Excuse the Berkshire League boys running fraternity if they’re all over the spectrum when it comes to Alex Beauchene. A little frustrated on one foot and a lot impressed on both feet with the Northwestern Regional senior.
Here’s the deal. Beauchene won the BL cross country title in November at Black Rock State Park, six seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Nick Zappone of Terryville. That’s all pretty cool. Beauchene is a class act, easy to get along with, National Honor Society and just oozes with a lot of admirable qualities to go along with his fast feet. Oh did we mention he is on his way to becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT) and works with the Explorer’s prgram at the New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance garage and has plans to be an orthopedic surgeon. You get the picture, we’ve got the total package here.
But could it please be his favorite sport? The culmination of a much sought after goal? It is neither. So while the multitudes are busting their running treads to become a champion Beauchene comes along and is just better.
The victory wasn’t a surprise. Beauchene finished fifth as a junior. He thought he could win, he wanted to win. It wasn’t the end of the world if he didn’t. He didn’t slave all summer, pounding out the miles. He didn’t go out worry about getting fancy new gliders for the feet. As a matter of fact he would prefer no footwear to running shoes and water to land.
“Running is not my favorite thing,” he said with a bit of a grin. “I came to like it more because of the friends I have that run. I wouldn’t say that winning was a goal. I like running. I love swimming.”
Yeah, the water is Beauchene’s home. Fins preferred to feet, although both move him through their respective elements at a rapid quip. Class S state champion in the 200 freestyle (1:42.67) and runner up in the 100 free. Three-time BL champ in both 100 and 50 free along with 400 and 200 free relay champion.
All of which has led him to sign a letter of intent to join the swimming team at Providence College this fall. He has already been told he will probably swim the 200 free and 800 free relay.
Beauchene quickly realized that running and swimming have a helpful connection.
“Swimming is full body, every muscle every day,” said Beauchene. “Running helps the legs and the respiratory system. It helps with endurance and recovery in swimming.
Beuchene’s biggest challenge these days is the impact of Covid-19. All clubs and organized sports are postponed until January 19 which has curtailed his work at the Granby YMCA and Farmington Valley YMCA.
“The pool is open and you swim on your own,” explained Beauchene. “The coach will send you in your practice and you swim on your own. “
Practice was originally closed in March and restarted June 22 until recently. “For a lot of swimmers, even if you skip one or two days you can feel it,” he noted.
In the meantime, Beauchene navigates it all. School at home, practice on his own. History says his GPS will get him where he wants to be which includes a lot of first place finishes.
After all, he is the BL cross country champion. The best in a sport, where being the best wasn’t the ultimate goal. A sport he likes as compared to swimming, the sport he loves.
Alex Beauchene gets to finish line ahead of everybody else a lot of times. Water or land, it doesn’t seem to matter. You can’t help but be impressed and admire.