Feb. 14, 2013
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Senior swimmer Matt Murray (Saratoga, Calif.) recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about his senior year, the upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and more.
How has your senior year gone up until this point?
Murray: It was a great year up until mid-January when I hurt my foot. I had a lot of training underneath me. I knew if it was the four-to-six weeks they were talking about, then I should be fine for ACCs. I am hopeful to be 100 percent. I had to make a few adjustments but training has been pretty much normal for the last couple of weeks. If you have to have a foot injury, swimming is a great sport to have it happen in.
What do you tell the younger guys about what to expect at ACCs?
Murray: This will be my fourth ACCs and every year has been vastly different so honestly I don’t know what to exactly expect. You just have to go in knowing it’s all about the morning swims and getting the up swims over the down swims (qualifying for championship finals instead of consolation finals); that’s the main thing. It’s a long, long meet so you have to come back every session, all seven sessions, being ready to go. I think you just have to be mentally focused; that’s the toughest thing in this sport for the first year guys.
What is the mindset of the team right now?
Murray: I think we’re all pretty ready. Taper hasn’t quite started but we’re mentally preparing. We’re out of the weight room so we’re starting to step it down, yardage is going down, we’re getting out earlier and practice is backing off.
What has been your best moment in your UVa career?
Murray: My best moment in four years was Friday night of my second year at ACCs. At the 100 fly Coach (Mark) Bernardino just told me to cruise it. I had a great swim in the morning and made the finals, but the main focus for me that night was the 100 back. I had a great 100 back and got third; Jack (Murfee) barely out touched me. After the 100 fly, they wanted me on the relay, so that was going to be my third swim of the night in about an hour. Coach was there with me through every minute of that final session and just guided me through it. Then I had a killer swim in that final, we won and made it to the NCAAs for my first time.
What has been your favorite part of UVa:
Murray: That’s tough because there’s so much to do. I love the people here; I think we all go about life in the same way where we work really hard. I’m friends with a lot of other athletes and we work really hard, but we like to play too. There are great restaurants; I love eating out, I love going on adventures and driving around to different places and seeing the mountains and going fishing. It’s just been a great experience all around.
When you are not competing, what is your favorite Virginia sporting event to attend?
Murray: I love going to tennis matches at Boar’s Head. That’s been something I’ve done over the last few years and I’m close with a lot of the tennis guys so that’s one of the reasons why. Also, football games are always fun.
What are your plans after UVa?
Murray: I want to go into sales, either medical sales or pharmaceutical sales. My major was history, but I did an internship in an oral surgery office this summer and I enjoyed that. I was thinking of going into dentistry, but I want to go into a more corporate field. I haven’t pursued much of that right now, but I’ll get on that (after the season).
What will you miss the most about Virginia?
Murray: Right now it’s hard to say, but probably swimming. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t swimming, which was back when I was five. I haven’t taken any time off since then, so I don’t really know how my life is going to change without it, but I’m excited to start that new chapter.