January 28

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Beede gears up for stretch run

Cony graduate setting goals for season

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Augusta native Morgan Beede, now in her fourth year of track and cross country at the University of Southern Maine, is contemplating both short and long-term goals.

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School: University of Southern Maine

Sport: Indoor track

Year: Senior

High school: Cony

Major: Social work

The short term involves this season’s second USM Invitational on Saturday. Beede will compete in the mile run, the 3K or both against some good competition that includes Bates and Colby.

“I won’t find out what I’m running until later in the week,” she said. “That’s the way I like it.”

The State of Maine championships will be held the next week followed by Little East Conference and the New England Div. III meets. USM coach George Towle believes Beede is positioned for a good run.

“We’ve got to change our focus from training to running,” Towle said Monday. “She looked great (in practice) today. We’re going to see her times start to plummet now.”

Towle said Beede is better at the longer distances and believes she’s capable of breaking some school records. She already holds the outdoor record in the 5K of 18 minutes, 1 second and Towle said he’d like to see her get under 18. Beede’s PR in the mile run is 5:18, although she has yet to approach that time this season.

“A 5:15 in the mile would be a great goal,” Beede said.

Beede’s best time in the 3K is 10:27, 10 seconds off the mark held by close friend and former teammate Molly Carl.

“That would be a great goal,” Beede said. “She dates my twin brother (Briar). It’s a fun battle.”

In the long term, Beede is contemplating the end of her competitive career at USM. For the past three years she’s been living in a house known as the track house, that includes many of her fellow runners.

“It’s brought me some amazing friendships, lifelong friendships,” she said.

Beede has been able to balance her running career at USM with a demanding major in social work and minor in criminology. She’s spread her quest for a degree over five years because the internship for her major is quite intense and lasts a full year. She also works in the team’s equipment room, is a part-time nanny and is doing a mini internship at Biddeford Estates.

“She has a lot of varied interests,” Towle said. “I have no complaints whatsoever. She’s been a contributor for four years.”

Beede said she plans to be a lifelong runner and will use the shape she gets into this spring to compete in road races this summer.

“I’m really competitive,” she said. “I’ll use that as a springboard into possibly a half marathon.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638ghawkins@centralmaine.comTwitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ
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