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Wilson Hall's Moss to run cross country for Francis Marion

By DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 11/26/19

Molly Moss had never really considered doing any kind of distance running until she was in the seventh grade. That's when her physical education teacher at Wilson Hall, Teresa Alexander, suggested to Moss that distance running might be the sport for …

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Wilson Hall's Moss to run cross country for Francis Marion

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Molly Moss had never really considered doing any kind of distance running until she was in the seventh grade. That's when her physical education teacher at Wilson Hall, Teresa Alexander, suggested to Moss that distance running might be the sport for her.

It turns out Alexander knows more than softball, a sport in which she has coached Wilson Hall to several state titles.

Moss signed to run cross country at the NCAA Division II level with Francis Marion University in Florence last week in a ceremony held at Wilson Hall's Nash Student Center.

"I'm really excited that I'm getting the opportunity to do this," Moss said. "I'm looking forward to getting the chance to run at the next level. It all kind of fell into my lap. There was a time when I never imagined I would be getting this opportunity."

Moss helped lead the Lady Barons to the SCISA Region II-3A title as she was the overall individual winner in the 5-kilometer event in a time of a time of 21 minutes, 55 seconds. In the 3A state meet, Moss finished 21st overall in a time of 20:43.

Dustin Smith, an assistant coach with the Wilson Hall cross country program and the track and field program, said it's easy to explain what makes Moss such a good runner.

"It's her work ethic," Smith said of Moss, who will run the 800, 1,600- and 3,200-meter events in track, the final two of which she was region champion in 2018. "She goes to practice, and she puts in the work that she needs to do to get better. She's constantly working to get better. That's what makes it happen."

Moss said she also had offers from Erskine and Limestone, two other DII programs located inside the state. However, it was Francis Marion that appealed to her.

"I went there for a visit., and I loved the campus," Moss said of FMU. "Also, it is close to home (40 minutes as opposed to 2-plus hours for the other schools), and that is important. I liked the coaches, and the team is really nice."

Francis Marion is a member of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference. The Patriots finished eighth out of 12 teams in the conference meet, which qualified them for the Southeast Regional.

Smith said he has no doubt that Moss' best days are still ahead.

"I absolutely think she is going to get better," Smith said "I think she's going to move on to the next level and achieve great things."