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Nyamu enjoys superb senior season

Murimi Nyamu cements his legacy as one of Forest Grove's all-time great distance runners

At a school that regularly churns out quality distance runners, it can be tough to set oneself apart — but that’s exactly what Murimi Nyamu did this school year.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: ZACK PALMER - Forest Grove's Murimi Nyamu runs in the boys 1,500 meters at the Class 6A state track and field meet at Hayward Field in Eugene last month. Nyamu enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history for distance runners

Over the course of his cross-country and track and field careers at Forest Grove, the recently graduated Nyamu watched his star continue to rise, and he saved his best for last as a senior.

Last fall, the Vikings standout turned in a superlative cross-country season and he followed up in the spring with a track and field season for the record books.

In the fall, Nyamu put together one of the greatest cross-country seasons in Forest Grove history. Among the highlights, in early October he won the Harrier Classic in Albany and finished second in the George Fox XC Classic in Brooks, with his time of 15 minutes, 29.1 seconds being perhaps the fastest ever by a Viking in a full 5-kilometer race.

A bit later in the month, he finished second to eventual state champion Ahmed Muhumed of West Salem at the Greater Valley Conference district meet in Salem, leading the Vikings to yet another Class 6A state meet bid. And on Halloween, he proved his class amongst the state’s best, finishing third at the state meet in Eugene in 15:44. Only Muhumed (15:38) and West Linn’s Roman Ollar (15:40) ran faster — and not by much.

That third-place finish matched Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski’s 2013 result as the best ever by a Forest Grove runner at state.

Keeping his season going into November, Nyamu took 13th overall and fourth among Oregon runners at Nike BorderClash, the annual meet that pits the top prep cross-country runners from Oregon and Washington against one another.

Nyamu may have been even better on the track in the spring. In April, he ran the 3,200 at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational in California and took 11th in the elite mile at the Jesuit Twilight Relays. In May, he finished second to Muhumed in both the 1,500 and 3,000 at the GVC district meet, advancing to the state meet in both.

And at Hayward Field in Eugene last month, Nyamu saved his best for last. In a historically deep 3,000 meters, he took fourth place, running 8:26.40 to break his own school record. The following day, he returned to the track to finish eighth in the 1,500 and pick up yet another medal — his third overall at the state meet — running another personal best of 3:56.63. That time makes him the second-fastest Viking all-time in that event, behind Lizier-Zmudzinski.

Impressive in the classroom as well, Nyamu will attend and run for Harvard next school year.