Whether it’s in the pool, in the open water, or on a hiking trail, senior Kendall Murphy has learned to go the extra mile.
A three-time All-MIAA selection, the California native recently completed her career as a member of the Calvin women’s swimming and diving team.
It was last spring however where Murphy really stretched her limits. In May, she joined a Calvin student group in Spain for a class, “Camino de Santiago: The Christian Tradition of Pilgrimage.” While on the trip, Murphy and her classmates followed the pilgrimage of Saint James to walk nearly 300 miles over three weeks. The class was led by Calvin Spanish professor Cynthia Slagter and Calvin kinesiology professor/head swim coach Dan Gelderloos.
Just two weeks after returning stateside, she participated in the 38th annual Alcatraz Escape from the Rock swim. In that event, she and her fellow competitors were dropped off at the infamous Alcatraz Island by boat and then swam the mile-and-a-half back across the chilly San Francisco Bay waters. Murphy proceeded to finish first in her age group.
“I had never done anything like that before but it was great,” said Murphy of her trip to Spain. “I had so many great conversations with coach Dan (Gelderloos) and my walking partners. When I got home, I had to get back in the pool to train for the Alcatraz swim, but it worked out just fine."
A homeschooled student who swam for a local club program in Modesto, Murphy found Calvin through an online search. “It was so random how I found Calvin,” said Murphy.
“I was looking for a private Christian school where I could prepare to go into physical therapy school. I also wanted to continue swimming. I thought about going Division II but the more I looked, the more I realized that Division III was where I wanted to be. I wanted a balance between my academic and athletic experience.”
Murphy is majoring in kinesiology; she will pursue her doctorate in physical therapy beginning in August at Cal-State Sacramento. As she heads into physical therapy school, Murphy feels prepared. “I’ve received a great blended education learning about how the body works. I’ve been able to see that in the classroom and as an athlete,” she said. “Combined, that has given me a great base of knowledge that will lead me into graduate school and develop my own skills as a physical therapist.”