By his own accord, Gaither sophomore Samson Moore is transitioning from rookie sensation to run-of-the-mill sprinter this spring.
The 2012 Class 3A state runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles, Moore told the Times on Saturday he plans to bypass the event altogether this season to focus on speed work.
Moore, who also won district and region titles in the event as a freshman, ran the 100 and 200 at Saturday's USF/Steinbrenner Invitational, which attracted roughly 80 schools. He placed ninth in the 200 prelims (21.98 seconds), failing to make the finals by a hundredth of a second; and 38th in the 100 prelims (11.42).
"I've never worked on (speed)," Moore said. "I've worked on the (hurdles) form, the start, but just not speed. So I was like, 'I have three more years, I can take one out and just work on speed.'"
Moore, whose father and coach, Ed, was a decathlon standout at Chamberlain, set Gaither's 110 hurdles record with his effort (14.29) at the state meet in Jacksonville last May. Two months later, he won the 400 hurdles at the AAU National Club Championships in Orlando.
He said as the postseason nears, he'll likely have the itch to hop back into the hurdles fray, but is bent on resisting it for the sake of possible gold medals in 2014 and '15.
"Right now it's going to help me more for next year and the year after that," he said. "So this little sacrifice is going to be worth it, it's going to pay off."