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‘Pushing past your limits’: Gators track and field star qualifies for third nationals in two years

Macaria Moore-Bastide is slated to participate in the Indoor NCAA Division II Championships
Dan Hernandez
Macaria Moore-Bastide of the SFSU women’s track & field team high jumps at Cox Stadium during practice on March 4. 2023. (Dan Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress)

Preparing for her third appearance at the indoor NCAA Division II championships, Macaria Moore-Bastide is earning a spot at nationals. From March 8-9, the San Francisco State University track and field athlete will showcase her prowess on the collegiate stage. 

At 19, Moore-Bastide has participated in track and field for almost six years. She began as a freshman in high school while also being involved in other sports, such as field hockey and basketball, but her coaches noticed she excelled most in track and field, especially in the high jump category.

Moore-Bastide shifted her focus to track and field when she noticed her skills became stronger and she would be recognized for her high jumps. She quickly picked up the pace and improved significantly within four years

“The main thing is to just push past the point of feeling uncomfortable, pushing past your limits,” Moore-Bastide said. “I feel like that’s something that anyone learns in sports. So that’s the main thing that I learned going into track.”

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Vince Young, Moore-Bastide’s first coach at Eastlake High School, has seen her athleticism improve throughout the years. She was originally the hurdles coach, but since there wasn’t a high jump coach available, Young stepped up and filled that spot.

 Young was like a second mom to Moore-Bastide and taught her the fundamentals of the high jump. She showed up to her practices even though she didn’t need to and slowly became a mentor as she helped her hone her skills physically and mentally.

“She taught me not to compare myself,” Moore-Bastide said. “It’s me against me, not me against the people that I’m going against.”

After graduating high school, Moore-Bastide made the easy decision to attend SFSU because of the instant connection. She felt at home and recognized the community in track and field that she wanted to be a part of. After contacting the coach at the time, she felt welcome to continue her track and field journey at SFSU.

“He brought me to visit here,” Moore-Bastide said. “He took me to lunch and I hung out with the team. I went bowling with the team at the time, so that honestly really helped. I love the team and the track is beautiful.”

Macaria Moore-Bastide (center) of the SFSU women’s track & field team poses with her teammates Sanaia Woods (left) and Janice Conley (right) at Cox Stadium during practice on March 4, 2024. (Dan Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress) (Dan Hernandez)

Moore-Bastide has qualified for nationals three times in the past two years. She was named All-American in the high jump, where she placed eighth after reaching a jump of 1.72m. She’s only participated in one of them because she pulled a hamstring right before her second national competition. 

“I don’t realize how big of an achievement it is until someone tells me,” Moore-Bastide said. “‘You know how many people have tried to go to nationals but never got there?’ Stuff like that really helps me realize that it is a pretty big accomplishment.”

Track and field coach Chris Manuele is proud of Moore-Bastide’s accomplishments. He’s seen her grow within her first two years and is amazed about how much she’s been able to do at SFSU. He admires the talent she brings to the team and the inspiring athleticism she’s been able to reach.

“I’ve been coaching at the college level for about 10 years now and she is probably the best competitor that I’ve ever coached as far as when you get to competition,” Manuele said. “As far as being able to lock in and handle business, it’s really awesome to see that from somebody so young and it’s exciting to think about her future.”

Manuele appreciates the level of effort Moore-Bastide puts into her game. She’s able to achieve great things through persistence and dedication to the sport, and her mindset drives her to make the best out of any situation.

“She came here with a good work ethic,” Manuele said. “I think just something that she’s done since she’s been here is continuously pushing herself. I think she’s more of a leader by example.”

Moore-Bastide’s teammate, Janice Conley, is in sprints. Although they participate in different events, she admires Moore’s work in the high jump while at SFSU. They have gotten close over their two years at SFSU. Conley appreciates the professional aspect that Moore brings to the group and the positive affirmations she says to motivate her teammates. 

“She’s always been like the leader and a role model, even from before we got super close,” Conley said. “She’s really good at giving motivational speeches. Macaria is more like a one-on-one person.”

Sanaia Woods is also a sprint athlete and has gotten the opportunity to see Moore-Bastide become the athlete she is today as she approaches nationals soon. Woods has seen Moore-Bastide go through the ups and downs throughout a season, with injuries and reaching new goals. She’s seen it all and is always inspired by what Moore-Bastide can do, even with a sprained ankle.

“Just in the last competition, she actually twisted her ankle before her jumps,” Woods said. “She still ended up with a season-best, if I’m not mistaken, and she just solidified her position in nationals so she’s still running.”

Moore-Bastide recently sprained her ankle two weeks ago in New York City before their meet during warm-ups. The perseverance from Moore-Bastide doesn’t go unnoticed by her teammates.

“I noticed that she was able to go from twisting her ankle and was able to go get it wrapped and figure out how to just kind of get back in the zone, even though she was injured,” Woods said. “Get back in the zone and go back to training and do what she needed to do.”

Moore-Bastide will compete in the indoor NCAA Division II championships in the high jump this weekend, March 8-9.

This story was originally published on GoldenGateXpress on March 7, 2024.