Our Bay Area Male Athlete of the Spring, Nate Moore was fully expecting the two state championships — the nearly 25-foot long jump and then the national-leading 50 foot, 11.75-inch performance in the triple jump. Frankly, he just wasn’t expecting it this season.
The Castro Valley junior said he was dreaming of such a performance on the state’s biggest stage — Veteran’s Stadium on the campus of Buchanan High School in Clovis — ever since he was a freshman.
The fun and articulate 5-foot-9, 145-pound standout was named the SportsStars Spring Male Athlete of the Year for his record-setting performance on June 1.
He was the first Bay Area athlete boy to ever win both events in the same state meet and the first male overall since 1984.
“It’s still surreal to me,” he said. “I just didn’t really think it was possible until my senior year. It was just a crazy experience.”
Moore, who transferred from Bishop O’Dowd before the school year, seemed almost content with a second-place finish in the long jump, considering the defending champion and one of the nation’s top athletes was in the field.
Serra-Gardena junior Adoree’ Jackson came in with the nation’s top long jump this season at 25-0. This after he won it as a sophomore at 25-0.5. Jackson seemed comfortably ahead at 24-7.5 before Moore flew to within an inch on his fourth attempt. At that point, Jackson had to run a leg in the 400-meter relay and Moore, then unleashed his winning jump.
Jackson had only five minutes to complete three jumps and couldn’t overcome Moore’s winning mark of 24-11.75. “I wasn’t thinking about my mark or form or anything, I just wanted to win,” Moore said.
Moore said his competitive spirit was pushed all season by Castro Valley jumps coach Dooney Jones, who also offered the inspirational shove needed to win the triple.
Battling a nagging left flexor injury, Moore asked Jones for some IcyHot — a rub to relieve pain — right before his final jump, but the fiery coach refused.
“He looked at me and said there’s no way he’s giving it to me,” Moore said. “He told me to block everything out, that this was the moment champions are made of. He told me this was the moment I’ve been waiting for all year and to make it all happen.
“Yes, that last jump was all adrenaline.”
After revving up the crowd with rhythmic clapping, Moore unleashed his personal best by more than a foot to win the triple jump going away. “I couldn’t ask for a better season or school year,” said Moore, also a starting point guard on the Castro Valley basketball team.
— Mitch Stephens
THE MOORE FILES
• THE STATS: Moore won gold in the long jump and triple jump at both the North Coast Section Meet of Champions and the CIF State Track and Field Championships. His state-winning mark in the triple jump (50-11.75) was the top high school mark in the nation for 2013.
• ON COLLEGE RECRUTING: “I received a lot of e-mails after the state meet. I’m putting together a list of schools now. I won’t start seriously looking until after July 1. I want to learn as much or more about the school (he’s a 3.5 student) than the track program. I’ll go anywhere in the country if it’s a perfect fit. Leaving California might hurt a little, but I would definitely deal with it.”
• ON FAVORITE ATHLETE ALLEN IVERSON, AND PRACTICE: “I enjoy practice, but sort of like (Iverson) I don’t like the little workouts – stretching, striding. I like to do hard workouts and working really hard.”
• ON HIS TWO EVENTS: “I’ve been long jumping since 10 and triple jumping since I was 14. I like triple jump more because it’s harder. It takes more work and dedication. Basically if you run a 10.5 100, you’re going to be a really good long jumper.”
Photo courtesy www.athletic.net