E.A. Sports Today

Wanting it Moore

White Plains senior caps an eventful career by winning Class 4A boys state championship, Wildcats second as team

White Plains senior Jake Moore comes down the finishing chute on his way to winning the Class 4A boys state championship race. On the cover, he hits the home stretch with a comfortable lead.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OAKVILLE Whether it be on a mile-high mountaintop run somewhere in the Colorado Rockies, a solitary pre-dawn tune-up around the neighborhood or the middle of a local race, the thought of crossing the finish line first at the state championship meet was never far from the back of Jake Moore’s mind.

Even if it did at times look as if the prize was too far out of reach.

Dream became reality Saturday, though, when the White Plains senior won that elusive state title in the final race of his career, taking the boys Class 4A race to join an exclusive club of runners to bring an individual AHSAA cross country state championship back to Calhoun County.

Moore covered the Oakville Indian Mounds Park course in 16:38.60. It may not have been his best time ever, but he looked in control the entire race. He won by 17 seconds over Tripp Miller of St. Michael Catholic. Munford’s Dakota Frank was third.

And for maybe only the tenth time since they’ve been doing this together, his father and coach, John Moore, was there to see his son cross the finish line – and barely beat him there in a sprint across the course to make it on time.

“This is awesome; I’m on the moon right now,” Moore said. “I’ve been imagining coming across the state finish line just about every single day this week. I’ve had dreams about winning. I ‘ve had dreams about losing. All the dreams were different. It was constantly in the back of my head this whole season about winning the state. I’m just so happy now.”

His road to the state title has been anything but a smooth ride. It’s been more like a six-year rollercoaster filled with potholes and setbacks and challenges. Until this season he had dealt with some sort of health issue every year since seventh grade.

He had a broken arm in seventh grade that kept him out of the state meet. He went through his eighth- and ninth-grade seasons with a heart murmur. A broken hip kept him out of the state meet as a tenth grader and last year he had an auto-immune disorder that impacted his food choices.

And then there were the disappointments on the course. He was second in this race last year after leading most of the middle stages of the race and getting past around the two-mile marker. 

“He’s been going up mountains and down valleys for six years,” John Moore said. “My team in general, they’re fighters. Don’t count them out.”

“It’s been crazy,” Jake agreed. “All six years of running has been up and down. I’m glad I get to end it on the uphill.”

And he went uphill to reach the promised land. To help give himself and his team a better chance at success this year Moore and three of his teammates spent a couple weeks of their COVID-19 remote learning training at altitude in Colorado. They missed a couple local races while there, which actually skewed their pre-race projection, but they got a lot done.

He suspects he’d have had similar results without the trip – his desire for it was that strong – but he was grateful for the experience.

On Saturday he pulled away from Frank about a half mile into the race when he wasn’t comfortable with the pace being set and steadily put distance between himself and the field.

“At sectional I kind of burned myself out sprinting out of the gate real fast,” he said. “Today I kind of just followed my head. I know I want to lead it. I don’t like to be in the back of the pack and work my way up, so I let him kind of set the pace at the start and work with that, but I didn’t really like the pace he was setting so I just kind of went with my own pace.”

As he approached the finish, he felt “completely different” from any other race before. He wasn’t tired, spent or anything. In fact, the first thing he did after crossing the line was turn around and help bring the teammates home.

In winning Saturday, Moore joins an elite group of Calhoun County runners to win state championships. Ohatchee’s Jayda Fair became the county’s first girls state champion when she won last year’s 2A race, but you have to go all the way back to Jacksonville’s Ian Nelson in 2006 to find the only other.

Moore’s Wildcats finished second as a team, 13 points behind champion American Christian. They were projected fifth, but coach John Moore knew the reason for that and that reason is what helped them bring home the first state map in program history.

They picked up 18 points right off the bat, with Jake Moore winning, Kayd Hightower finishing fifth (17:08.98) and Carson Limbaugh finishing 12th(17:47.67). Caden Johnson was 31st with a PR (18:34.93) and Cole Senciboy 63rd(19:32.57), but all the runners behind Moore picked up points when the scoring was adjusted for runners not associated with the team race.

Their race average was better than the champion and they were the only boys team 1A through 4A with a sub-18:00 average (17:56).

