Coca is All-American in 3,000

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WLV junior competes in Junior Olympic national meet

By Dave Kavanaugh

Moises Coca of Las Vegas is back in his hometown after placing in two distance runs in this past week’s USATF Junior Olympic national outdoor track and field competition held in Greensboro, N.C.

Coca, who’ll be a junior this fall at West Las Vegas High, represented the Meadow City Track Club.

Notably, Coca ran 12th overall in the boys’ 3,000-meter run (age 15-16) with a time of 9:30.86 in the finals Thursday morning, July 25. There were 46 runners in the finals.

Coca also placed 32nd overall in the boys’ 800-meter run (age 15-16) with a time of 2:06.93 in the preliminaries Wednesday afternoon, July 24. Roughly 50 runners took part in the prelims, with the top eight qualifying for finals.

A couple of strong finishes in the regional qualifier held July 4-6 in Mesa, Ariz., propelled Coca into the national championship meet. He was fourth in the 800 in 2:08.34 and fifth in the 3,000 with a time of 9:48.88, making the cut for nationals in both events. Additionally, he posted a 4:29.83 in the 1,500, finishing seventh.

Coca is the son of Gilbert and Karen Coca of Montezuma and a top distance runner for the Dons’ cross country and track squads, led by head coaches Leroy “Caro” Armijo and James Esquibel.

His Meadow City Track Club coach is Morgan Montaño, who works with athletes from both local school districts for the club.

Montaño has said he wants young local athletes to think beyond the limitations of the traditional seasons that coincide with the school year and take on the challenges of their chosen sports on the regional and national levels as well as the local and state competitions. He noted that internationally the track and field season lasts well into the summer.