May 17 – INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the fifth time in his last six semesters, Bethany College track and field junior, Umar Moore (Coraopolis, Pa./Moon), will get an opportunity to compete for a National Championship. The two-time All-American has qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III Outdoor National Championships in the long jump, announced the NCAA on Sunday.
In the championships, Moore will get the chance to do something that no other Bison in the history of the program has done. Having already captured an All-American performance this season, placing eighth in the long jump at the indoor championships, Moore will now have the chance to become the first three-time All-American in the history of Bethany track.
Moore enters the event having posted the best qualifying mark of his career. He enters the three-day event with the eighth-best mark in the country, after posting a Bethany school record, 23-10.75, at the Dave Labor Invitational hosted by Slippery Rock University on April 18. The record-setting distance broke an 89-year old mark of 23-7 originally held by Virgil Elliott in 1926.
“This has been such a great year for Umar,” commented head coach Andy Upton. “Any time you break an 89-year old record, you know you have accomplished something special. However, to have the opportunity to finish off the year with two All-American honors in the same year, would be even better.”
Moore enters the NCAA Championships, having posted a fifth-place mark at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships in the long jump on May 15. During that event, Moore posted a distance of 23-05.25. In the ECACs, Moore competed against several athletes that he will also see at Nationals.
“We saw a lot of consistency out of Umar at the ECAC Championships last week,” commented Upton. “He will see a lot of the same guys next weekend, but we feel no one else in the field showed the same kind of consistency as he did. We really feel he is peaking at the right time.
“In my 11 years at Bethany, the NCAA field might be the most competitive it has been. However, Umar’s mindset has been exactly where it needs to be to compete at a high level. If he can continue that into this weekend, we could see big things from him once again.”
Moore will look to finish off one of his most successful seasons when the 2014-15 campaign culminates with the National Championships on May 21. The three-day event will be held from Thursday – Saturday May 23 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.