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Liberty thrower Corey Moore Jr. ranks among nation’s elite

Corey Moore Jr. set a pair of goals as a seventh-grader that have motivated him throughout his track and field career. First, throw a discus more than 200 feet. Second, put a shot more than 60 feet.

Elite distances reserved for elite throwers.

One down. One to go.

Moore, a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound senior at Liberty, ranks among the nation’s elite throwers and is eyeing state championships in the shot put and discus.

His personal record discus throw of 200 feet, 11 inches on April 20 is fourth in the nation, and his top shot put of 57 feet, 5 inches on April 6 is the state’s best this season.

“It honestly feels great to know that you’re one of the best and your hard work has paid off,” said Moore, who accepted a scholarship to UC-Davis in March. “But it honestly makes me want to work harder to stay there.”

Moore gravitated toward different sports as a child, and first tried the shot put and discus in the third grade. He competed nationally at the club level until high school — and still does during the offseason — and realized during his freshman year that he had college potential.

Patriots throwing coach Tim Cagle has spent the last several years cultivating it.

“We work all through the summer and all through the winter. We outwork everybody,” Cagle said. “He’s dedicated. He’s intelligent. And his work ethic is phenomenal…He loves it.”

Moore first qualified for the state meet as a freshman and finished fifth in the discus with a throw of 159 feet. He threw 161 feet, 7 inches to finish fifth again as a sophomore and 189 feet, 7 inches to claim his first state championship as a junior.

All while competing year-round, too.

“With him it’s just been a lot of hard work, with him and coach Cagle,” Patriots coach Geoff Walker said. “He just does more than everybody else. He’s willing to do more than anybody else. And it’s paid off for him.”

Moore still has a couple more feet to go before reaching his goal in the shot put, but Cagle is optimistic that he can do it at the region or state meets. Either way, Moore wants to finish his prep career as a champion.

“There’s nobody more deserving,” Walker said. “He has just been the nicest kid and one of the most fun, great kids to have around the program. We’re going to miss him so much.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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