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Local teen dominates national Junior Olympic event and takes 1st place

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — Stetson Moss is officially one of the fastest teenagers in America.

His training on his hometown track at Bonneville High School led him to the 2017 USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship in Lawrence, Kansas.

“I was happy to be there,” the 15-year-old tells “I always love meeting new runners and comparing my times to their times and just seeing how I would do against them.”

Stetson and his family just returned from the competition, which ran from July 24 to 30.

“It’s almost surreal to see him competing against top people in the nation and come out number one. That’s just amazing, but he puts in the work,” says Stetson’s father, Daryl Moss.

Stetson competed in two outdoor events in the 15-to-16 age division. He took first in the 3000-meter race and second in the 1500-meter race at the major competition.

Stetson Moss about to take gold during the 3000-meter race | Courtesy Moss Family

“The finish line in the 3000 is when I knew I won. In the 3000, second place was 0.08 of a second behind me,” Stetson says.

During the races, the runner scored new personal bests. In the 3000-meter, he not only beat those in his division but schooled more seasoned runners with a time of 9:39.7. For the 1500-meter, a 4:05.7.

While Stetson is running, he analyzes other competitors and plots where he needs to be at certain points throughout the race.

“Usually I focus on my strategic moves,” Stetson says.

Stetson is inspiring other rising stars in his family like his sister, Jessica, who also competed at the Junior Olympics.

“I usually think, ‘Just go for the gold,’” Jessica says.

13-year-old Jessica Moss competed in the Junior Olympic Championship| Natalia Hepworth,

The 13-year-old ranks fifth in the nation among seventh-graders, and she and her brother train together.

“She’s doing really, really well,” Daryl Moss says. “She’s broken some of the school records for her age group. She’s a distance runner also, and they’re both looking forward to cross country where they’re going to kick butt.”

Stetson and Jessica both have high hopes for their futures. Stetson plans on competing in high-ranking national meets and in the future he hopes to obtain some lofty goals.

“Hopefully someday I want to be running in the Olympics,” Stetson says.