower.

Both athletes have overcome exceptional odds to secure their tickets to the championships.

Samma captured the program's first NCAA Track & Field Championship back on March 14 in Terre Haute, Ind. Then, two weeks ago in New London, Samma was able to overcome the excruciating pain in his hamstrings by gutting out a second place finish in the NESCAC Championship before taking All-New England.

Murtagh missed qualifying for the cross-country championships in 2006 by 1/100th of a second, spent his junior year out with an injury and managed to come back this fall to qualify for the cross-country championships. His time is among the top 10 in Division III in the nation.

An article May 13 in The Day of New London, called the athletes "respected team captains and shining examples of what student-athletes can accomplish with hard work, determination and talent." The 2009 Outdoor Championship will be hosted by Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio May 21-23.

See photos from the NESCAC Track and Field Championship.

May 20, 2009