Beaufort High School eighth-grader Gavin Moore competes Sunday at the 2021 USATF National Championships at Sergeant Jasper Park in Hardeeville. Photo by Justin Jarrett.

Beaufort’s Moore runs with elite in Hardeeville

By Wes Kerr 


Under a gorgeous Hardeeville sky, the nation’s best distance runners delivered a dazzling show Sunday morning as the 2021 USATF National Championships for the Half-Marathon were held at Sergeant Jasper Park as part of the Mortgage Network Road Races. 

It was a memorable day for several national stars, but the Lowcountry’s own teenage sensation also found himself in the spotlight. Beaufort High School eighth-grader Gavin Moore impressed on the country’s biggest stage, running a sensational 1:17:48 in the men’s sub-elite race. 

With a large cheering section including teammates Nash Mills and Charlie Bennett, the SCHSL 4A top-20 finisher continued to show his prowess against strong competition, placing ninth alongside 18 top adult runners and improving his time by nearly four minutes from last year’s race. 

“He’s just a real up-and-comer, and hopefully he can stay with it,” race director Kimball said. “As an eighth-grader fishing in the top 20 in cross country against high school competition, he’s going to be a real champion down the road.” 

Heralded as the best American field since the 2020 United States Olympic Marathon Trials, the event drew 40 women and 49 men for a chance at a purse of $40,000 and a spot on the national team for the 2022 World Championships in China. 

Keira D’Amato (1:07:55) dominated the women’s race en route to a new championship record, and Conner Mantz (1:00:55) rallied from behind to capture the men’s race in his professional debut. 

“It was everything we could have asked for,” Kimball said. “Fast, quick times, it was just really incredible, and we’re super stoked about this.” 

Omer Abdulrahman (1:08.44) took the men’s sub-elite crown, while Kaitlyn Peale (1:17.07) won the women’s division. 

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