Will Kay is a leader. Just ask Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head cross country coach Scott Bliss: “Will is a great leader and he has really been an important part of our growth as a team this year. He is very enthusiastic and supportive to all team members, which is very important with three freshmen on varsity.”
Born in 1995, Kay is a Shelburne native. His family includes parents Jane and Jim, older brother Sam, a UVM college student, and a dog named Jasmine.
“My first experience with running was in middle school. I was looking to participate in a sport and in seventh grade I found cross country,” recalled Kay. “I don’t know why I chose running but I’m glad I did.”
And so is the team. A two-year varsity runner, Kay is still smitten with cross country. “What’s great about the CVU team is that anyone can join, participate, compete, and improve,” he commented. “Right now we are having a good season; we’re working hard and getting better every race.”
When asked about his strengths, Kay answered without hesitation, “I have a positive attitude, and I’m pretty good at getting people motivated. Not only that, but I know how to keep things loose.”
Coach Bliss added, “Will has a great work ethic and sets a good example for his teammates in that regard. And more importantly, he is always trying to improve his racing.”
Not surprisingly, racing played a role in his proudest moment. “Last year at the state meet our team really came together. A lot of us ran our best races that day. Although we only came in second, our hard work paid off. It was one of those times when I felt most proud.”
In addition to cross country, Kay is a busy guy. He competes for CVU in Nordic skiing and track & field. He is involved in debate club, “Brain Bee,” and has been gainfully employed at Brueggers’ Bagels since summer. A Boy Scout, Kay is also working on his Eagle Scout project: building wheelchair-accessible picnic benches for parks around Shelburne.
What’s next for this CVU senior? Kay is just beginning the college selection process. “I’m undecided on a major. I’m leaning towards biochemistry or biophysics on a small scale,” he commented. “I plan to apply to Williams College, the University of Rochester, and Middlebury College.” Plans for next year may be incomplete, but there’s no cause for concern. Given Kay’s talents, he’s most likely to cross the finish line with a victory and a winning smile.