Jul. 7—Just think. What if Justin Moore had run track his whole youth and prep career?
That question has preoccupied Moore, after his one glorious season on the track and many on the basketball court.
For winning high-jump gold at county, sectional and state, Moore is The Anniston Star's Calhoun County athlete of the year for boys track.
Moore jumped 6 feet, 7 inches at county, sectional and state.
Those weren't his only medals on the year, however. He also won long jump and took third in the 100 at county. He was third in the long jump at sectional and state.
That Moore can jump comes as no surprise to those who saw his highlight-reel dunks for Oxford's basketball team over the years. His windmill finale against Anniston in this year's Calhoun County final punctuated a Yellow Jackets championship.
An all-county pick in basketball, as well, Moore signed to play basketball at Pensacola Community College.
Before heading to PCC, he took a few minutes to reflect on his memorable track season for The Star athlete-of-the-year Q&A:
Question: Why did you come out for track this year?
Answer: My teammate, Bakari (Dailey), had been telling me since 10th grade, but since this was my senior year, I said I might as well go out and try it.
Q: Knowing how well you can jump, what kind of confidence did you bring into this season?
A: I was real confident. Before I even got out there, they were telling me I could be a state champion in it.
Q: When you tried high jump the first time, how did it go?
A: Honestly, it was maybe 5-8.
Q: How long did it take to get to 6-7?
A: It was crazy, because my personal record before the county was 5-10. That day, I guess my legs were just feeling good.
Q: Was that when you started to believe you could win gold at state?
A: Yes sir. They were telling me there's one person jumping 6-7, and he was in 7A. I was first in the state in 6A after that meet, so that gave me a lot of confidence.
Q: When you cleared 6-7 at state and knew you would win, what was the feeling?
A: I was happy. I had Bakari beside me. We were hyped.
Q: What are your thoughts about the season you had?
A: It was good. I really wish I would've started earlier, like around ninth grade.
Q: How high do you think you would've jumped, had there been a basketball goal on the other side of the bar?
A: I don't know, maybe 7 feet.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I might go down next week. I plan on working out with the team when I get there.
Q: With your track accomplishments added on to what you've done in basketball, what are your fondest memories of your high school career?
A: All the games at JSU, the basketball games, our Mountain Brook game (regional semifinals), just because of the environment.
Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.