Lindsey Good, Junior Weddington High School
Jill Moore, Senior Northwest Cabarrus High School
While the 1,600-meter race between Lindsey Good and Jill Moore was the first showdown of its kind in North Carolina High School Track history, those who cheered trackside at that cold, rainy meet remember it as a landmark in sportsmanship. Good and Moore are the first two wheelchair athletes in the history of North Carolina High School Track and Field to compete in the same race; previous to March 21, 2010, each of them had only raced solo, in separate races. Northwest Cabarrus High senior Moore and Weddington High junior Good both have leg paralysis from spina bifida, an underdevelopment of the lower spine. The two met at summer camp in elementary school and have been best friends ever since. They started competing in middle school for the Carolina Cruisers, a local track and field team for disabled youth athletes sponsored by Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas. Both athletes found that competitive opportunities in high school were scarcer, and it wasn't until their coaches set up this race that the two friends got the chance to compete against other wheelchair athletes.
Moore, who has had a few more years competing in track and field, won the race, but both considered it an act of teamwork for disabled high school athletes. "There were a lot of people who had never seen a chair race before," says Good, seventeen. "I think it was really eye-opening for them to see what it's like." Moore, seventeen, agrees: "I think it showed everyone that we all have our competition." — Annie Monjar