“Records are made to be broken” but two-time state champion Pete Murtaugh of Mapleton High’s Class of ’75 still has his name on the Mountie record boards 17 years later.
During his senior year at Mapleton, Pete won the state title in cross-country and the state championship in the mile in track. He set school or course records in each race he entered in cross-country as a senior and continued undefeated in track winning the state mile in 4:22.
Murtaugh was a distance runner from the very beginning of his Mountie running career, winning Sectional titles in cross-country and track as s freshman. Pete earned his first state placing as a sophomore finished 16th, improving to 5th as a junior and beat the undefeated state champion with a 9:54 clocking to win the Columbus race in the autumn of 1974.
After taking the weekend off to enjoy his first title, Pete started his winter workouts that paid off with school records that still stand in the 880 (1:55.5) and the 1600 (4:17.6) and the 3200 standard is 9:47.4. Both the 800 and 1600 times were regional records and state bests for all classes at the time.
Along with the records came dozens of ribbons, medals, and trophies and a track and cross-country scholarship to Bowling Green State University.
At BGSU Pete continued his running career by earning four varsity letters in cross-country and two in track. He was named MVP in cross-country in 1979 and Most Improved in 1976, and Most Improved in track in 1979.
Cross-country honors in 1979 included All MAC Conference, All Ohio, and All Central Collegiate. The outstanding effort of his track career was winning the 10,000 meters in the Central Collegiate meet that included some 50 teams from college ranks.
In 1979 Murtaugh placed 2nd in the 10,000 meters and 3rd in the 5,000 meters in the MAC championships and in 1980 he finished 3rd in the 10,000, however, losing a battle to a hurdle in the steeple chase event caused an injury that curtailed his Olympic hopes.
Pete is working with computers in the state of Delaware and still participates in long distance road racing.
Nominator: Tom Hay