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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Cross country’s Beattie comes from family of runners

Steve Gotter

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Athletics, Photo by Steve Gotter

UA Kayla Beattie runs in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on October 19. Beattie finished second in the race.

Kayla Beattie has been running for as long as she can remember and isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon.

Running is a tradition in the Beattie family, who hail from Woodstock, Ill. Debbie and Dave Beattie were both cross country and track runners at Bowling Green University and they passed the sport onto their four kids. Daughter Kayla Beattie however, continued on the path to the Arizona cross country team.

“We kind of just grew up around the sport of running. When I was younger, my parents pushed me and my siblings in a jogging stroller and then when we got older we would bike alongside of them and then eventually run alongside of them. And then once we got to the age where we could join the middle school [cross country] team, my siblings and I, we all joined for an after-school activity,” sophomore Kayla Beattie said.

Older sister Elise Beattie competes on the cross country and track and field team at the University of New Hampshire and she said the two help push one another to do their best in races.

“It is special that each of us can share it together. Many of my best memories from running come from racing with Kayla and being known as the ‘Beattie sisters,’” Elise Beattie said. “Being three hours apart can make communication between Kayla and I difficult at times, but we have still remained close despite the distance.”

After spending her true freshman and sophomore years at the University of Iowa, Kayla Beattie decided to transfer and become a Wildcat. During her freshman year she earned all-region honors with her 17th place finish overall at the NCAA Midwest Regional with a time of 21:32. During her second season of track at Iowa, she did not compete because of several injuries.

Off the track, Kayla Beattie is studying pre-physiology and said she plans on attending medical school and then getting into pharmacological studies or rehabilitation. She said she has been “much happier here” and is in good company with the rest of the team, which she hopes will make Nationals this year.

Last weekend, Beattie and the rest of the women’s team won the Pac-12 meet in Colorado — a first for the program’s history. Beattie came in fifth place overall and second for the UA with a time of 21:20 in the 6,000-meter race. In the four previous meets that Beattie has competed in, she took first place three times for the UA and third once.

“We haven’t all raced as a team yet, but training with a group of girls who are all like-minded and working toward the main goal … it’s been a lot of fun,” Beattie said about her teammates this year.

— Follow Makenzie Thiel @makenziethiel

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