Moser produces despite setbacks

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Hurricane Sports Writer

University of Miami track and field standout Aaron Moser has had many ups and downs but he continues to work hard and be successful.

Moser attended UM on a four to five-year football scholarship, even though the senior had accomplished so much in track and field in high school.

As an incoming freshman from North County High School in Bonne Terre, Missouri, Moser had already accomplished a great deal in track and field. He won the Junior National Championship in the decathlon in 1997, placed first in the Midwest Regional Decathlete Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma, was named Missouri All-State champion in the pole vault, 110-meter high hurdles, 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays, and was ranked nationally as a decathlete by Reebok.

But Moser also excelled in football, being named Missouri All-State wide receiver and also receiving accolades as a defensive back and punt returner.

Moser continued his outstanding play in a Hurricane uniform, receiving Miami’s Special Teams Player of the Year Award in 1999 and 2000.

But while playing football about a year ago, Moser had an unfortunate setback. He tore the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow, and as a result, was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. That procedure is known for ending the careers of many athletes.

“After the surgery I was disappointed and uncertain about my future as an athlete,” Moser said. “I was worried I would not return to my full potential.”

Moser’s college football career is over, having used up his eligibility, but he still has one year remaining to run track. After about seven months of rehabilitation, training and relearning javelin and shot put throwing techniques, Moser is anticipating a great track season.

He has recovered from his surgery and may very well be exceeding expectations.

“Aaron can now concentrate more on track with football being over,” said men’s track coach Michael Ward. “That’s what will make the difference in his performance.”

At the Florida Intercollegiate meet on Jan. 12 in Gainesville, Moser placed second in the pole vault competition with a personal-best height of 16′ 7″, and fourth in the 55-meter hurdles with a personal best of 7.49. He also received a personal best in the long jump.

But Moser continues to break records, surpassing his personal best in the pole vault again in Norman, Okla., provisionally qualifying to the NCAA Championships with a mark of 17′ 0.75″.

“With this being my last season, I am much more aggressive than ever,” Moser said. “I do not have any football or school obligations, which allows me to focus much more on my track career.”

On Jan. 20, Moser won the Wildcat Heptathlon in Manhattan, Kansas with a final day record 2,456 points. He finished the two-day, seven event competition with 5,513 points and is currently UM’s record-holder in both the pentathlon and decathlon.

“He’s definitely the same person,” said steeplechaser Dan Boniface, Moser’s track teammate. “He’s really outspoken and a total team leader. He has the best training ethics on the team. Other than that, he seems like the same old guy. He was an All-American in the past and I’m sure he’ll get there again this year.”