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'Little girl, big award'

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: RALPH GREENE - Sevyn Watson flies to the finish line June 1 at the Portland Track Festival in Hillsboro. She won the 2014 Oregon USA Track & Field Female Younger Girl (12 and under) Track Athlete of the Year Award.Sam Watson always smiles when he sees his 8-year-old daughter racing against girls a head taller than she is — and besting them.

Now, little Sevyn Watson’s won again, taking home the 2014 Oregon USA Track & Field Female Younger Girl (12 and under) Track Athlete of the Year Award.

“She kind of exceeded our expectations,” her father says. “We didn’t expect her to be one of the fastest in the country.”Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Sevyn Watson smiles with her brother and coach, Jordan Watson, at her side.

As Debbie Hennessey, one of the Lake Grove Elementary School third-grader’s previous teachers, puts it, “Little girl, big award.”

Sevyn earned the honor for her strong performance in the USATF Junior Olympic Regionals in Spokane, Wash., in July.

Sevyn took first place in the 100- and 400-meter races. She also placed third in the 200-meter race, something her dad says may have been due to nerves because she posted the fastest time in the preliminaries.

For perspective on her accomplishments — placing and overcoming her nerves — consider that the regional races include the fastest competitors from Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Her speed and placements qualified her for the Junior Olympic Nationals in Houston in all three races.

“We didn’t take the trip, due to it being such a big stage for such a young girl,” says her mom, Sasha Watson.

The youngest of four children — two boys, two girls — Sevyn attributes her fleet-footedness to her family’s support.Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Sevyn Watson placed first in the 100- and 400-meter races in the USATF Junior Olympic Regionals in Spokane, Wash., in July.

“My brother (Jordan) coaches me, and my sister runs with me — and my brother,” Sevyn says while sitting with her father at her school on Monday. “And my dad is my other coach, kind of.”

The “kind of” causes him to chuckle.

Sevyn smiles and amends her description. “He’s a coach,” she says.

Being serious, she says her family’s encouragement is her inspiration.

“It makes me feel that I can go fast, and that I can go faster than how fast I go,” she says.

Her mom, Sasha Watson, says Sevyn competes through her Tigard Youth Track team, which is run by Ralph and Margie Greene, who have been instrumental in developing Sevyn’s talent.

Hennessey says Sevyn’s so fast, she’s able to compete against the boys.

When she’s not outrunning bigger girls or boys, she’s kicking a soccer ball with the Lake Oswego Soccer Club.

“It’s fun for me. I just like it,” she says.

Soccer and track aside, Sevyn’s just a good kid, Hennessey says.

Sevyn “performs wonderfully in the classroom and is respectful to all,” and she is a “wonderful kid in the community who walks with her head high,” Hennessey says.

Contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com.

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