By REID TUCKER
Gabe Moore was not on vacation in his first trip out of the country. He had work to do.
A sixth-place finish in the octathlon gave him top spot among his team mates from the USA at the IAAF World Youth Championships, held July 10-14 in Donetsk, Ukraine, and proved he deserves his spot among the best high school athletes in the world. Moore wrapped up the two-day octathlon with a final score of 6,013, near the top of a field comprising 29 athletes from 26 different countries, back 438 points from gold medalist Karsten Warholm of Norway and 210 points shy of breaking into the third place spot held by the Czech Republic’s Jan Dolezal.
Moore was fifth after the first day’s four events, just 58 points out of second place, leading off with a meet-high third-place finish in the 100-meter run, which he dispatched in 11.28 seconds. He came in eighth with a 6.9-meter distance in the long jump and nabbed fifth in the shot-put with a mark of 13.63 meters. Moore was just shy of the podium in the 400 run, his fourth-place time of 49.66 wrapping up the first day.
The Freeport High School senior-to-be struggled a little on the second day of competition, finishing the 110-meter hurdles in 14.74 seconds to claim 14th spot, and then came in 15th on the high jump with a mark of 1.87 meters. He broke into the top-10 on the javelin with a personal-best throw of 51.81 meters, and he finished the day with a 20th-spot result of 2:56.18 in the 1,000-meter run. Altogether, Moore scored three points for the U.S. team and finished ahead of both Ohio’s John Lint, who won the USA National Youth Trials earlier in July, and Santiago Ford of Cuba, who had the highest score worldwide going into this year’s IAAF World Youth Championship.
Though Moore and the rest of Team USA made it back home Tuesday, the Herald was unable to reach the Freeport native before press time. Be sure to check out next week’s edition of the DeFuniak Herald for an interview with Moore and other local up-and-coming track and field athletes.