by Ken Brown
CRAFTSBURY – Recent Craftsbury Academy (CA) graduate Alan Moody is bringing his talents to the west coast this fall and will test his skills at the next level after starring for the Chargers in their cross country and track and field programs the past four years.
Moody was a stalwart for a CA cross country team that will enter this coming fall as three-time defending Division III state champions under head coach Mike LeVangie. The dynastic team of Moody, Charlie Kehler, Matthew Califano, Cormac Leahy, Alexander Califano, Silas Hunt, and Linden Stelma-Leonard cruised to a three-peat at states last October at Thetford Academy. Linden Stelma-Leonard and 2021 individual state champ Leahy graduated along with Moody, but LeVangie’s powerhouse program is in good hands with a talented returning core that includes Kehler, who captured the 2022 Division III individual title as just a sophomore. Leahy will look to compete for Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., this fall and Moody will do the same at Occidental College in Los Angelas, Calif.
“Coach LeVangie was the largest impact on my interest in running and the person who encouraged me to look for opportunities to run in college. Mike motivated me and the team to put everything we had into our sport, taking us to races all across the state and beyond to improve our race confidence,” said Moody.
LeVangie built a high school cross country dynasty in a small school in Northern Vermont that has less than 100 pupils enrolled in grades 9-12. He admits the challenges his student athletes face in an isolated and insulated environment that isn’t blessed with the facilities of most of the programs they compete with, but credits the success at CA over the last three years to special athletes like Moody.
“Many athletes and students in the area attend class, do the required work, and move on to work or a local college. Not Alan. Alan is different in the best possible manner. I first encountered Alan as a Freshman with his head up and eyes on mine and he informed me that he wanted to run cross country. He had an athletic background in several sports, but when I asked him if he’d ever competed in cross country he told me, ‘no, but I like to run and I want to try something new.’ This young man has a great deal of sagacity about him I thought and from that day on Alan has proven that thought correct. Alan’s presence will be missed at CA, the community, and definitely on our team. He is a fantastically goofy, open, fun human, but when faced with challenges, he does the work, he actively seeks additional information, and brings his finding to the team for discussion and better understanding. His ability to face issues like time management and workflow skills head on is truly remarkable. Our teams travel a lot and as a three-time state champion, Alan was one of our leaders in assuring our team maintained academic discipline, while competing at a high level. Since his freshman year he has grown athletically and as a young man. He was a core member of our state championships and each year and improved both his objective race times and his knowledge of his own self and limits,” said LeVangie.
Moody also competed in track and field for the Chargers and was a key cog in the 2022 team that brought the first ever boys’ Division IV State Championship to Craftsbury Academy. He capped off a stellar three-year high school career earlier this spring, by defeating Sharon Academy’s Luke Miller by over one and a half seconds to capture the state title in the 800m event. He also teamed up with Matthew Califano, Silas Hunt, and Alexander Califano to blow away the field at states by nearly 30 seconds to capture the state title in the 4X800m relay for his third career individual championship. Moody’s team came up short by just three points in defending their state championship in June at Knapp Field in Manchester. LeVangie’s imprint is also on CA’s track and field success as a lead assistant the past few years and looks forward to what Moody will bring to his new teams at the next level.
“As a coach, I am often asked to write letters for jobs, colleges, scholarship opportunities, but it is rare I am able to do so with such great pleasure as when writing about Alan Moody. He exhibits the qualities of a leader as well as a great student and person who will do whatever is necessary to excel in any challenging environment. Alan is an outstanding young man who will be an asset to the team and community at Occidental College this fall,” said LeVangie.
Moody has full belief in the success of CA’s cross country and track and field programs going forward and has little to no complaints in competing and learning at a small school in a small town in the Northeast Kingdom. He is excited for his next challenge as a small fish in a much bigger pond, but remains focused as usual on the small details that will allow him to get better.
“If I ever had any complaints about coming from a small school, none of them would have to do with the teams I’ve ran with. There were never many of us, but we all were so dedicated and focused on what we needed to do to improve. We were always a tiny crew at a tiny school, but the fun that we had just running around Craftsbury and the focus that we had when Mike called for it, was powerful. I look forward to keeping track of the group of guys at CA next year and encourage them to chase another title. I plan on running both cross country and track and field at Occidental and I’m excited to run year round in the sunny Los Angeles weather! The 800m is still my favorite event and I’ll continue to focus on it. My biggest goal is to break the two-minute barrier in it early on in my college career,” said Moody.
I wouldn’t bet against him.