Moore sets new NAIA ‘A’ Standard


COLUMBUS — With NAIA National ‘A’ Standard performances at two different track and field events in the shot put already in his back pocket during the outdoor season, Shawnee State freshman thrower Justin Moore has long proven himself as one of the best throwers in the nation.

Saturday afternoon’s performance at the second and final day of the Jesse Owens Classic by the alum of nearby Valley High School simply made that statement a more pronounced one.

Moore, who posted three throws at an NAIA National ‘A’ Standard mark on Saturday, posted his best mark of 53 feet and nine inches to reach the final flight — setting the 11th-best mark in the NAIA with his performance in the Columbus-based event.

The talented freshman, who already ranked 16th nationally following his performance at the Cherry Blossom Invitational in Athens that featured a throw of 52 feet and 10-and-three-quarters inches, exceeded that mark quickly with a 53 feet and one inch posting on his second attempt to reach the final round.

Moore — the only freshman and the only non-Division I participant to reach the finals — then stepped it up further, notching a 53-foot and nine-inch throw on his next-to-last jaunt.

Moore finished off the day with a 53-foot and seven-inch toss — as all three of his throws went well beyond the NAIA National ‘A’ Standard cutoff.

By finishing ninth in the 27-thrower field, Moore bettered seven NCAA Division I throwers from four programs — including Connecticut, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State and Youngstown State.

Moore’s competition was stout in every sense of the word.

The winner of the event, Ohio State senior Hayden Tobias, is a two-time first-team USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American who finished sixth in the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships — while third-place finisher Carlos Aviles, another Ohio State senior, was a Second Team USTFCCCA Outdoor All-American in the discus who finished 14th in that event at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Along with Moore, Alan Austin, who competed in the discus, placed 20th with a 140-foot and six-inch throw.

Austin, who is also a freshman and a graduate of Piketon High School, placed second among all freshman — and bettered four NCAA Division I competitors from three different programs, including Connecticut, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio State.

The SSU men’s track and field team will be back in action next Thursday and Friday at the River States Conference Championships, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa. — with Austin and Moore competing as well.

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