FREEPORT ALUM AND ARKANSAS RAZORBACK GABE MOORE finished the 2017 Thorpe Cup decathlon in eighth place with a score of 7,370. He was the fifth highest scoring American at the meet. (Photo courtesy of Gabe Moore)
By REID TUCKER
Freeport High School grad and current Arkansas Razorback Gabe Moore took the show on the road to Germany, helping Team USA deliver a strong showing in the 2017 edition of the Thorpe Cup decathlon.
The Thorpe Cup is a prestigious international track meet named for early 20th century Olympic great Jim Thorpe, at which representatives of America and Germany go head-to-head in both the decathlon and the heptathlon. This year’s meet took place from July 29-30 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Despite winning both events last year, the Americans split with their German counterparts at the 2017 meet. Team Deutschland pulled out the win in the decathlon by an overall score of 38,642-37,321. However, the American ladies came out on top in the heptathlon though, besting Team Deutschland 17,461-16,280.
As for Moore, individually he finished toward the middle of the pack in the overall standings, coming in eighth place with a score of 7,370, but he was fifth among his team mates. Team USA scoring leader was Filip Scott (7,632), who averaged a fourth-place finish after all 10 events. The scant difference in score between Team USA’s top five is indicative of each team member’s consistency, an asset that’s sure to help them out should they compete together again next year.
Though Moore didn’t quite do as well as he had hoped against some of the toughest competition he’s faced thus far in a career that’s already seen him compete in several international-tier meets, he said the Thorpe Cup experience was by far the best yet.
“The meet was the most fun I’ve ever had at a track meet for sure,” Moore said upon his return stateside. “I didn’t score as well as I could have, but I had a blast. Germany was beautiful and it was awesome learning what a different country was like. I also got to know some of the guys on my team really well. I’m blessed to have made the team and traveled to Europe and met so many great people.”
One of those Moore met was Team Deutschland’s Ituah Enahoro, 19, who put on a clinic, finishing either first or second in every event of the decathlon. Enahoro was undoubtedly the star performer at the weekend-long meet, but he was also the source of much controversy, owing to a question of his eligibility to compete for Team Deutschland though he isn’t a German citizen. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Thorpe Cup’s sanctioning body, lists Enahoro – the sole non-native German on his team – as claiming Nigerian affiliation, but event organizers allowed him to compete for Team Deutschland as a representative of the Netherlands.
The odd – perhaps questionable – solution by the event operators aside, Enahoro put in a solid piece of work at the 2017 Thorpe Cup, running up a personal best score of 8,028 to take the win in the decathlon. His team mate Renee Stauss, 30, also PR’d, finally breaking the 8,000-point threshold in his last-ever decathlon.
Moore’s best finishes came in the 100-meter dash and the long jump, in both of which he came in sixth. He crossed the line with a time of 11.15 seconds in the 100 and he set a mark of 22 feet, 11 ¾ inches in the long jump, one of his historically best events. Moore also did well in the throwing events, grabbing seventh spot in the discus throw (141-11 ¼) and javelin throw (168-2 ¼), and eighth place in the shot put (43-5 ¾). He also finished eighth in the pole vault (14-11) and 1,500-meter run (5:00.09). Even his worst results were still in the top 10, including ninth-place showings in the 110-meter hurdles (15.06) and 400-meter hurdles (49.33), and 10th in the high jump (6-1 ½).
Team USA continued its winning ways on the women’s side of the Thorpe Cup. The ladies locked in the top five spots, and all but two of the top 10 places were occupied by Americans. Led by 24-year-old Alex Gochenour, who turned in a final score of 5,898, Team USA’s Allison Reaser (5,782), Chari Hawkins (5,781), Lindsay Schwartz (5,759) and Tiffeny Parker (5,715) all finished higher than the highest-scoring German, Sophie Hamman, 21, whose final score of 5,707 was less than that of the 28-year-old Parker.