WARNER ROBINS -- Shifting weight to bump his chair through the curves of a track oval, Houston County High School freshman William Moore refuses to brake. He knows how to handle danger and pain.
A victim of what he calls brittle bone syndrome, Moore endured fractures of his hip about four times. He walks with crutches to ease the pressure on his feet, the bones of which could break from as simple a function as stepping off a ladder. Moore occasionally retreats to a wheelchair, but on those occasions, his intentions are hardly recuperative.
In chairs designed specifically for competition, Moore recently earned a trio of first-place finishes in the wheelchair division of the GHSA boys track and field championships. He bested two other athletes in the 200- and 800-meter runs and in shot put.
The oldest of three children born to Gregory and Helen -- his younger sisters do not have the syndrome -- Moore is in his first year of track and field. He joined up with the Houston County Sharks adapted sports program about six months ago; in time to help the team with GHSA championships in basketball and football. (The Sharks also won the team handball title in the fall of 2012.) He said the transition to track was natural and easy.
Under the guidance of Houston County coaches Denny Maddox and Tom Seward, Moore hit the oval for about an hour a day before tossing the shot 20 or 30 throws. He works with weights, as well.
None of that training offsets the danger Moore faces should he suffer a wipeout on the track. He is undeterred, however.
Its fun, Moore said. I like to go out to the track and do runs around the track -- see how fast I can get. Try to get some records before I graduate.
Moores time in the 200 (55.85 seconds) fell about two seconds shy of what Houston County graduate Minsoo Kim recorded at state in 2012.
Moore is happy to race the clock, but hed like to see more wheelchair competitors on the track, as well. He encourages his Sharks teammates and others new to adapted sports to try track.
Youd get a lot out of it and enjoy it, Moore said. If you come join, you wont regret it.
A model student-athlete, Moore lists math and biology as his favorite academic subjects. His goal is to attend Georgia Tech and major in engineering.
Contact Chris Deighan at firstname.lastname@example.org