“I knew we were projected fifth, but I also knew we wouldn’t end up fifth,” John Moore said. “Kind of like County, projected third, but I knew we’d get higher than third. They project it off your virtual meet and everybody’s best time and since my top five guys were out of town on some of our faster races I knew that wouldn’t really hold up.

“I wasn’t planning to get this high up. I was thinking if we got third that would be a great end-of-the-season – top three. I told the boys at the line that: They got us projected fifth, we’re not going to be fifth. I really think we can get third and put ourselves in a position to get second.

“I said y’all just put yourself in that position and then let me do the point-counting as you’re running and I’ll figure out if I need to scream at you or not.”

Jake Moore hits the tape as the Class 4A state champion. (Submitted photo)



Team scores: Providence Christian 46, Whitesburg Christian 79, JB Pennington 126, Houston Academy 126, Trinity Presbyterian 129, Altamont 136, Pleasant Valley 144, Glencoe 224, Montgomery Academy 246, Cottage Hill 253, TR Miller 282, Ohatchee 341, Colbert Heights 358.

Top 10 individuals: Katie Giles, Glencoe 18:57.09; Holley Hart, Houston Academy 19:32.43; Grace Crim, Providence Christian 19:42.30; Millicent Talmadge, Providence Christian 19:44.98; x-Addison Embry, Lauderdale County 19:59.80; Madelyn Patterson, Providence Christian 20:16.59; Lucy McGee, Whitesburg Christian 20:39.68; Autumn Sansing, JB Pennington 20:41.00; Frances Overton, Altamont 20:46.96; Mary Liz Hill, Trinity Presbyterian 20:50.01.

Pleasant Valley: 11. Trinity Roberts 20:54.64; 24. Eva Bryant 21:49.01; 36. Bailey Brown 22:25.94; 45. Elizabeth Hall 22:41.37, 48. Macey Roper 22:43.46.

Ohatchee: 68. Magen Brown 23:36.42; 81. Ashlie Easterwood 24:19.90; Coalie Easterwood 24:45.86; 101. Ella Whitehead 24:54.38; 131. Taylor Dover 27:41.48.
Saks: 86. JayOnna Cobb 24:28.75.

Team scores:
St. Bernard 92, JB Pennington 97, Providence Christian 111, Pleasant Valley 112, Altamont 160, Houston Academy 214, Mobile Christian 228, Trinity Presbyterian 248, Holly Pond 250, Winfield City 257, Montgomery Academy 259, Hokes Bluff 273, Cottage Hill 295, Prattville Christian 304, Whitesburg Christian 355, Elkmont 364.

Top 10 individuals: Conner Patterson, Providence Christian 16:28.63; x-Collin Mayfield, Gerraldine 16:33.18; x-Ethan Lemons, Vinemont 16:37.37; Cayden Nelson, Pleasant Valley 16:45.07; Paul Gonzalez, JB Pennington 16:53.63; Gunnar Smith, Houston Academy 16:53.64; Barton Erwin, Mobile Christian 17:08.28; Christopher Putman, Holly Pond 17:17.05; x-Luke Fair, Ohatchee 17:27.45; Walker Reusser, Mobile Christian 17:28.09.

Pleasant Valley: 4. Cayden Nelson 16:45.07; 21. Oliver Young 18:04.99; 32. Holt Bentley 18:25.49; 38. Alec Vess 18:47.43; 42. Nik Baggett 18:56.91.

Ohatchee: 9. Luke Fair 17:27.45; 125. Cullen Dover 21:32.43; Joseph Kelley 23:35.06.


Team scores:
Cold Springs 33, Hatton 91, Ider 110, Athens Bible 133, Pisgah 137, Sand Rock 205, Bayshore Christian 217, Locust Fork 232, St. Luke’s 235, Faith Christian 262, Mars Hill 271, Lexington 285, Winston County 290, Donoho 341.

Top 10 individuals: Makinley Traylor, Ider 20:43.16; Reagan Parris, Cold Springs 20:55.40; Brooke Crider, Cold Springs 21:22.98; Macie Huffstutler, Cold Springs 21;27.27; x-Breia Smith, Cornerstone 21:41.14, x-Libby Tierce, Orange Beach 21:42.59; Neidyn Lopez, Hatton 21:42.65; Rowan Yeager, St. Lukes 21:44.97; Halle Curry, Locust Fork 21:53.84; Emma Hancock, Cold Springs 21:56.64.

