Moton’s Decision to Switch Sports Pays Off at NDSU

The Bison Thrower played Basketball at UND last Season

FARGO, N.D. — There is no doubt that Akealy Moton has always been an athlete. The question was never if she’d play sports in college, but which sport was right her.

“I always grew up with basketball, just cause of my parents – not just because of them, I also loved basketball too at the time,” Moton said. “But figuring out that basketball for me at UND wasn’t what I wanted and knowing that I still had a passion and enjoyed track and [it was] something I wanted to pursue or at least try to pursue, that’s when I called coach.”

That call was to Justin St. Clair, the throws coach for NDSU track and field.

“He told me in high school that he was waiting on it and I think he still was waiting on it because he answered pretty happy,” Moton revealed.

St. Clair was so excited because he knew what kind of talent he was getting.

A six-time state champion in track and field while at West Fargo high school, the redshirt freshman had little trouble transitioning from one sport to another.

“Anybody who can go out and play division one basketball and then to say ‘well it didn’t work out, I want to be in track and field,’ and just pick it up right where she left on the basketball side to the throwing side, it just really just demonstrates her athletic skills,” St. Clair said.

So athletic, the thrower once again had options to where she could best use her talents.

“You know originally, I kind of thought, Akealy was going to be a javelin thrower, and that was my mindset – ‘hey we are going to turn you into a javelin thrower,'” St. Clair explained. “Then early in the fall she was out here throwing and I said ‘Woah, I think you’re going to be shot put first, javelin second.'”

That choice ended up paying off pretty quickly. On April 6th, Moton threw the shot put 56 feet, 8.75 inches, smashing the school record by nearly two-and-a-half feet.

At the time, it was the third best throw in the NCAA.

“I personally didn’t think that my first year – I knew I still had all this stuff I needed to learn, technique, all the basics and things I had to learn – I didn’t know that it was going to hop off this early,” said Moton

And despite such early success, she feels her technique isn’t nearly as good as it could be.

“I definitely don’t have it down yet,” Moton laughed. “Little snippets are starting to click a little bit, but I am definitely not at the point where I’m like ‘Oh yeah, I know this.'”

That’s a scary thought for her competitors, considering she still has more than three years left at NDSU to get it down, and with her talent, both she and her throws are likely to reach a lot further than they already have.

“The sky is the limit with Akealy,” said St. Clair. “She’s very talented and as she grows more into the events and understands a little bit more physically what she can do and what she can’t do, I see a very bright future for Akealy.”

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