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Congratulations to 2024 Athena Winner, Janiya Moore

Congratulations to 2024 Athena Winner, Janiya Moore

Congratulations to senior Janiya Moore, who is our 2024 Athena winner! Janiya has received multiple awards in Track & Field. During her high school career, she will have gained an impressive four varsity letters, three all-conference nominations and two invitations to state!

The Athena Award is presented annually to an outstanding female senior athlete based solely on their high school athletic achievements, typically receiving multiple awards in one or more sports over their high school career. Coaches vote on the finalists to choose a winner and the Athena winner receives a scholarship from the Spartan Foundation.

Read the interview below to learn more about Janiya and her plans for the future. 

What are your goals after high school? 
After graduation, I will be attending the University of St. Thomas and running track and field. As of now, my major is listed as Biology, but I am not 100% sure what I truly want to do for the rest of my life. I want to have a career I am passionate about and enjoy doing. I hope to maintain good grades and balance the student-athlete life for another four years.

What is your 5-10 year vision?
I plan on continuing to work as hard as I can and push myself to be better and better each day. I was always taught that with hard work, I could do anything so I try to apply that to my life every day. I hope to set new personal records in my races during my collegiate career, meet new teammates and form more of the bonds I have grown to love, while competing in the sport I am most passionate about. I also see myself traveling the world, meeting new people and learning about new cultures.

Tell us about your family.
My family is the root of my success and the rock that keeps me steady both academically and athletically. To be more specific, I owe all of my success to my mom, and without her support, I wouldn't be half the person I am today. She has always supported every crazy idea I have had or ran to grab supplies for the assignment I needed by that night. She is a trooper at every meet I run, whether it is raining, below freezing, a heat advisory, or anything else. She was the loudest cheering for me at state, but the only one not surprised, she always knew I could do it. She truly is the most incredible person in my life and is always the first person I thank when I accomplish something big or small.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I love hanging out with friends and doing something competitive. I have a very competitive nature and am always driven to win, whether it is my race on a meet day or a board game during the weekend with my friends. Recently, my friends and I have been doing scavenger hunts around Richfield, and it has been some of the most fun we have ever had. I am always tasked with sprinting to grab the next clue and I admit, I thoroughly enjoy doing it.

Where did you go to elementary and middle school?
I went to Richfield Dual Language School and Richfield Middle School, which I am so thankful for. Being bilingual has opened so many doors for me as a student. My favorite memory from elementary school is gym class, and whenever we played team games. I loved being team captain or being the first girl chosen since I was the fastest girl in class. I think that is where my passion for running truly began, and when my competitive spirit of wanting to beat the boys had its spark.

What is your favorite class?
My favorite class this year is Statistics with Mr. Mullenbach, I really like the way the class functions and I think that statistics is the most fun version of math. The class is almost always group work, which is my preferred way of learning, which is another reason I love sports; the team environment and connections formed. The classroom environment is always fun and we recently got the opportunity to request songs and listen to music while we worked. Mr. Mullenbach is also a boys' basketball coach, so we often discuss how the season is going and the statistics on their win percentage that night.

Who is the teacher that had the greatest impact on you?
The teacher who had the greatest impact on my track and field success is Madame Steele, she is truly the teacher who helped me realize that I was someone and that someday I could achieve the things I set my mind to. Every day she greets all her students with joy and a passion for learning. I can always walk into her room and know that my mood will be lifted by the time I walk out. She is constantly pushing me to work toward becoming not only a better student, but also a better athlete. She reminds me that life is never something linear and that I can have a few bad days and still be successful despite those low moments.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
If I could meet anyone in the world, I would choose Anna Hall. I really respect her as an athlete and I think that her success in the heptathlon and pentathlon is incredible. I love the way she carries herself and am often fangirling over her Instagram posts as soon as she posts them. She is currently recovering from an injury, and I would love to ask her how she has dealt with her confidence and strength coming back to such high-level athletics, after such a big injury.

If you could be on a reality TV show, which one would you choose?
If I could be on any TV show, I would choose The Amazing Race, which may be too obvious of an answer, but in reality, it is the one I would choose. I think it is the best of both worlds, a team competition racing around the world and seeing new sights is a dream for someone like me. I love to travel, and adding competition makes anything better. I would wanna be on a team with my sisters, and I know it would be tons of fun.

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