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BRIAN WHITEHEAD, STAFF
Whittier Christian junior Shiloh Moore is a multi-sport athlete and a competitive skier. Shiloh's the type of kid that puts other people first," said Nicole Nicolaides, the school's girls soccer and tennis coach. "Her teammates are really important to her. I wish I had a lot more kids like her."

Moore's enthusiasm for sports knows no bounds

STAFF WRITER

Shiloh Moore’s day is just beginning.

Quarter to 10 on a recent Friday morning, Moore’s been up for a while. Short on sleep after getting home to Fullerton from a soccer game close to midnight, she said she awoke at dawn to finish some leftover English and pre-calculus homework.

Usually on Fridays, she and her father leave for Mammoth after school. But tonight, Moore’s attending the Whittier Christian High Theatre Art Program’s performance of “Cinderella” at the Brea Curtis Theatre.

“Extra credit for my English class,” she said. “Got to keep the grades up.”

Sometime around 2 a.m. Saturday morning the Moores will leave for Mammoth.

Shiloh will ski all weekend.

“Pretty crazy,” the 17-year-old said of her schedule.

A three-sport athlete at Whittier Christian, the busy junior also skis competitively. She recently captured gold at the 2016 NASTAR National Championships in Steamboat, Colo., adding another medal to a collection she keeps in a coffee mug in her room.

Tennis, soccer, track, skiing and horse riding, Moore’s enthusiasm for sport knows no bounds.

But thrilling as she said playing for her school can be, nothing rivals the thrill of staring down an open mountain slope.

“Skiing is my passion,” Moore said. “I love the speed. I have no fear of it. For me, I like to race against myself more than against other people.”

***

Alan Moore always loved skiing.

Years ago, he and his family vacationed to Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski Area. He put his 2-year-old daughter on skis one day, and found she enjoyed the freedom and range of motion.

Not long after, father started taking daughter to snow retreats in San Bernardino, Mammoth and Lake Tahoe, where she skied to her heart’s content.

Moore remembers falling quite a bit during those maiden years. But always she stood back up.

“I remember when I was 6,” she said, “I went all the way to the top of Mammoth and fell all the way down.”

At 7, Moore started racing.

“We would be on the mountain at times,” her father said, “and she would see different race courses set up. She expressed interest in racing. She also thought she was ready for it. She was quite the capable skier by then, but first started racing with no formal training.

“She was a little rough around the edges in that sense, and she learned much of it on her own by trial and error.”

By talking to racers her age and reviewing shortcomings on her own time, Moore improved quickly.

She remembers races being as exciting as they were nerve-wracking, and said even in fields of longtime racers, she competed. Eventually, Alan Moore found NASTAR – what’s believed to be the world’s largest public grassroots ski race program.

Certified at nearly 115 ski resorts across the country, NASTAR – a feeder program to the U.S. Ski Team – gave Shiloh weekly access to races.

She won medals and trophies aplenty, and in 2010 joined Team Mountain High, a club program comprised of skiers from Irvine, Huntington Beach and other Southern California cities.

“I never thought I’d find the program to help me get to where I wanted to be,” Moore said. “When I did, I saw myself going places.”

Born and raised in Fullerton, Moore played soccer and threw shot put and discus her freshman year at Whittier Christian.

At the behest of her soccer coach, she joined the tennis team as a sophomore. This past fall, Moore earned second-team All-Olympic League laurels.

“Soccer players tend to make really good tennis players,” said Nicole Nicolaides, the La Habra-based school’s girls soccer and tennis coach. “They have good footwork, good work ethic. They’re well-conditioned. All I have to do is teach them how to hit a ball.

“Shiloh’s a pretty athletic kid,” Nicolaides continued, “and one of the biggest reasons why she’s done so well is she’s a really coachable kid. She asks the right questions and takes what we tell and teach her and wants to practice those things the right way.”

Quiet as Moore was at practice most days, Nicolaides said she had no idea how well she could ski.

Crowded as December weekends got with high school soccer tournaments, Moore “would play for us Saturday, then drive to Mammoth with her dad Saturday night,” Nicolaides said.

“I asked her, ‘When do you sleep?’”

***

The great slalom and slalom, the Super-G and the downhill are competitive skiing’s four events.

Moore’s races range anywhere from 35 seconds in length to 2 minutes, depending on the mountain and course.

“I’m always thinking two, three gates ahead of where I am,” she said. “What I need to do technically, where my line is going to be, because if you blink, it’s done.”

A regular at the annual NASTAR National Championships, last month Moore won gold in the slalom race. She was back at school that Monday.

“She’s nowhere near the elite class,” Alan Moore admitted, “but she’s had some podium finishes, and sometimes she does it by perseverance, by being the one to survive. But it has been fun when she’s medalled or won trophies.

“She’s not at the elite ranks of racing in the state yet, but she does it because she enjoys recreational sports.”

No matter how well she’s skiing, Moore said academics will always be “my No. 1 priority.”

Busy as sports keep her after school, Moore said she finds time in the car, on the team bus, anywhere, to finish homework and study.

“I stay up as late as I need to to get it done,” she said.

And if playing three sports and skiing competitively wasn’t enough, Moore is the secretary and youth horse leader of Fullerton’s 4-H club.

“It’s challenging,” her father said, “and it requires prioritization and self-discipline to give up days out, going to movies with friends. That’s the life of a racer, though. It sounds like a daunting challenge, but once you get into the routine of having your bags packed, ready to go all the time, you don’t even think about it.

“You just throw your stuff in the car and go.”

Contact the writer: 714-796-7702 or bwhitehead@ocregister.com


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