CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jacob Moore has experienced plenty of change in his four years at Charleston Southern. This week, as he wraps up his collegiate career, Moore hopes to experience a conference championship. Moore enters the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship seeded first in the hammer throw, set for Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at CSU's Bagwell-Settle Track.
Shortly after Moore arrived on campus via Heppner, Oregon, by way of Sedona, Arizona, head coach Tim Langford left to take over the program at South Carolina State. A year later, throws coach Josh Aydlette moved on to the same position at Hawaii. A cross-country move, coupled with competing under three different head coaches and two different throws coaches with a multitude of different teammates, has made Moore's experience at CSU an interesting one. It's one he wouldn't trade.
"If you quit, you give up," said Moore, a six-time member of the Dean's List at CSU. "There's been a lot of growing pains over these last four years. Right now, the program is solid. It's the most solid it's been since I've been here. When faced with adversity and faced with changes, you can jump ship or stay but I recommend staying. I stayed for all four years and I think it was the good choice."
Moore earned his kinesiology degree from CSU this past Saturday, becoming the only member of his incoming class to graduate on time. His parents made the trek from Oregon to see him walk across the stage at the North Charleston Coliseum and they'll be there again as Moore looks to earn a gold medal.
"They're gonna come watch practice and this is the first meet they'll watch me since I won state in high school in shot put," Moore said. "It's exciting for me but it's more exciting for them. They're freaking out about it and are super excited."
Throws coach Brandon Blanton, along with head coach Jim Stintzi, have aided Moore's development as a senior. He took the silver medal in the weight throw at February's Big South Indoor Track & Field Championship with a career-best throw of 15.95 meters. This spring, he added a 51.32 meter toss in the hammer at the North Florida Invitational to earn the top seed in the event entering the conference championship. He is fifth in the shot put and fourth in the discus, with those two events set for Thursday and Friday, respectively.
"My goal is to win it," Moore said. "Looking at past results, I know the guys are good guys but I think consistently, I've been throwing further than them. That's the goal tomorrow – PR and hopefully win a gold medal to finish out senior season."
Moore has finished strong due in part to Blanton's influence. Blanton, a former thrower at Gardner-Webb, is in his second season at CSU.
"He's been tremendous," Moore said. "I had a great coach here my first year with Coach Josh (Aydlette). Second year, I basically had no coach, I had broke my foot, tore rib muscles, I had a concussion and I was just on a very strong downward slope. When Coach B came along, just getting some consistent coaching (was big) and he's a good coach that's really helped me."
"It's a matter of buying into what we're trying to do," Blanton said. "It's a matter of being all into the philosophies and coaching styles of your coach and going from there. Not many can adjust to it the way these guys have."
"His goal is to win it and that's both of our ultimate goals," continued Blanton of Moore's prospects in the hammer. "We'll just see who shows up on that day."