Watson heads to Fenway, accepts Red Sox Service Scholarship

BAR HARBOR — Olivia Watson, who graduated from Mount Desert Island High School in June, took to heart the MDI cross-country team’s motto, “Run with integrity.”

“Olivia has always been passionate about putting herself in a position to help others, and she shows that in her volunteer work and when she’s running with her teammates,” Olivia’s mother, Lexie Watson, told the Islander on Sunday morning. “She wanted to write an essay that reflected that.”

An essay Watson wrote about her volunteer work with the MDI cross-country and track teams, and for the MDI Marathon, earned her a $1,000 scholarship from the Red Sox Foundation.

She was set to be recognized on the field at Fenway Park Tuesday, along with scholarship recipients from other New England high schools, before the game between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.

Watson was a top runner on the cross-country team during each of her four years at MDI, participating on the Trojans’ Northern Maine title-winning team as a sophomore and Penobscot Valley Conference championship-winning team as a senior. On the indoor and outdoor track teams, she was a consistent state championship meet qualifier.

This fall, Olivia will be heading to St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., where she will be continuing her running career as an NCAA athlete.

“I’m proud of Olivia because she really took to heart the messages the MDI running coaches tried to instill in the teams,” said Lexie Watson.

For Lexie, the anticipation of an experience at Fenway was even more emotional than the scholarship money. Six other members of the extended Watson family — including Olivia’s grandparents, with whom she shared her scholarship-winning essay — were set to be in attendance for Tuesday’s game.

The Watsons are passionate about the Red Sox. Lexie’s family grew up in Brookline, just minutes from Fenway Park, and the thought of sitting in the same seats in which she sat growing up brought back memories.

“The free tickets are bleacher seats,” Lexie said ahead of the trip from Bar Harbor to Boston. “When my dad would take me to games, we would always sit in the bleachers because it was too rowdy.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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