Kelly Watt 

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About Kelly Watt

Kelly Hansen Watt was born on Sunday, November 2nd, 1986 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  He lived with his parents, Paul and Paige and sister Morgan Pattishall Watt, who arrived on September 19th, 1989 in Deerfield, Illinois until April of 1994, when the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he began running Cross-Country in the 7th Grade.  In June of 2000, he and his family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he resided until his tragic and untimely death on Saturday, July 30th, 2005, at the age of 18 years, 8 months and 28 days, from complications resulting from heat stroke, 3 1/2 days following the completion of an 8 mile training run on Ridge Road in Western Albemarle County, Virginia.  In just 19 more days, Kelly would have begun his college career at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Following is an excerpt from his application essay to that college:

            As I entered high school, I thought I would merely utilize cross country running as a tool to remain in good physical condition.  Instead I discovered, and soon fell in love with a sport that has driven me to succeed in anything I pursue.  Cross country has taught me the truth regarding hard work and discipline.  Some individuals are born with more talent than others, however, if one is willing to accept the painful challenge that every workout presents, then one will eventually be rewarded at the finish line.  In so doing I have become addicted to an extremely grueling activity.  I have also been fortunate enough to have developed some of the closest friendships of my entire life.

Signature Kelly H. Watt                        Date:  December 18, 2004

            Kelly's first love was the game of baseball.  He knew all of the player's statistics, played many positions in the game, and also played basketball and soccer as well, the latter for which he was a paid certified referee.

            His other love was sports journalism, starting his own magazine entitled Sports Weekly at the age of 12.  Kelly soon had 26 paying subscribers nationwide.  He was the magazine's sole writer, editor, publisher, illustrator, design manager and printing technician, all rolled into one.

            During Kellyís 4 years at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, he ran Cross-Country, becoming the teamís co-captain, and Indoor and Outdoor Track, eventually becoming the fastest Cross-Country distance runner in Central Virginia.

            He also became a Staff Reporter and later the Sports Editor of his high school's newspaper, The Revolution.  He loved the written word and couldn't bear to think of eliminating any of them.  His idea of editing his work so that it could fit on to a single page was to make the picture smaller.  He was also a staff writer for a local running website called  Then in the summer of 2004 he began interning for a local weekly newspaper called The Hook, and in 6 month's time was hired as a journalist, debuting his own column called Sports Wrap, by Kelly Watt, which he wrote until his death.

            Kelly pursued life with courage and with a goal, living each day to the fullest.  He accomplished more by the end of the day than most of us did in a month.  He was determined, driven, a team player with an unparalleled work ethic.  He was humble and compassionately loved his team, his family and the people with whom he worked, always wanting everyone to feel respected and valued.  Kelly made an impression, and he made all who were fortunate enough to have known him, better people.

            Kelly's sister Morgan also ran Cross-Country for Albemarle High, for 3 years, and has played tennis year-round, since the age of 5.  She was co-captain of her varsity team in 2008 and upon her graduation from Albemarle that year received the first annual Claudia Dodson Women in Sports Integrity Award and scholarship. She is currently pursuing her college career at The George Washington University.  !

Articles Featuring Kelly:

       The Hook: "Runner down: The life and death of Kelly Watt"

       Runner's World: "The Last Run"