On Saturday in Birmingham, Northern Arizona University long distance runner Geordie Beamish won the Men’s Mile Final at the 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Track & Field National Championships.
The New Zealand native finished the race in 4:07.69, less than one minute ahead of Villanova’s Casey Comber (4:08.03). Beamish had the fastest time at both the 409-meter and final split—when the bell rang for the final lap, it was clear he would accept nothing less than the gold medal. Despite having been boxed in and at times being situated at the back of the field, he was able to push through the last lap and come out on top.
“His feel for when to move has been so spot on this season—our conversation right before he went out there tonight was simply to trust those instincts,” said director of cross country and track & field Michael Smith. “Those instincts brought him a national title tonight.”
Beamish has secured his place in NAU history not only as a member of three NCAA cross country national championship teams, but now as an individual champion for indoors.
This is the fourth time in NAU indoor track & field history that a male student-athlete has won an individual championship: in 2007, Lopez Lomong won the men’s 3000-meter run; in 2010, David McNeill won the men’s 5000-meter run; and last year, Andy Trouard won the men’s 3000-meter run.
“We speak a lot about the tactics of 200-meter track racing,” added Smith. “Trouard’s race at the Indoor Nationals last year showed our guys how to do it. Tonight, Beamish took control of the straights and fought off some relentless attacks that last 300 meters. He knew exactly what to do.”
“It was a super emotional race,” Beamish said. “What was crucial for me was staying calm and keeping my emotions low early in the race. I knew I had to keep myself relaxed especially because I was boxed in for 90 percent of that race. Our program is so lucky to have an incredible support base built around our coaches, supporters and professional athletes in the area. It has been incredible to be a part of this and help us live up to the NAU standard.”
This is the first time in the NAU men’s track & field program history that two athletes have earned the gold at NCAA Indoor National Championships in back-to-back years.