WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) — It is another steamy summer morning in the Tampa Bay area and on the track at Cypress Creek High School in Wesley Chapel more than a dozen athletes prepare for their daily workout.
The summer track and field season is beginning to wind down and soon school will begin.
The athletes who make up the Speed Starz Track/Running Club range mostly from young high school to elite college runners.
Then there is Seth Williamson.
At age 5, Williamson might be mistaken for a team member’s younger brother, which is actually the case. But Seth is a competitor representing the club. He is also a national champion.
“I just want to win,” Williamson said. “I like to watch Usain Bolt, Andre DeGrasse and Trayvon Bromell.”
Those athletes are three of the best that the sport has ever seen, with world records and Olympic medals.
Bromell, a St. Petersburg native, recently finished third in the 100 meters at the World Track and Field Championships.
“We had his [Williamson’s] sister with us in our spring season,” said B.B. Roberts, director of the club. “During that practice time, he was hanging around.”
Being around his sister’s workouts lit a spark. At the urging of Seth’s father, Roberts decided to let Seth join in and run with the bigger kids.
A longtime coach and mentor, Roberts noticed that young Seth was actually pretty good at sprinting. So Seth was allowed to compete in age group races.
“It was time to line up and he was with the 6-year-olds,” Roberts said. “He did a phenomenal job. He got first place and not only got first, he slowed down to look at the guy next to him.”
A fun experiment-turned-passion had suddenly become potential.
Williamson competed in the AAU Primary Nationals in Orlando, winning gold medals in the 100 meters as well as the 55 meters events.
His times currently stand as the fastest in the nation for 6-year-olds. But Williamson’s dream summer was about to get even better.
Through contacts and the track and field coaching circles, Roberts was able to arrange a FaceTime call for Williamson.
When Seth answered, the face he saw was one of his heroes, Trayvon Bromell.
“He said keep training hard,” Williamson said.
Inspired and motivated, there is no telling how quickly Williamson can now progress on track’s bigger stages.
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But right now, the smile says this 5-year-old is having the time of his life, even if that bottom row of teeth have yet to grow in full.