Beadle’s track career with U comes full circle

Jim Schortemeyer

For senior Scott Beadle, running track has always come naturally. Unfortunately for him, so have injuries. Now just weeks away from his last day of class at Minnesota, Beadle’s results have matched the talent he displayed in his freshman year.
But before he came to the Gophers, Beadle’s Division I track career essentially began when his football career ended.
Beadle was a prep standout in several sports in his hometown of Moorhead, Minn. During the first game of his senior year of football, he broke his collarbone.
“After that I didn’t really want to play football anymore,” Beadle said.
It was an unfortunate break for Beadle, who was being recruited to play football at several Division I schools. At the same time, however, the incident is one Minnesota head coach Phil Lundin isn’t upset over. The collarbone injury meant Lundin wouldn’t have to compete with football teams for Beadle.
“Lucky for me, because he would have been a Division I or II football player,” Lundin said. “That’s a lot of money when you only have 12 scholarships.”
Beadle’s impact was immediate in his first year at Minnesota. He set the school record in the 400-meters at the 1994 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, finishing fifth overall.
But instead of taking off, his career became bogged down.
“I was just worn out with injuries all the time,” Beadle said. “I needed a break.”
He was redshirted in 1995, and he admits to giving up on his training. Basically, Beadle said, he avoided the track for a year.
Getting back into the groove has been a gradual process. His results after coming back in 96 were unimpressive for a while. He placed fourth in last season’s 400 at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, although his time was slower than that from his freshman year.
Past seasons aside, Beadle has finally achieved some of the potential Lundin saw in him back in 10th grade. At last week’s Maroon and Gold Open, Beadle shaved almost a second off his old 400-meter school record with a 46.16 second run.
The explanation for the sudden drop in times varies. Lundin claimed the drop is because it’s Beadle’s final year, while Beadle cites better health, as well as future running considerations.
“This summer I’m going to try for two months to run in Europe,” Beadle said. “This is my last chance to show what I can do.”
Beadle’s times this year have put him in a leadership role, a somewhat awkward place for someone self-described as a “quiet guy.”
“Everybody just knows he’s the stud,” Lundin said. “I can’t say he’s one of those rah-rah guys.”
Quiet his results are not. His time in the 400-meter run is one of the fastest in the Big Ten, and it includes this sidenote: He ran it without resting from training.
For Minnesota, that’s very good news because he is almost sure to go as fast or faster at the Big Ten Championships. But even with those results, one gets the sense that Beadle has been frustrated by the three years between his freshman and senior years. He admits regretting some training choices he made in the past.
“Even though I really needed that time off, I wish I hadn’t taken it,” Beadle said. “I wish I would have just kept training.”
Lundin admits to being a big fan of Beadle — but not just because of the points he can score for the Gophers. He respects Beadle’s quiet demeanor and team leadership.
“In this era of loud, in-your-face sports heroes, he’s kind of the anti-hero,” Lundin said.