MileSplit Ohio's Nate Shively recently sat down with the recently announced 2020 Gatorade Ohio Boys Cross Country Player of the Year, Uniontown-Lake's Nathan Moore. The senior capped off a standout XC season, winning the Division I state title in a time of 14:59.50.
In nine total in-state races throughout 2020, Moore placed first in each competition. He finished the season ranked sixth in the country by MileSplit. Also, during the fall, Moore announced his decision to stay home and compete for the Walsh Cavaliers in college.
MileSplit Ohio: Where were you when you found out that you were this year's winner?
NM: I found that I had won the award when I was outside at track practice with my team.
MileSplit Ohio: This is the 36th year of this award, and you are the first Ohio boys cross country winner from Lake High School. How does it feel to have that distinction, especially with the strong runners Lake has had in the past?
NM: I feel very honored to receive an award that many other successful people I look up too have received in the past. To be the first cross country athlete from Lake to win it, brings the team a sense of pride as we've had multiple all Ohio finishes, but not a Gatorade POY. Many of the successful Lake runners of the past are my role models so I feel very accomplished to take this award home to the team!
MileSplit Ohio: This award also recognizes your accomplishments off of the course, which you excel in academics and music. Why are both of those things important to you?
NM: Academics and fine arts are crucial to who I am because they help me learn and express myself as a person. The old saying "Knowledge is Power" holds very true to me. I try to give forth my best effort whenever focusing on academics or fine arts.
MileSplit Ohio: Moving forward, what are your goals for this track season, your final one as a high school athlete?
NM: My goals for this track season are to help lead our 4x800 meter relay team to the state tournament and to go on and win the state 3200 meter run in a meet record time.
MileSplit Ohio: Winning this award, you have an opportunity to "Play It Forward" and award a grant to a local or national youth sports organization of your choice. Have you decided which organization to award the grant? If so, why did you choose that organization?
NM: I have decided to nominate the Lake Athletics Booster Club for this grant. I choose this non-profit organization because they have supported not only me, but all of Lake High School in achieving all of their athletic goals, no matter who they are. I'm choosing to give back to them to show all of my appreciation towards their generous giving over the years.
MileSplit Ohio: What was your favorite memory from this past XC season?
NM: My favorite memory from this Cross Country season would be watching my teammates run huge personal best times to place both placed Top Ten. I finished and watched as Ian Clevinger came in setting a new personal best by 25 seconds (16:31 -> 16:05) and Conner Wertman by 56 seconds (17:09 -> 16:13). It showed them that hard work and perseverance will come always come though and never abandon you. It was magical seeing all of the pieces come together at a meet that mattered.
MileSplit Ohio: What is your favorite XC workout?
NM: My favorite cross country workout would be the grass repeats (.93 mi) our coach has us do over hills and not-so-pleasant terrain. It's always exciting to do because you know you're going to get a good workout in and test yourself every time. We often say "It separates the men from the boys." This workout and route has been ran for over 30+ years so it's really cool to compare times from Lake athletes from the past.
MileSplit Ohio: Favorite long run spot?
NM: Quail Hollow, hands down. It has hills, gravel roads, turns, but most importantly very little cars.
MileSplit Ohio: Favorite pre-race meal? Post-race meal?
NM: My favorite pre-race meal is a pepperoni pizza from a local Italian joint, Carlos Trattoria. I have had my pre-race meal there for over five years consecutively now. My favorite post-race meal would be wings or a burger and fries, nothing hits better.
MileSplit Ohio: Who would you like to thank for helping you achieve this distinction?
NM: I would like to thank my coach, my family, my girlfriend, my teammates, my mentors/role models and certainly the Lake Athletic Booster Club for helping me achieve this special award.