Watson signs with SWU

CENTRAL — Continuing a recent trend of successful distance runners from Pickens High School, Blue Flame senior Rebecca Watson inked last Friday to continue her cross country career at Southern Wesleyan University.
“This will be the fourth runner that we’ve sent in just the past few years to Southern Wesleyan,” PHS girls track and cross country coach Bryan Clevenger said.
It was that recent string of transitions from PHS to SWU that helped Watson make the choice to become a Warrior.
“I’m really excited to be joining SWU next year,” she said. “I had heard a lot about Southern Wesleyan through my coaches and friends who have run there. It definitely helps out a lot, because if I have any problems or need any help with anything, they’ll be right there.”
Southern Wesleyan coach Chip Rouse is excited about the prospect of another former Blue Flame runner on his squad.
“We’ve had a great history with Pickens kids,” Rouse said.
Rouse said Watson is similar to other former PHS runners that have inked with his program in the past in that she has peaked late in her high school career.
“It’s like she’s really just figured out in the last six months that she’s better even than she thought she was, and confidence is such a huge part of running ability,” he said. “She is going to do fantastic things for us, and I could not be more excited about her joining us.”
Watson is a team captain for the Lady Blue Flame track team and a former captain of the PHS girls’ cross country team.
“She’s probably one of the best kids that I know,” Clevenger said of Watson. “She’s one of those that has that rare quality of leading by example instead of leading with her mouth.”
Clevenger said he doesn’t know what his team will do without Watson to lead the way in the future.
“She’s a mother hen for the team,” he said. “You can find somebody that’s similar, but they’re not going to take her place, no way.”