Last summer we announced the flrunners.com All-Decade Team to honor our state's finest high school cross country and track & field athletes from the 1999-2000 through the 2008-2009 season. Since we are now in the off-season here in Florida between cross country and track & field season, it's time to pick back up on those interviews! We will talk to as many of these legends as possible.
Here's one of the greatest cross country and 800 runners of the decade and Olympian from Haiti, MOISE JOSEPH!
- Graduated from Miami Central in 2000
- Attended the University of Florida where he had a stellar career for the Gators
- Competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games for Haiti in the 800 Meters
- Ran a personal best of 1:45.74 in 2002
- He's still got it... ran a 1:45.87 this past summer (2009) at the World Championships in Berlin
- 3:45 personal best in the 1500
- Represented by Flynn Sports Management
- High School PRs: 4:10.85 1600, 15:00.27 XC 3Mile, 1:50.30 800, 9:21.43 3200
- Jason Byrne, flrunners.com When you reflect back on your high school career what are you most proud of?
- Moise Joseph I had a plethora of proud moments and it is difficult to pick one. However, there (is one) that stands out (that happened) my sophomore year. It began my freshman campaign year at the state meet where I placed second in the two mile. I wasn't upset that I was 2nd, but it was the way I lost. The winner was 100m ahead which left a very bad taste which only gave me so much drive to prevent that from ever happening. Therefore, my proudest moment was my sophomore year where I left the state meet with with four state championships titles and our 4x800 relay team broke the state record at that time (7:45). That was a fullfilling and incredible day for everyone. We worked hard all year and surpassed expectations.
- JB Who or what things made the biggest impacts on your success?
MJ My family, high school teammates, Coach John A. Rolle (high school coach) and his wonderful staff were the ones who pushed me beyoud measures and believed in my God given abilities.
I'm definetly proud of my success and how that success has paved the way for the next generations of mid-distance runnners in Florida who have taken it to the next level.
- JB Who were some of the athletes you remember that you loved competing against?
- MJ (Laugh) I wouldn't say that I loved competing against them because they were always a tough, difficult, but great battles. There were many athletes, but the most memorable races I've ran against were Courtney Chambers, Moses Washington, John Jefferson, Sean Jefferson, and if anyone can recall Eddie Acosta (now that's a throwback). They were all great runners.
- JB Besides a particular athletic accomplishment, what are some of your best memories from high school athletics?
- MJ I would have say my entire senior year. In Miami, sprinting events were the races to watch. During my freshman year before I would run the 4x800, mile, or two mile. I noticed alot of people would take that time to head towards the concession stands or restrooms, leaving the stands pretty much empty and only a few cheered. I wanted to change that and develop a new euphoria of distance running in Miami. I wanted to give people something to watch, something so special that they looked forward to and couldn't miss. It was called pure domination. By my senior year, I can recall before each race I was about to run, I'd looked back to Traz Powell Stadium and notice the stands were full and not a single person had left.
- JB You represented Haiti in two Olympic Games. Tell us about that experience.
- MJ At the Olympics, I was nervous beyoud nervousness as I warmed up. I couldn't think straight, palms were sweaty, and when they called us in to head to the stadium, my heart sank. I even accidently tripped over one of the Kenyan athletes as we walked because I was losing it. As I stood at the starting and they announced our names my heart was still pumping. When they shot the gun and before I took my first step, something happened. It's funny, they say just before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. I'm not saying that this occurred, but every race I'd had run from my middle school days living in New Jersey to my college days at UF in Gainesville, Florida flashed before my eyes. After I had taken the step, my nerves were gone and there was a sense of calmness. At that moment, I realized what all of this was for. Across my chest I was representing Haiti, which represented not a people but a nation. At that moment, I was living a dream that I had once set for myself as a youth. As soon as my nerves settled my competitiveness took over and began to lead the entire race until 100m to go. It was my first international race after college and this is when I learned what tactics were all about as 5-6 guys flow pass me. All in all, it was a remarkable experience.
- JB What are you doing now as far as career, competing, family?
- MJ After the Games I decided to continue competing but now on the elite/international level. I currently live in Reston, VA training under Scott Raczko, who is Alan Webb's former coach. I work a couple jobs, one as gait analysis specialist and soon to be a personal trainer at a local gym. There are no mini Moise Joseph Jr. running around, but I'm working on it (Laughing).
- JB What advice would you give to today's high school athletes?
- MJ Advice I could give to high school athletes is forget about your running times at the moment and learn to really push yourself in practice and in races. Always believe that there is no limit to what you can do and by pushing yourself beyoud limits allows you to do incredible things then what you can imagine.
- JB Thanks! And congratulations again on all of your accomplishments. I hope life is treating you well... will be great to hear back from you and the other legends of the 2000s!