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Track and field: Lisbon native Sarah Moore jumping to consistent success for NYA

May 31—Consistency and competitive drive have led to results for Sarah Moore during the 2024 track and field season.

The Lisbon native competes in the jumping events for North Yarmouth Academy and is coming off two first-place finishes and a second-place showing at the Western Maine Conference championships last week at Lake Region High School in Naples.

The senior will be a contender in the high, long and triple jump at the Class C state championships on Saturday at St. Joseph's College in Standish.

"I would say, just constant practicing, and the competition has been way better," Moore said. "It definitely has been pushing me to exceed my best."

She said being competitive in other sports has also helped her. Moore, a senior, played for NYA's soccer and hockey teams.

She spent her first two years of high school at Lisbon, and helped the Greyhounds win back-to-back girls Class C track and field state titles as a freshman and a sophomore.

"I think I have always had it, from a little kid," Moore said. "Just always being in sports and being so competitive and always needing to beat my brother at things. Just growing up playing hockey — that has definitely helped me with my competition and drive to be better."

Moore's brother, Sean, played soccer at Lisbon, hockey for Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse, and lacrosse for Oak Hill/Lisbon/Morse.

NYA track and field coach Chris Mazzurco said Sarah Moore is independent when it comes to preparing herself for the meets.

"She's an extremely driven individual who knows how to work hard and knows how to do all the prep on her own," Mazzurco said. "You don't have to do a lot of in-between-event coaching with Sarah, because she has put so much time into everything on her own and is so driven. It makes a huge difference. ... Her competitiveness, she definitely rises to competition."

Moore's training goes beyond practice. She also spends time doing her own work at the gym.

Moore has finished first in the high jump at every meet she's competed in, with a season-high of 5 feet, 5 inches on May 7 at a meet at Cape Elizabeth. She has hit 5 feet, 2 inches four times, including a win at the WMC championships.

In the long jump, Moore has reached at least 17 feet in every meet this season. Her season-high is 17 feet, 11 3/4 inches on May 7. She won the MAISAD championships with a jump of 17-11, and the WMC championships at 17-10.

Moore jumped at least 36 feet in the triple jump three times this season. She briefly held the WMC record on Saturday — breaking former Lake Region standout Kate Hall-Harnden's record — with a leap of 37 feet, 2 inches.

Moore was soon bested by her teammate Graca Bila (37-3.5) for the record and conference title.

"It was definitely a good thing to see," Moore said of Bila's jump. "It gave me the drive to try to get where she was because that was a very new thing, and it was good to see, the excitement she had."

Moore's personal record in the triple jump is 37-8.25, which she during her first-place finish at the 2023 New England Championships in Bangor. It ranks as the eighth-longest jump in the state's history.

She also won the long jump (19-0.25 inches) at New Englands, the second-longest jump by a girl from Maine in history, and took second in the high jump (5 feet, 5 inches).

Moore's personal-best in the high jump is 5-6, which she set last year. Mazzurco believes she can surpass that — as well as her other PRs — before this season ends.

"It was the same thing last year, tons of consistency, and in practice, I would see sparkles sort of the next level," Mazzurco said. "For example, in the high jump, she was clearing 5-7, 5-8 in practice, and we were waiting for that to come together in competition. It's the same thing this year, we keep seeing those pieces and all the variables haven't come together just yet. We are hopeful it will before the end of the season."

Making Moore's high jump feats more impressive is that she is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, while most of the other competitors are about 4 inches taller.

"For long and triple, I think it helps me being small because I can fly through the air a little bit more, and you have more momentum off the board," Moore said. "For the high jump, my height doesn't help me, but it helps me because I have the hops for that."

Mazzurco said Moore's high jump training is focused on approach runs and having proper steps and curves to keep her jumps consistent.

She also is explosive and has other skills that can't be taught.

"She's doing things that you can try to coach a kid to do, but some of those things, you just have to get," Mazzurco said. "You can train kids through repetition, but she does it naturally and allows us to focus on other things."

Moore's explosiveness also helped her set the school record in the 100-meter dash (12.75 seconds) in 2023.

Moore has already met the qualifying standard (5 feet, 5 inches) to receive an invitation to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Philadelphia from June 13-16. Moore met the qualifying standard of 5 feet, 5 inches.

"I think it will be a cool experience," Moore said. "It will be nerve-racking, just knowing the competition I will be going against. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do compared to other people, and the fun aspect of a new experience."

Moore will continue her track and field career at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, next season.

She said that the choice between college track or hockey — her favorite sport — was difficult, but she is excited to continue her athletic career at the Division I level.

"It was definitely a tough decision," Moore said. "I've always wanted to go to UNH. It didn't matter what sport — I was really hoping for hockey. The fact I got into UNH and I have the opportunity to do track is amazing."

Moore added that she will continue to play hockey recreationally.

Mazzurco said it was evident soon after Moore joined the NYA track and field team last year that she was a Division I-caliber athlete.

"When we started coaching her last spring, she was pretty talented, that was obvious," Mazzurco said. "After two competitions, it was exceptionally obvious she would be a Division I track athlete if she wanted to be. She's a strong athlete in all of her sports, she just needed to make a choice on what she would pursue at the next level."

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