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State track and field championships: North Hall's Abi Moore captures state title in the 800-meter race
North Hall's Abi Moore stands atop the podium after winning the 800-meter run at the Class 4A state championship on May 13 in Albany. Photo courtesy Sam Borg For The Times

North Hall’s Abi Moore used her shining moment to give credit to her network of support, with an emphasis on her Christian faith.

Running the 800-meter championship, the Lady Trojans’ junior earned the state’s top prize, finishing with a time of 2 minutes, 15.75 seconds Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.

But this was not solely an individual accomplishment.

For Moore, it was something to share with everyone who’s been there on her prolific running journey, which still has one more year remaining at North Hall.

“I give all the glory to God for giving me the ability to run, my family for sacrificing so much for me, my coaches for pouring into me and my teammates for being there beside me,” Moore said.

A new personal-best time for Moore, she’s made running the half-mile race an athletic passion.

And, in the process, she’s become more and more decorated. Her first two years, Moore reached the podium, but was set on taking the next step this season.

Coming into the 2023 championship, Moore said her coach Sam Borg provided some important advice before the race.

North Hall’s coach said not to worry about not being in front at the end of the first lap, Moore said.

"Abi executed a perfect race plan today," Borg said. "She deserves this moment.

"Distance coach Art Dacosta works tirelessly with our track athletes and had our kids ready to compete this weekend. Our program is proud of these kids and families." 

That stuck with Moore, who said she was in about third place at completion of the first 400.

Then, with about 250 yards left, she kicked it into overdrive for the sprint to the finish.

“I made sure not to leave anything in the tank,” Moore said.

Once finished in sweltering conditions, North Hall’s distance state champion didn’t have any particularly memorable celebration, but she did pour water on top of her head, just to try and cool off a bit.

Despite the crowing personal achievement, Moore took the occasion to highlight the accomplishments of her entire team.

“I’m proud of all my teammates,” Moore said. “We had two other runners who got on the podium today.”

Meanwhile, it was another strong day for other runners from schools in Hall County.

On Day 3 of state championship meets, there were 14 top-eight finishes by athletes from Hall County, including multiple trips to the podium for Gainesville’s John Jessup and Flowery Branch’s Bella Brick.

Jessup was state runner-up in the 1600 (4:17.99) and third in the 800 (1:55) in the Class 6A championship races.

The Red Elephants had four runners take a podium position in the one-mile race. Joining Jessup on the boys’ side was Conner Proffitt in fourth place (4:20.48), while their girls runners Samantha Hartman earned sixth place (5:32.07) and Josabeth Graciano finished seventh overall (5:32.33).

Also taking second, Cherokee Bluff’s Hannah Cheek was state runner-up for Class 4A in the 100 hurdles (14.64). The Lady Bears’ 800-relay squad took seventh overall (1:43.81).

In Class 5A, Brick had another superb showing, claiming third in the 1600 (5:11) and sixth in the 800 (2:21.09).

In the girls 1600 race for Class 4A, North Hall’s Clodgah O’Bryant took third place (5:08), while Cherokee Bluff’s Adison Myers placed sixth (5:18).

North Hall’s Bryant Young claimed seventh place in the 1600 (4:25). 

Flowery Branch's 1600-meter boys relay team earned seventh place (3:26).

In the team standings, North Hall's girls took sixth place for Class 4A. 

In Class 6A, Gainesville's boys took 10th. 

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