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Junior Olympic athlete bounces back from injury to finish third in javelin
Walnut Elementary student Cerah Moren finished third in the javelin at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships earlier this month. Only months earlier, she had broken her wrist. - photo by Photo courtesy of Thad Moren
Cerah Moren is a 10-year-old who doesn’t let the aftermath of an injury affect her.
She proved that Aug. 2 at the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships in Greensboro, NC, where she had her best ever finish in the annual event.
It was the third time Moren, a fifth grader at Walnut Elementary, competed at nationals, and she did better than expected despite only recently recovering from a broken left wrist. Though she doesn’t throw with that arm, she came back from the injury in a big way by recording a distance of 73 feet, 1 inch in the javelin throw to finish third in her age group.
“I felt real happy,” Moren said. “It was my first time throwing with my cast off. It felt good.”
Kalaiza Mitchell of Oregon earned first place with a 102-11 mark.
For Moren, she was happy to throw again — minus a cast. It was a different feeling at nationals, considering she had to get past the two qualifying rounds in Livermore and Bakersfield, respectively, with her broken wrist still healing.
She got hurt in May during a training session and it wasn’t until about 10 days before flying to Greensboro that Moren had the cast removed, allowing her to have one less concern. It was already a nerve-wracking experience to compete against the best track and field athletes from across the country. She was there with her traveling squad, the Central Valley Roadrunners, not wanting to let her teammates down.
In her event, there were 38 competitors.
On her very first throw, Moren finished with 60 feet — enough to be one of the eight finalists.
In the final round, she was in sixth place after the first three throws. And that was when her father and coach, Thad Moren, handed her a piece of advice for the last three attempts: “Be more aggressive.” Cerah listened and landed the throw that was enough for third.
This experience wasn’t new to her, as she competed twice before since 2006.
And now, Cerah is taking a break in hopes of competing again in the Junior Olympics next year.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.