Hurdlers shine for Midland
CHARLESTON -- Cabell Midland's Nate Moore lived up to the billing in the West Virginia State Track and Field Meet.
The senior entered the 99th meet for boys (39th for girls) ranked No. 1 in the 110 hurdles. He made it through the trials on Friday, then sped down the Laidley Field track in the finals in 14.65 to win and show the ranking he had prior to track's big show was dead on.
Moore, along with fellow senior Niles Dailey, had more incentive. They didn't want to let Knights hurdles coach Jerry Smalley down again. A year ago, the two failed to make the finals in their specialty.
"Coach Smalley kept talking about it all year. You get better, you get better," Moore said after his 110 victory. "We didn't want to mess up again."
After Moore crossed the finish line, he looked back and saw Dailey go down just past the finish line. Dailey, who placed fifth, had a pulled quad muscle in the left leg. Moore helped his teammate to the infield where he got some medical attention.
"I'm excited, but Niles going down takes a little out of it," Moore said. "I got out good, pulled ahead and thought 'don't hit any hurdles now.'"
In the 300 hurdles, Moore was fourth and Dailey fifth. The two, along with freshman Daniel Jarrell and junior Jacob Morgan, started the hurdles bonanza Friday evening with a victory in the shuttle hurdle relays. They ran a personal-best 56.84.
Smalley was all smiles at the meet. Quite a contrast to mid-March when the shuttle team got off to a humble start. Jarrell didn't secure his spot until nearly a month into the season.
"I'm thinking let's hope we get under 60 seconds," Smalley said. "Nate and Niles are good leaders. They help with technique and keep runners steady. At the Gazettes (Gazette/Friends of Coal Relays on April 26-27 at Laidley) I felt we were OK. We still fiddled around some. We had three. That fourth spot was tough.
"This is so much better than last year. We had a meltdown."
"It's a great feeling to be state champs," Morgan said.
Moore and Dailey made great strides in four years. They knew little about hurdles when they began their freshman season.
"High school's so different," Moore said. "It was unsettling at first. Last year we didn't perform. We were like deer in the headlights. It was all clear to us this time."
Moore, Dailey and the shuttle hurdle team accounted for 28 of Cabell Midland's 78 points. The Knights finished runner-up to
"We were counting on them and they did the job," Knights coach Chris Parsons said. "We had a great state meet. Jefferson just had too much for us."
"Last year zero," said Moore, who'll run track and play football at West Virginia Wesleyan. "We wanted to contribute this year. We didn't want to leave it all on the distance guys."
Jarrell admitted he had to make some adjustments.
"I wasn't used to this," he said of clearing high school hurdles. "I didn't want to force anything. I had to get used to the atmosphere."
"Daniel really stepped up," Smalley said.
Dailey also played basketball for the Knights, who had a tough season. Then came track.
"This was so much fun," Dailey said.
With Moore and Dailey departing, Smalley knows what he must do before the 2014 season.
"Got to develop more hurdlers," he said.