MILESPLIT ALL-CA ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
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One in a series of articles profiling 2022 track and field athletes of the year by event grouping as selected by MileSplitCA editors.
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Back in 2019, at the Southwestern League Finals, we remember announcing that the league runner-up in the shot put was a freshman from Murrieta Mesa with a mark of 52 feet, 6 inches. After having to double-check to confirm that indeed, year was correct, we realized right there and then that we had a star in the making.
That star was none other than Cade Moran, who just completed his senior year at Murrieta Mesa (SS) as one of the top combo throwers in state history, concluding his CIF competition career at the State Championships with a title in the shot put and a second-place medal in the discus throw.
Moran's outdoor season warranted recognition as the 2022 MileSplit CA Boys Thrower of the Year.
He concluded his season as the state leader in both throws with U.S. rankings of No. 3 in the discus (207-4) and No. 7 in the shot put (66-10). Those marks land No. 14 and No. 21, respectively, on California's all-time list. Moran's throws combination ranks No. 9 in state history.
Now headed to the University of Michigan to study kinesiology, Moran endured the setbacks of the COVID shutdown in losing his 2020 sophomore year only to remind us, as a junior in 2021, of his talent when leading California with the top mark in the shot put (63-6).
But, in 2022, Moran moved up as one of the top overall throwers in the United States with his vast improvement in the discus. He shared that he had dedicated more time to the event in 2022. Admittingly always viewing himself primarily as a shot putter, he came into the season with a 177-7 lifetime best in the discus. But the emphasis he placed on improving in that event was clear as 2022 progressed. In the end, he had led one of the greatest class of discus throwers in state history (six with throws of 196 or farther) with his 207-4 performance from the CIF-SS Division 1 Prelims.
Moran's season included three other efforts over the 200-foot mark as he captured the CIF-SS Division 1 title (201-4) before placing second at the California State Championships (199-6).
He also captured the gold at the Arcadia Invitational (198-4) and on the elite stage at the Mt. SAC Relays with a 200-6 performance. He was the first boy in CA since 2017 to measure out over 200 feet with a 201-6 effort at a home meet in April.
Moran's season-best of 207-4 was the third-best mark in the country for 2022 and established a new Riverside County record.
Back to his forte, the shot put, after having to wait two long years to compete in the CIF-State Championships, Moran captured the title with his 64-3.25 performance. His 66-10 performance from the Arcadia Invite ended the season as the fourth-best in the United States. On seven occasions, Moran eclipsed the 64-foot mark. He swept the throws at Arcadia and Mt. SAC, won the shot put competition 16 times, and the discus competition at 12 meets. He placed first or second in every meet from mid-March on with the exception of State Meet discus prelims.
Even after graduating, he was not done. Moran placed second in the shot put at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships. Before heading off to Michigan, he will is scheduled to represent the United States at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Columbia on August 1.
Moran enters into an elite group in Southern Section history, joining Brian Blutreich (Capistrano Valley, 1985), and Esperanza's Bronson Osborn (2016) as the only boys to throw over 65 feet in the shot put and 200 feet in the discus during their prep careers. Moran joins Blutreich as the only boys in state history to throw 207-plus in the discus and at least 66-10 in the shot.
Mark Gardner is a teacher, announcer, former coach, and a regular contributor to MileSplit.
Photos by Daniel Hernandez and Dan Tyree.
MileSplitCA State Editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this article.