He was in fifth grade when Will Moten found out he could run fast. At recess, kids would race and he usually won. For a while, that was enough. Then a teacher asked if he wanted to run track. He had no idea what that was, but signed up with Charles County Elite Track & Field Club. “This could be something,” he remembered thinking.
Moten, now a senior at Westlake High School and holder of records in outdoor and indoor track, has been named a national finalist in the Wendy’s High School Heisman program. From a pool of more than 20,000 student athletes from around the country who excel not only at sports, but academics and community service, Moten is among the top 10 — five boys and five girls — in a heat for the final prize.
“It’s a pretty elite group,” Richard Borchers, president of the DavCo Restaurant, LLC, a Wendy’s franchisee, said. Borchers, who recently visited Westlake to surprise Moten with the honor, added seniors nominated for the award are go-getters.
“They are role models to their peers and community,” Borchers said. “They challenge themselves in and out of the classroom.”
Moten, known for his reserved character, comes alive on the track, helping Westlake win back-to-back state championships. “He’s a great young man,” said Beth Shook, Westlake’s track and field coach. “Will’s very dedicated to his sport, very studious.”
“Dedicated” and a “hard worker” are words that continue to spring up when his teammates describe Moten.
“He gets the job done when he needs to,” senior Tobias Hurley said.
“When he’s needed, he’s there,” said senior Thomas Alcorn, who is on the relay team with Moten. “He never lets us down.”
His parents, William Moten and Sylvia Bryant, describe their son in much the same way.
“He’s a leader and very humble,” Bryant said. “He doesn’t like a lot of attention, but he likes competition.”
William Moten didn’t even know his son could run that fast when he first started. Now there is no way to slow him down as he continues to college where Moten would like to study business administration and engineering. “He never wanted to be known just for track,” William Moten said. “He’s a strong worker.”
As a national finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman, Moten earned a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to New York City for Heisman weekend in December. On Dec. 9, the two national winners will be announced during an awards ceremony which will be aired 8:30 p.m. Dec. 11 on ESPN2.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.