Running Beyond Their Years

Meika and Alex.JPG

Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau’s (’18) name might be a slow name for some to roll off the tip of their tongues, but his running speed is nearly invisibly fast. The Sunnyvale native has made a huge reputation on campus as the junior was named WCAL First Team All-League and MVP for the cross-country season last year along with breaking various school individual records in interscholastic meets like WCAL II, Bellarmine’s Stanford Invitational and Mt. Sac Record.

Where Meika is, however, took work, determination, and also fortune. “I personally chose running because I was already good at it,” he said. “All of my friends were already on the cross-country team.”

Although Meika played freshman soccer, he later dedicated himself to the cross-country because he saw the environment as one more comfortable to develop in. His fondest memories of his time as a Bellarmine runner, however, are actually during the period between cross-country and track and field. He said, “We have something called burp [offseason running] and during that time we get mileage by playing capture-the-flag and soccer and by just having fun.”

During his tenure at Bellarmine, Meika has contributed to the team’s overall performance by assisting the varsity squad to advance to the CIF State Cross-Country Finals, individually placing 38th place with a time of 15:50. As a result, Bellarmine finished sixth place in state competition, only one point behind Ventura High School.

Meika’s dominance in running reaches back to when he was a sophomore in the Early-Bird Invitational (Salinas) in September 2015, where he broke the BCP sophomore course record and held BCP’s fifth fastest-ever time. He beat the previous WCAL Track and Field meet record in the 3200 Meter event with a time of 9:45.62 in the same year.

The junior knows that his natural talent and daily training work ethic contribute to his performances, but his family support remains one of the most crucial factors to his career in running. “They’ve supported in lots of different ways [by] going to races to support me and driving me to races, [and] helping me come back from injuries and paying for my medical bills or physical therapy. I have sprained my ankle twice and I’ve also had tendonitis in my achilles tendon and I’ve injured my calf,” he said. “My great-aunt loves cooking and she does a ton of research on a running diet for me so she prepares a lot of good food that are also healthy.”

Meika’s support also comes from his cross-country coach, Mr. McCrystle. Under Coach McCrystle, the cross-country team has amassed eight WCAL and four CCS championships. Alex Scales ‘18, another leading runner for the cross-country team, said that “McCrystle is really good at integrating everyone into the team.”

“McCrystle is really good at integrating everyone into the team. Over summer in August, he takes a group of guys to kind of talk and discuss about their upcoming seasons and make reforms to the team and to better integrate the lowerclassmen into the program,” he added.

Alex Scales competes for the varsity team alongside Meika and last year, he broke three meet records for the 800M, 1600M, and 3200 Meter events in the Frosh-Soph WCAL League event. Alex’s rendezvous with cross-country stemmed from his love for base-running in baseball. “I found out I was pretty good at stealing so I thought maybe I should try something that involves running,” he said. “My sixth grade year, I tried out for cross-country and I was the best on the team.”

Now, Alex and Meika are the faces of Bellarmine’s storied cross-country team. They recently won WCAL for the eighth consecutive year when they clinched the league title at Crystal Springs on November 2nd and the Central Coast Section (CCS) title on the same course on November 12th. As a result of their hard work, the two juniors have received offers from multiple NCAA programs such as Yale University, Pomona-Pitzer, Northern Arizona University, Temple University, and Lipscomb University. Beyond running, Meika hopes to major in Environmental Sciences or Biology while Alex shares interests in becoming a trainer specialized in sports medicine.

Alex, who continues to receive counsel from his coach at Dartmouth Middle School, directs his gratitude to his father for everything he has achieved. “My dad has been the biggest supporter of me throughout all the years I have been running. He is sorta of like a coach to me. Before every race and every workout, he talks to me on what I need to improve on,” he said.

Both Alex and Meika now plan to direct the cross-country team all the way to a Top 10 finish at the CIF State Championship located at Woodwark Park in Fresno.

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