Faith Christian: 52. Evie Garrett 24:08.58; 54. Erin McVeigh 24:09.25; 56. Chloe Belcher 24:11.74; 95. Lily Medellin 27:09.20; 110. Onastasia Marple 29:52.69.

Donoho: 16. Taylor Simmons 22:35.95; 108. Rory Parks 29:30.50; 109. Macey Thompson 29:41.93; 118. Emma Obermaier 31:18.74; 120. Ansley Simmons 31:35.26.

Team scores:
Hatton 67, Bayshore Christian 81, Cold Springs 95, St. Luke’s 123, Pisgah 171, Westbrook Christian 198, Locust Fork 201, Faith Christian 207, Mars Hill 210, Lindsay Lane 216, Athens Bible 225, Sand Rock 257, Pleasant Home 298.

Top 10 individuals: Ethan Edgeworth, Cold Springs 16:41.94; Jack Bradforrd, Athens Bible 17:31.98; Asher Curp, Westbrook Christian 17:33.99; Zachary Haataja, St. Luke’s 17:51.04; Jairo Lopez, Hatton 17:55.01; x-Thomas Ross, Decatur Heritage 17:55.67; Henry Woodall, Lindsay Lane 17:57.41; x-Winston Nolen, Tharptown 18:01.26; Garrett Dolbear, St. Luke’s 18:09.65; Boaz Demlan, Bayshore Christian 18:10.87.

Faith Christian: 21. Levi Garrett 18:43.81; 32. Samuel Thacker 19:21.84; 44. Eli Mitchel 19:41.20; 76. Aidan Elliott 20:42.83; 118. Cameron Rogers 22:48.18.

Donoho: 69. Carter Stremmel 20:29.51.

JCA: 23. Tyler Doggrell 18:46.60.


Team scores:
Lawrence County 36, UMS-Wright 70, Faith Academy 97, St. John Paul II 107, Alexandria 176, Guntersville 217, Demopolis 220, Corner 238, John Carroll 248, Brewer 250, Clay Central 285, Lincoln 308, Cordova 314, Boaz 328, Catholic-Montgomery 336.

Top 10 individuals: Emily Shumock, Faith Academy 19:24.89; Katie Mae Coan, Lawrence County 19:28.27; Taylor Williams, Lawrence 19:43.99; x-Molly Conway, Beauregard 19:57.82; Brenda Ellis, UMS-Wright 20:02.77; Ella Zierdt, SJP II 20:09.69; Savannah Williams, Lawrence County 20:17.75; Myka Rogers, Corner 20:18.21; Carlen Cook, UMS-Wright 20:19.18; Ava Martin, Lawrence County 20:21.39.

Alexandria: 24. Michaela Moore 22:03.25; 28. Michaela Watts 22:19.23; 58. Trinity Pope 23:54.88; 60. Toryn Barnes 24:00.43; 66. Alexandria Buchanan 24:24.60.

Team scores:
St. John Paul II 61, UMS-Wright 69, Catholic-Montgomery 113, Lincoln 161, John Carroll 181, Faith Academy 197, Douglas 214, Tallassee 216, Fairview 217, Alexandria 222, Elberta 234, Demopolis 292, Clay Central 349, West Point 354, Corner 369, Cordova 412.

Top 10 individuals: Woodrow Dean, Tallassee 15:33.83; Joseph Perry, UMS-Wright 16:20.43; x-Steele Joiner, Lawrence County 16:32.42; Peyton Bailey, Fairview 16:38.16; Adam Gautreaux, SJP II 16:38.45; Matthew Taylor, UMS-Wright 16:38.59; Brandon Cianfaglion, SJP II 16:39.36; Connor Stoots, Faith Academy 16:48.25; Sam Leslie, Catholic-Montgomery 16:49.86; Justin Walker, Faith Academy 16:52.84.

Alexandria: 16. Jonah Medders 17:29.02; 34. Ben Wade 18:15.34; 53. DeShaun Foster 18:45.47; 79. Caleb Wood 19:20.92; 98. Landon Phillips 19:45.36.


