SOUTH BEND – It was just like old times for former Warsaw cross country teammates Jake Poyner and Robert Murphy.
The pair of WCHS grads celebrated a Homecoming of sorts in grand fashion Friday.
Poyner and Murphy each were winners in separate races during the Joe Piane Invitational held at the University of Notre Dame.
Poyner, now a senior at Lipscomb University, took top honors running unattached in the Open Race.
Murphy, now a senior at IUPUI, captured the Men’s Gold Race while competing for the Jaguars.
Poyner clocked in a winning time of 24:20 as he dominated his five-mile race. Murphy crossed the finish line in 24:19, ahead of his nearest foe by more than 13 seconds thanks to a strong surge in the final mile of his five-mile race.
“Obviously, Murphy ran a heck of a race. He’s just really consistent and brings it everytime out,” IUPUI Head Coach Chuck Koeppen said in an article published on the IUPUI Athletics website.
Murphy has lost to just one runner through three meets this season with a pair of victories and a runner-up finish at the Indiana Intercollegiates.
“I felt good and the last mile I was checking behind me to make sure that no one was coming on hard,” Murphy said.
Collectively, IUPUI tallied 141 points, trailing only Utah Valley (114) and Duquesne (120). The Jaguars were third despite having one of their top runners out due to an injury.
Poyner and Murphy, both 2013 WCHS grads, were quite the dynamic duo during their outstanding prep careers. The pair led the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the Cross Country State Finals in 2012 and then helped the track team to a fifth-place finish at the State Finals in 2013.
Poyner, the son of Tim and Sue Poyner, began his career at Wake Forest University before transferring to Lipscomb.
Murphy, the son of Jeff and Lynn Murphy, has been a standout at IUPUI after running at Vincennes University for his first two collegiate seasons.
The pair, who share the same birthday on July 15, had plenty of support on Friday at Notre Dame. Among the supporters in the crowd were Warsaw boys cross country coach Jim Mills, Warsaw boys cross country assistant coach Rob Peters and Warsaw girls cross country coach Matt Campbell, a former assistant coach with the boys program.