Jordan Moore might be on a different athletic path had he not yielded to his parents’ direction before he began high school.
Moore was one of several promising sprinters on the Union Grove Middle School track team in Henry County as a seventh grader. His coach saw potential with Moore as a hurdler and moved him to the hurdles instead of the 100 meters.
Despite winning the Henry County middle school championship in the hurdles in seventh and eighth grades, Moore wanted to return to the 100 and 200. That’s when Jackie Moore voiced her opinion.
“My mom wouldn’t let me,” said Moore, now at senior at M.L. King. “My mom and dad were not going to let me stop doing the hurdles.”
That bit of parental intuition proved fruitful for Moore. He won the 110 hurdles at state in each of the past two seasons at Union Grove High School. This season, after transferring to M.L. King, Moore will try to make it three in a row.
He has qualified for the Class AAAAA state track and field championships May 11-12 in Jefferson in the 110 meter hurdles and the 200. His time of 13.39 seconds in the hurdles is 5/100ths of a second off the state high school record and is the fastest in the state, regardless of classification, this season. Moore also is a member of the Lions’ 4x100 relay team that has qualified for the state meet.
In addition to his success in track, Moore was a standout on the Lions’ football team that advanced to the semifinals of the AAAAA state playoffs last season. He will attend Texas Christian University in the fall on a football scholarship and will play both sports.
Moore said he originally committed to LSU for track but had always been looking for “a top school that played football at a high level.” TCU fit the bill.
“He’s a great kid. He’s spiritually grounded, a good student and he knows what he wants to do,” said Mike Carson, the head football and track coach at M.L. King. “That’s a testament to his upbringing. He’s a very humble kid.”
Moore has had the benefit of a private track coach since the summer after his ninth grade year. Moore’s mother was a former co-worker with Eric Merriwether, who coaches for the track club Sprint Athletics in Atlanta.
“I’ve been blessed to meet up with a coach like that,” Moore said.
Merriwether is just part of a large support system for Moore.
“My mom and dad, my whole family and the coaches here have all been great,” Moore said. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of support in my life.”
Moore said he has used his support system to keep things fun despite the growing distractions of recruiting and increased media attention over the past year.
“Every day is fun for me,” Moore said. “That’s how I feel. The whole community is behind me. I know there are little kids that look up to me and I just take it in stride. It’s fun.”
Although he is having fun, Moore said he is serious when it comes to competing at the state level and beyond in track. Moore said he will compete in two events this summer and if he runs fast enough he could qualify for a chance to go to the Olympic Trials.
“He’s improved a lot since last year,” Carson said. “He runs the indoor [track] season on a national level. Every time he’s run during the high school season he’s set his personal best. We expect big things from him at the state meet.”