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East County Athlete of the Week: John Moschella

The ODA junior won the boys 400-meter hurdles (58.78 seconds) at the Charlotte Invitational on March 3.

The Out-of-Door Academy boys track and field junior John Moschella.
The Out-of-Door Academy boys track and field junior John Moschella.
Photo by Ryan Kohn
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John Moschella is a junior on The Out-of-Door Academy boys track and field team. Moschella won the 400-meter hurdles (58.78 seconds) at the 2023 Charlotte Invitational on March 3 at Charlotte High.

When did you start doing hurdles?

I only tried them for the first time when I was 15. My dad (Kenneth Moschella) was a runner and a hurdler, so he showed me how to do it. Then I joined the track and field team for the first time last year. 

What is the appeal to you?

Well, I don't actually hate running. I know a lot of people do, but I enjoy it. I like that you can determine how well you do. If you want to be better, you just do more work on your own. Hurdles add another challenge to running. Having to jump over something makes races even more interesting. 

What is your favorite event?

The 400-meter hurdles is my favorite. I'm not the fastest guy in short distances. I'm more oriented to longer or middle-distance races. 

How did it feel to win at the Charlotte Invitational?

It felt great. This year is the first year I've won any medals at all. So, to cross the finish line first, it was a pretty good moment for me. 

What are your goals for this season?

For the 400-meter hurdles I'd like to get in the 55-56 second range, and for the 110-meter hurdles I would like to get under 16 seconds. I'm training five days a week here (at ODA) plus running on my own on Saturdays to make it happen. 

What is your favorite food?

I don't know if I can pick one food, but I will say that breakfast is my favorite type of food. Lately I have been making myself a sausage, egg and cheese bagel with some fruit, and that's good. 

What is your favorite movie?

I like the movie "Bleed for This" a lot. It's a biopic about the boxer Vinny Pazienza, who was a world champion but was in a serious car accident and suffered neck and spinal injuries. The movie is about how he came back from that to win another title. 

What are your hobbies?

I play the ukulele sometimes, and I play other sports like hockey in the winter. 

What is your favorite class?

I'm in marine biology this year and I like it a lot. We have had some cool experiences like kayaking. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Without fear, there is no bravery. I think that's an interesting perspective. Don't turn down a chance to try something new or something difficult, even if you're nervous.

Finish this sentence: "John Moschella is …"

Shy. (Laughs.) I'm not a super outgoing person.  



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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