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Raven no fledgling for women’s track

BY MICHELE DANNO | DECEMBER 15, 2009 7:30 AM

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Most prospective recruits might consider the Iowa track and field team’s last-place Big Ten finish in the spring of 2009 a deterrent.

But freshman sprinter Raven Moore chose to run at Iowa because of it.

“Iowa’s last-place finish made me want to come in and help the team,” she said. “I wanted to be different, and I didn’t want to go to the places where all the good people go. I wanted to start something new at a new place and let Iowa be known.”

Although Moore was recruited by a number of competitive track schools including Mississippi, Florida State, Notre Dame, Columbia, and Georgia State, she said Iowa had added appeal because it was “different.”

The Atlanta native said she had never been to the Midwest before making her official visit during her senior year of high school. Iowa sprinting coach and recruiting coordinator Clive Roberts said he began “building a relationship” with Moore after researching her prep career.

Qualifying for the Georgia state championships four years in a row and winning four state titles put Moore on the map for prospective recruiters. Her best events, the 100- and 200-meter dashes, brought her four individual crowns her freshman and sophomore years.

While her career rocketed in high school, she had been running since the fifth grade. But as a youngster, she never thought to pursue the sport further until she realized she “wasn’t losing.”

When Moore got serious about her career, she decided to transfer to another high school in hopes of finding a higher level of competition and more attention from college recruiters.

After her sophomore year, Moore left Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School to run at Sandy Creek High — a larger, public school in her area of Atlanta where the Iowa coaching staff eventually found her.

Roberts said he knew at the beginning of his recruiting search Moore would be the addition the Hawkeyes needed in the sprinting events.

“I knew not only could Raven compete at this level athletically, but also academically. Plus, she also has a great personality,” Roberts said. “I knew we could dot the Is and cross the Ts in those three areas, so it just kind of went from there.”

Moore said her decision to come to Iowa was almost instantaneous after her visit. During that time, she felt a great connection with the team.

Now, as an official member of the Hawkeye squad, she maintains the idea that a strong team bond will help Iowa win. She is pushing her teammates to work harder.

Fellow sprinter and senior Rhonda Trusty said Moore “increases the level of competition” and “brings more depth” to the 53-member team.

At Iowa’s intrasquad meet on Dec. 6, Moore tied Trusty, an All-Big Ten honoree, in the 60-meter dash. That performance confirmed Roberts’ confidence in his new recruit.

“She is a born leader,” Roberts said. “She comes every single day and does the best she can do. Even though she’s a shorter girl, she just tries to squeeze everything God has given her out of her body. From the first day of practice, everyone could see she was really working.”


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