By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications
Junior Sydney Beeman has become one of the top runners on the St. Bonaventure women's cross country team, but it took a dare for her to pick up running.
A soccer player throughout the youth levels, it was when her brother told her she couldn't run as well that she decided to join her high school's cross country team.
"My brother said I wouldn't be able to do soccer and cross country in one season," she remembered. "I was the first person in my high school to do both and I ended up doing that for four years."
It turned out that the decision to prove her brother wrong was good for her and her team.
Beeman was a qualifier for the Pennsylvania State Championship Meet in cross country while at Sayre Area High School and began to see running in college as a possibility.
After visiting St. Bonaventure, she decided to make the approximately two-hour trip north from her hometown after experiencing the welcoming nature of the Bonnies running program.
"I loved my high school team and then coming here it was so similar, the culture was so close," she said. "Everyone was so friendly. The girls team and the guys team are so close. We're a big family. It was an easy pick for me."
Beeman has continually improved while with the Bonnies, moving her way to the front of the pack on the team.
In the season-opening Little Three Championship meet, she ran a personal best 5K time of 19:49.62 to finish second on the team and 10th overall to start the year on a strong note. At the West Point Invitational on Sept. 14, she was again second on her team as she ran the difficult 5.6K course in a time of 22:27.5.
During track season last spring, she ran the 800 and 1500 meters and had PRs in both events.
In her third season now with the program, she is one of the veterans on a roster that has many young runners. This fall, the Bonnies have nine freshmen and Beeman is one of the upperclassmen runners the newcomers look to for advice and leadership.
"I've been reaching out to the freshmen and if they have any questions, let them know I'm there for them to ask," she said. "Even if they just want to hang out and talk, just be there for them whenever."
The Bonnies are next in action Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Anderson Invitational in Rochester.
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