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Friday, December 14, 2012 Flames Focus: Will Templeton

This post of my series on Liberty’s student athletes is about an athlete who is excelling in one the most grueling college sports. Will Templeton is a freshman cross country runner from Knoxville, Tennessee. As a kid, he was very competitive and actively involved in many sports.

Will began playing sports at a young age.

Will’s love for sports motivated him to play basketball at Hardin Valley Academy in high school. While he was training for basketball on the track, Will’s friend from the track team noticed his talent and told Will that he should join the track team.

Will competed with the track team his freshman year and began running cross country the next year. In his first year as a cross country runner, Will made it to state and realized that cross country was something he wanted to do for many years to come.

In the time leading up to his junior year cross country season, one of Will’s friends challenged him to read the Bible through in a year. Will took up the challenge and greatly strengthened his relationship with God. Will said that this helped him become more focused on his training than he had ever been before.

Will's relationship with God helped him focus.

Will’s training season was more organized, and he worked really hard as he trained alongside his older brother. Will’s goal was to do well at state, and he did exactly that. Will brought home a state championship and did the same thing during his senior year.

During his senior year, Will was looking at several colleges, but he had never heard of Liberty. One day, he was looking through Running Time Magazine, when he stumbled across an interesting article. Will usually just flips through articles and looks at the pictures, but he felt convicted to read this particular one.

The article was about Josh McDougle, who won a national championship at Liberty and is currently Liberty’s assistant cross country coach. Will said that it was the only Running Times article he’s ever read.

Two months later, Will received a Facebook message from the very man he had read the article about, Josh McDougle. McDougle told Will that he liked the way Will conducted himself in meets, and he invited Will to come up to Liberty for a visit. After visiting the campus and going through a series of events, Will decided to come to Liberty.

Will has been a valuable addition to Liberty cross country.

In his first season at Liberty, Will set personal records in all but two of his races. He also exceeded his personal goal of getting a 8k time of 25 minutes by running a race in 24:39.

Will has enjoyed being a part of the running family at Liberty and learning what it means to be a Liberty runner. "It’s a really special thing and a huge responsibility to keep these conference title championships coming and to grow this team into a national caliber team,” Will said.

Will has enjoyed being a part of the Liberty family.

In such a grueling sport, Will said that his motivation comes from his relationship with God. He finds that the times that he is closest with God are the times that he’s running best. “The driving force to pushing myself in practices, when nobody else is around sometimes, and just pushing myself to the next limit, when I feel like I don’t have any strength, is really just my relationship with God and letting him kind of be my coach,” Will said.

Along with running for Liberty, Will is enjoying being around many like-minded people, watching God bless his university, and pursuing his degree in Biology. Will is an incredible guy with a strong heart for God, incredible talent, and a strong work ethic. I can’t wait to see what he does in his next three years as a Liberty Flame.

Will (far right) enjoys time with Tyler Bullock and friends.

Posted at 8:35 AM | Comments (0)