Team scores:
American Christian 39, Westminster-Oak Mountain 66, Bayside Academy 70, White Plains 96, Deshler 130, Ashville 168, West Limestone 217, St. Michael 266, Westminster Christian 273, Brooks 301, Haleyville 314, Alabama Christian 325, LAMP 333, Jacksonville 351, DARA 385.

Top 10 individuals: x-Presley Miles, St. James 19:11.75; Hallie Porterfield, Westminster-OM 19:27.77; Karis Kelley, American Christian 19:55.88; Lucy Guthrie, American Christian 20:04.00; Dani Blakley, American Christian 20:07.96; Hanna Adams, Westminster-OM 20:15.42; x-Leah Taylor, Geneva 20:15.79; Kate Finch, Alabama Christian 20:28.39; Catherine Doyle, Bayside Academy 20:44.38; Annie Midyett, Bayside Academy 20:45.76.

White Plains: 16. Anna Strickland 21:24.67; 20. Camden Wilson 21:54.89; 22. Adriana Sotelo 21:58.50; 24. Maddyn Conn 21:59.11; 35. Baylie Webb 22:44.35.
Jacksonville: 49. Emma Easterling 23:23.43; 88. Kennedy Sparks 25:18.83; 108. Trifas Andree 27:09.30; 124. Kaylee Snead 28:54. 76; 125. Isa Alvidrez 28:55.50.

Team scores:
American Christian 87, White Plains 100, Westminster-Oak Mountain 134, St. Michael 142, Oneonta 155, Westminster Christian 161, Ashville 183, Bayside Academy 187, Northside 257, LAMP 258, Deshler 269, Wilson 270, DARA 289, Priceville 309, Alabama Christian 326, Indian Springs 398.

Top 10 individuals: Jake Moore, White Plains 16:38.60; Tripp Miller, St. Michael 16:55.54; x-Dakota Frank, Munford 17:00.43; Seth Peebles, Westminster Christian 17:05.01; Kayd Hightower, White Plains 17:08.98; Wyatt Knight, Ashville 17:25.33; Kyle VanKirk, Westminster Christian 17:27.10; Cole Byers, American Christian 17:33.32; Andrew Purcell, Westminster-OM 17:34.42; Alex Byers, American Christian 17:41.90.

White Plains: 1. Jake Moore 16:38.60; 5. Kayd Hightower 17:08.98; 12. Carson Limbaugh 17:47.67; 31. Caden Johnson 18:34.93; 63. Cole Senciboy 19:32.57.

Jacksonville: 34. Evan Garner 18:38.68; 80. Walker Bolt 19:56.55; 103. Fisher Anderson 20:32.41.


Team champion:
Homewood 54.
Team runner-up: Mountain Brook 64.
Race winner: Elizabeth Robertson, Mountain Brook 18:43.15.
Oxford: 104. Emerson Maniscalco 22:53.75.

Team scores:
Scottsboro 31, Mountain Brook 73, Homewood 85, Cullman 163, Briarwood Christian 180, Randolph 207, Chelsea 211, Helena 212, Southside-Gadsden 223, Spanish Fort 272, Wetumpka 319, Oxford 353, Buckhorn 360, McGill-Toolen 390, Springville 400, Hartselle 415, Opelika 439, Calera 539, Northridge 540, Gulf Shores 609, Jasper 638, Robertsdale 644, Stanhope Elmore 672.

Top 10 individuals: Miles Brush, Chelsea 15:21.41; Cooper Atkins, Scottsboro 15:43.45; Hayden Judge, Scottsboro 16:01.05; x-Jack Lowe, Pell City 16:04.25; Benson Atkins, Scottsboro 16:04.32; Brady Barton, Helena 16:04.70; Crawford Hope, Homewood 16:09.28; Evan Hill, Scottsboro 16:13.77; Clayton Collins, Mountain Brook 16:37.43; John Roberts, Mountain Brook 16:52.98.

Oxford: 13. Noah George 16:56.30; 62. Chad Turner 17:52.50; 74. Josue Alvarez 18:07.77; 137. Braxton Snider 19:11.03; 143. Wesley Robinson 19:17.01.

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