Gustavus Adolphus College senior cross country runner Brooke Beskau (Hastings, Minn.) has earned a spot on the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division III Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
Brooke Beskau, who garners third team distinction, graduated from Gustavus with a degree in education with an emphasis on English. A standout runner and standout student, Beskau finished her collegiate career with a cumulative grade point average of 3.97.
A product of Hastings, Minnesota, Beskau bounced back this season from an injury that sidelined her during the 2010 campaign. Taking advantage of a fifth season of eligibility, Brooke turned in what was the finest year of her tenure on the hill.
About the strong finish to her collegiate running career, Beskau explained, “As athletes we are always looking to improve. We can only hope that our last season will be the best, unfortunately that does not always happen. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing final season.”
“Not only was I able to perform my best, but it was arguably the most exciting and fun season I have experienced. This only enhanced the excitement of performing well. I could not have asked for a better season, better coaches, or better teammates. They are the ones that got me to that level,”added Beskau.
Beskau’s three fastest times in 2011 came at the three most important meets of the year – the MIAC Championships, the NCAA Central Region Meet, and the NCAA Championships. She earned All-Conference distinction with a 10th place (22:55) finish at the conference meet and All-Region honors by placing 23rd (22:55) at the NCAA Regional. Brooke saved her best race of the season for last by going 22:25 at the NCAA Championships, placing 119th out of 277 runners.
Over her career at Gustavus, Beskau earned All-Conference and All-Region distinction in the 2008 and 2011 seasons. During those same seasons, Brooke was also bestowed U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association DIII All-Academic honors. A two-year captain, she has been awarded Academic All-Conference notoriety three times.
“Cross country has always been my ‘getaway,’ and practice is one of my favorite parts of the day. I was incredibly fortunate to find amazing teammates who became my best friends, a sport where I could constantly push myself to achieve new goals, and coaches who believed in and supported me,” commented Brooke.
In talking about what she will take away from her experience running cross country at Gustavus, Beskau said, “Cross country taught me what it means to set goals, and to achieve them, how to be a leader but also how to work with a team, and most importantly, how to have fun and really enjoy what you are doing while giving a 100% effort.”
Brooke is one of three athletes from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to be placed on the first, second, and third teams this year. Simone Childs-Walker (1st Team) of Carleton College and Kaari Jensen of Concordia College (3rd Team) are the other two MIAC representatives.
By earning a spot on this season’s Academic All-America Team, Brooke Beskau becomes the fifth Gustavus cross country runner to receive such an honor. She joins the likes of Becca Wold (3rd Team – 1998), Ann Fletchall (3rd Team – 1999 & 2nd Team – 2000), Stephanie Handler (1st Team – 2004), and Hailey Harren (1st Team – 2006 & 1st Team – 2007).
In the fall of 2012, Brooke will begin her first year teaching 10th grade English at New Prague High School. Although her time wearing a Gustavus uniform is behind her, Beskau is still pursuing opportunities in and around the sport. She plans on running the Twin Cities Marathon this October and will continue to look for coaching opportunities while at New Prague. Brooke hopes to soon attend graduate school in order to obtain a master’s degree in education.