Lt. Michael Murphy Warrior Games Will Honor Fallen Hero And Penn State Graduate
The seventh-annual Lieutenant Michael Murphy Warrior Games will take place in Holuba Hall this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Pennsylvania alpha chapter of Omega Delta Sigma, the national veterans fraternity, will host the event in conjunction with the Lt. Michael Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund and the university’s ROTC program. This year’s games are the first to be produced through the collaborative efforts of all three organizations.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Silver Star, and a Purple Heart after giving his own life in an effort to save those of his Navy SEAL teammates during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005. He graduated from Penn State in 1998 with degrees in psychology and political science. The university’s Veterans Plaza, dedicated in 2012, is named in his honor.
Francis Alvaré, one of the event’s primary coordinators, the public affairs officer and tri-service coordinator for NROTC, and a member of Penn State’s cheer team, hopes that the event will increase student awareness of Murphy’s story on campus in addition to raising money for the memorial scholarship fund.
“A bigger goal of mine besides adding to the monetary value of the scholarship fund is to specifically make this an annual event and make it recognizable on campus,” Alvaré said. “That comes with building his (Murphy’s) legacy, that’s kind of what we’re trying to do here.”
The annual fitness challenge, known nation-wide as the ‘Murph,’ is based on Murphy’s own training regimen. Participants in the challenge may compete individually or in teams of four. The event will include two one-mile runs, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 squats.
Team members will be allowed to divide the pushups, pull-ups, and squats amongst themselves, but each member must complete both one-mile runs.
“We’re trying to emphasize team building,” Alvaré said.
Traditionally, participants are also required to wear a 20-pound weighted vest to complete the challenge. Saturday’s competition will feature smaller, less intense versions of the fabled workout according to its official Eventbright page. But awards will only be given to the three fastest individuals and first place team to complete a full “Murph,” which includes wearing the vest.
According to Alvaré, each unit of the university’s ROTC program, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force will send a team of its members to compete in the challenge. Jack Davis, former Nittany Lion mascot and current senior, said that there may also be a few off-season varsity athletes competing.
“We’re trying to get different athletic teams to sign up, so we’ll have a prize for whichever athletic team completes it fastest,” he said.
Registration for the event, which costs costs $25 per person, will be open until the start of the event on Saturday. Participants can register online or at Holuba Hall on Saturday before the first installment of the competition. The event will also be catered by several local restaurants according to Alvaré and Davis.