By David Fong
TROY — There was a time, in the not too distant past, when Christine Moser dreamed of palm trees and California sunshine, of spreading her wings and seeing the great big world that lay beyond what her bespectacled eyes could see.
“I have video proof of it,” said Moser, a senior pole vaulter on the Troy girls track and field team. “There’s a video of me at Welcome Stadium saying I wanted to get out of here and go to the West Coast and never come back. I still love the West Coast and would like to go there some day, but I think I’ll give it another four or five years.”
For now, Moser is willing to put her personal manifest destiny aside and enjoy the comforts afforded to her by her Midwest roots. Recently, Moser signed her national letter of intent to attend school and pole vault at Wright State University, just a short trip down the road for her.
“I think I got older and more mature,” Moser said of her change of heart regarding her college decision. “I’m going to enjoy being close to home. I can run home for dinner any time I want. If I don’t feel like doing my laundry, I can just wait until the weekend and run home and do it.”
Free food and laundry service aside, of course, there was plenty of other things about Wright State that appealed to Moser, most notably the fact going there will afford Moser the opportunity to both pole vault and pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.
“My decisions were limited, because I want to major in biomedical engineering, but I also wanted to vault,” said Moser, who will graduate near the top of her class in a few weeks. “There were a some places that had my major, but didn’t have a good track program or good coaches. There were some places where I could vault, but they didn’t have my major.”
All of which led to a stressful senior year for Moser, who only decided to go to Wright State fairly recently.
“I didn’t know if I was actually going to get the chance to vault in college,” she said. “It was really stressful for me. The more people I knew started figuring out where they were going to go to school, the more stressful it got for me. Here we are with just four more days of school left and I’m signing today.”
Moser should be able to make an immediate impact for the Raiders. She’s a four-time regional qualifier and a state qualifier last season. Later this week, she’ll compete at the state meet for a second time. She’s jumped 12 feet at her last three meets, the GWOC championships, the district meet and the regional meet.
A vault of 12 feet also would have put her in contention for a title at the Horizon League meet in which Wright State recently competed.
“They are getting an outstanding student and a very intelligent young lady,” Troy vaulting coach Herb Hartman said. “They are also getting a leader and a hard worker. I think she’ll get even better in college. I still think she could get 13 feet this year, although we are running out of time. They are very lucky to be getting here.”
Moser feels the same way about finally finding a college that fit all of her needs.
“I feel like this is the perfect fit for me,” she said. “The cost is good, they have my major and I’ll get to keep doing something I love.”
Sometimes home really is where the heart is.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong