CR’s Moyer running with goals in mind

CR’s Blaise Moyer (right) edged out Cape Henlopen’s Ryan Baker in last Wednesday’s season-opening meet. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

CAMDEN — Distance runners are no strangers to hitting psychological walls.

Blaise Moyer hit his wall last spring, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown started.

The Henlopen Conference boys’ meet champion in cross country during the fall, Moyer just couldn’t see any reason to keep working out. He stopped training for three or four weeks.

“I knew we weren’t going to go back for track season,” said Moyer. “And cross country season was so far away at that point.
“But I came to the realization that it’s not that far away. And every single guy that’s going to try to be with me in the state is working right now. I came out of it more motivated, honestly, just ready to go.”

With his batteries recharged, Moyer is hoping to make his senior cross country season for the Riders his best one yet.

Along with winning the Henlopen meet title (16:18.6), Moyer finished fourth in the DIAA Division I state meet (16:08.7) a year ago.

Considering that Salesianum’s Ryan Banko, who finished third in Division I, is back along with nine of the top 10 finishers in the Henlopen meet, Moyer is not assuming anything.

In last week’s season-opening dual meet with Cape Henlopen, Moyer finished first in a time of 16:35, just ahead of Vikings’ sophomore Ryan Baker, who was clocked in 16:42.

“There’s a lot of young guys,” said Moyer. “I’m looking out for the guys in our conference.

“Colleges don’t look at placement. I could be the best guy in the state running 18-flat. But I’d rather be the fourth guy in the state running 16:08. I definitely like having a lot of competition. It makes me feel like I run faster.”

At this point in his running career, CR coach Mike Tucci said Moyer has a lot of goals he wants to accomplish.

“He’s self motivated,” said Tucci. “There’s times he wants to run, there’s people he wants to finish ahead of. He wants to be a state champion, so there’s his target.

“He knows he has to reach a certain level if he wants to be taken seriously at the DI (college) level. When he sets his mind to it, he’s very focused — laser focused.”

Moyer, whose dream is to run for a Division I college program, comes by his love of running naturally. His mom, Jessica, ran in high school and at Gannon University while his dad, Jason, runs marathons.

But Blaise didn’t start running competitively until he got to high school. He’d been playing soccer and basketball before that.

Something clicked right away when he tried running, though.

“The first practice, I fell in love,” said Moyer. “The team is like a family out here.

“It’s definitely an acquired taste,” he said about running. “I love it. It clears your mind. You feel accomplished.”

Like every other high school fall sport this year, the condensed cross country season will go by quickly.

Even though the season just began, the Henlopen championship meet is only a month away, on Nov. 28. The state championship meet will be held, the following weekend, on Dec. 5 at Killens Pond State Park.

The Riders, who run at Sussex Central this afternoon, will face St. Mark’s on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Killens Pond.

“Killens is probably the toughest course downstate,” said Tucci. “But we practice on it enough and run on it enough, that it feels like a second home course for them.”

Moyer knows he’s got a lot of work ahead of him to get his times down. As a senior, he’s not taking anything for granted.

“I know all the guys I was close to last year are going to keep working,” said Moyer. “I mean the guys behind me are going to want to beat me. And the guys in front of me are going to want to keep beating me. It’s a lot of work.”