April 7th, 2020
Beaulieu's off-season training pays off big
GC sophomore transforms himself into national mat qualifier
Garrett Beaulieu's late-season loss in a practice wrestle-off made him an observer when Garrett College participated in the 2019 NJCAA Eastern District championships. That disappointment, however, fed his determination to make his mark a year later.
"I wanted to do something special my sophomore year and improve on the groundwork I laid in high school," said the Northern Garrett High grad. "I just put the work in. It's just about time and dedication, like anything else. If you want to see results, you have to keep at it."
Beaulieu squares up with an opponent.
And the results speak for themselves.
Beaulieu finished fourth at 184 pounds in the 2020 Eastern District championships, earning a trip to the NJCAA championship tournament, and placed fifth in the USCAA National Wrestling Invitational. All of these accomplishments followed a summer in the weight room and a fall spent running for the Lakers' cross country team to build up endurance.
"Garrett bought into getting his body in shape cardio-wise," noted GC head wrestling coach John Chambers. "He bought into the weight room. And he achieved his goal of being a national qualifier."
Beaulieu finished the fall cross country season with a new-found appreciation of what that sport requires.
"That's a tough sport," said Beaulieu. "I'd never run cross country before in my life, but I knew I needed cardio. It was an experience."
Part of that experience was qualifying for the NJCAA Division II national cross country championships.
"That was awesome – a first-year, homegrown cross country program going to nationals," said Beaulieu of a squad made up almost entirely of Northern and Southern grads.
While he enjoyed the cross country experience, that was also a means to an end. And the end was a wrestling season that saw him finish as one of the top 184-pounders in the district.
Beaulieu credited assistant coach Tanner Cahill for helping make him a more versatile wrestler.
"He really made me a better wrestler," Beaulieu said of Cahill. "He taught me little things I hadn't picked up before, helping me build a bigger wrestling toolbox."
Chambers said Beaulieu's value went well beyond how he performed on the mat.
"Garrett, first and foremost, is one of the most unselfish teammates that I have ever been associated with in all of my years from player to coach in collegiate athletics," said Chambers. "He truly cares about his teammates and the overall well-being of his team."
Beaulieu's success as a two-sport athlete has been exceeded by his success in the classroom. His 3.24 grade-point average includes a 3.79 GPA for the fall 2019 semester and helped land him a spot on the Eastern District II All-Academic Team and an NWCA All-Academic Award nomination.
"Staying on top of my schoolwork is the easy part," said Beaulieu, who is also an Eagle Scout. "I'm in college and going to school for a reason. That always comes first to me. My GPA's the highest it's ever been, including high school. You have to get your GPA up to get [four-year] colleges to look at you."
Beaulieu said he would like to have an opportunity to wrestle at a four-year institution, but will likely attend Frostburg State University in the fall if a wrestling opportunity doesn't present itself.
"I thought this might be my last season," Beaulieu said of his sophomore campaign, "and I wanted to go out with a bang."