Beekman to compete at Boston College

Charli Beekman, center, talks after signing her National Letter of Intent to attend Boston College and compete for the women’s track and field team. Also pictured are her father, Charles, left, and her mother, Tracy, right. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

AMSTERDAM — For the fifth time since 2018, the Amsterdam High School girls track and field program had one of its athletes sign a letter of intent to compete at the Division I level on Monday.

Senior Charli Beekman signed her National Letter of Intent to attend and compete for Boston College during a ceremony in the high school gymnasium on Monday.

“We’ve had a good run,” Amsterdam girls track and field coach Stu Palczak said. “We’ve gotten Amsterdam’s best in the last several years. We’ve been really fortunate — and they’ve all gone on and done well, too, which is great.”

She joins Olivia Lazarou (2018, Iona), Gabby Stanavich (2019, St. Francis, Pa.), Lauren Santiago (2019, Sacred Heart) and Brenda Santana (2018, UAlbany).

“This never gets old,” Palczak said. “It’s always special and every kid’s experience is different.”

Both Santiago and Stanavich submitted video messages for Charli Beekman that were played during a presentation before she signed her letter of intent.

“They appreciate and understand all the work it took to get here and what a nice honor it is,” Palczak said.

Beekman didn’t have to go far to find someone familiar with Boston College as her uncle, Josh, was a standout offensive lineman and All-American for the Eagles from 2002-06 before going on to play for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League.

“He definitely persuaded me a little bit,” Charli Beekman said with a laugh.

Josh Beekman has since returned to Boston College as the school’s Director of Football Initiatives.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it made the selection process difficult, but Charli Beekman said she was pleased with her choice.

“With COVID, I feel like it was definitely a lot harder to go to the school and visit, deal with the coaches and everything like that,” she said. “But, we still did a good job. We got the job done, and I feel like I have the perfect fit for college.”

Beekman added that she was attracted to Boston College’s academics, as she plans to study nursing.

On the track, she’ll be hoping to add to the Beekman legacy at Boston College.

“I definitely have to carry the name on my back,” she said. “I’m excited.”

Charli Beekman has left her mark on the Amsterdam record books, despite not competing in more than a year due to the COVID pandemic.

She has competed for the varsity team since eighth grade and holds the indoor school record in the 55-meter dash (7.25 seconds) and long jump 16-8 1/2).

Outdoors, Beekman holds the school record in the 100 meters (12.44 seconds) and is part of the record-holding 4 x 100 (50.15 seconds) and 4 x 200 relay (1:44.84) teams.

Beekman also won two indoor sectional titles in the 55-meter dash and is sixth on the all-team Section II indoor leaderboard with a time of 7.25 seconds. She also participated in the New Balance Indoor Nationals once and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships twice.

Beekman was joined at the ceremony Monday by several family members, friends, coaches, faculty and administration.

“It’s definitely important to me to have my family here today. I’m a really family-oriented person and it’s a really good feeling to have them be a part of this,” Charli Beekman said.

With her college decision now finalized after signing her letter of intent flanked by her father, Charles, and mother, Tracy, Beekman is looking forward to the future.

“It’s really amazing to have the opportunity to run at a Division I school. I’m blessed and thankful,” she said.

By Paul Wager