By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY -- Nisha Moore can do it all on the track.
The Sherando senior is so versatile that there's a good chance she will race in every running event except for hurdles for the Warriors this season. Not only can she run all those events, but she's also the Warriors' best option for each event.
"She's versatile," Sherando assistant track coach Tim Ritter said. "I think she could even jump if we had room for her and an opportunity to get her to the pits. She's probably, from every event other than the hurdles, she's our fastest. I would say right now it's likely that she's our best runner in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200."
Moore said she started running track in seventh grade. As a freshman she ran both track and played soccer for the Warriors, but had to choose between the two sports entering her sophomore year.
She chose track because she felt like it would be the better sport for her in the long run.
Moore started out mostly as a sprinter. She finished seventh in the 100 in the Northwestern District meet as a freshman, and placed third in the 200. She went on to finish 10th in the Region II meet.
As a sophomore, Moore placed seventh in the 200 in the Region II meet, and was on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
Ritter said they realized by the end of her sophomore season the potential Moore had in middle distance and long distance races.
"When she came up here she was just pure speed, and she wanted to be a speedster," Ritter said. "As we got looking around and saw what her endurance truly was, unusual for a sprinter, we started trying to migrate her towards middle distance.
"I always felt like if she was going to go to college, and make a difference on a college team, it was going to be middle distance."
Moore said of all the events she has run, she likes the 400 the best.
"It's a hard race, but it's the perfect distance," Moore said. "It's not full out, but it's not really slow, either. It's not pacing. You just need to go."
Ritter, also the head cross country coach, was able to talk Moore into going out for the cross country team in her junior season.
Moore said she had coaches asking her to run cross country since she was in middle school, but it never appealed to her. She finally decided to give it a try as a junior.
"I did not like it at all the first year," Moore said. "Now, I'm like 'It's not too bad.'"
She finished 10th as a junior in the Northwestern District meet. This past season she again qualified for regionals, and finished 31st.
Moore was the top distance runner for the Warriors this season.
Her success in cross country has helped her in track, including indoor track.
Last year she ran indoor track for the first time and had a strong season. She finished 11th in the 300 and seventh in the 500 in the Region II meet.
She followed that up with an even better indoor track season this year. She placed seventh in the 500 at the state meet.
She also helped the 4x800 relay team qualify for the state meet, by placing third in the Region II meet. The group was only seeded eighth for the event.
"That was a huge surprise," Moore said. "I didn't think I could run any of those times indoors. And I wasn't sure how everyone else would pull through as a team because everyone was really nervous. I was like, 'Well, we're just going to run and see,' but we did a lot better than we thought. It just helped us realize that we can do that every time."
Moore ran the final leg of the relay, and the team was in fifth when she started. She passed two runners to help advance the team to the state meet.
"That was the of one of the only times I've ever raced anyone, really," Moore said. "That's one of the first times I really went after people and passed them. I wasn't thinking about how I felt or anything. I was just thinking about getting the time and place [to qualify for states]."
While she enjoys running individual events, Moore said she likes the relays just as much. Ritter said she's very important to the success of Sherando's relays.
"If we want to put a quality relay team at 4x100, 4x800 or a 4x400 she's likely to be on our team, because she's our fastest 100, 400 and 800 runner."
Of course, individuals are limited on how many events they can run in meets, so Ritter said they will have to pick and choose where to run Moore throughout the year.
Ritter said they will probably use her for all of the running events, except hurdles, during the course of the year. Ritter said she is already in Sherando's record books in the 100, 200 and 400, and he thinks she could get there in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
"There's no doubt in my mind that she can be in all of those," Ritter said. "She has the tools to do that."
Last year in outdoor track, Moore finished sixth in the Region II meet in the 400, and placed 15th in the Group AA state meet.
Moore said she wants to make the most of her senior season, and do even better this year.
"Every year I've seen myself improve," Moore said. "Since I got to states last year, now I can see myself competing and doing even better."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org