Nov. 12, 2003
Penn State senior sprinter Connie Moore realized how fast she was at a very young age.
"When I was about 10 years old I realized that nobody in my neighborhood could catch me while we were playing tag and other running games," she says. "I knew I was fast, but I really did not think much of it. I was just having fun."
Moore did not think much about it again until her junior year of high school when the track coach at South Shore Community Academy in Chicago, Ill., saw her outrunning guys in races during gym class.
"The track coach saw me beating the guys so he asked me if I wanted run track," she says. "I had run some cross country for my local park district when I was 12 and 13, but I had never run track so I figured I would give it a try."
Moore goes on to say that she did not become serious about track until some girls from another school claimed they would take the top three spots in their upcoming race against her.
"I did not like being called out like that," she says. "I finished third in that race, but those girls never finished in front of me again. From that race on, I took track very seriously."
Most of Moore's competition is still having a tough time finishing ahead of her. She is a seven-time All-American, two-time Big Ten 100-meter champion, and the holder of two international gold medals in the 4x100 meter relay. Her first gold medal came at the United States versus Britain meet early last summer, and she brought home her second gold medal from the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in August.
"When I was invited to participate in the Pan Am games, it was an honor and I was just thrilled to participate," she says. "But to actually win was a different feeling because the United States' women had not won the 4x100 meter relay since 1991, so it was great to be part of such a talented team and win for the United States."
Moore hopes to have that feeling again at the 2004 Summer Olympics Games in Athens, Greece.
"After I graduate, I plan to stay at Penn State and train for Athens with Penn State assistant coach Jeff McAuley. He is a great coach and I am excited to keep working with him," she says. "In addition to training, I'll also be working toward a Master's degree in Relationship Therapy."
After reviewing her impressive accomplishments, it is easy to see why Moore insists she is dreaming big everyday.
"My dream never ends," she says. "I can always accomplish more and find more things to go after. If I win the Big Ten's, then I want to win the NCAA's, and then win what comes next. I can always run a little faster than I did the last time."
As Moore works toward Athens and her eighth All-American title, the most-ever for a Penn State woman in Track and Field, she offers some advice to young people who may be beginning to dream big.
"There are no limits to what you can do," she says. "It does not matter where you are from, how old you are, or if you are male or female. Regardless, you can participate and follow your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you that you're too short, too tall, or too big. Just put your heart into it and have fun."