An Athlete, a Scholar: What’s next for Nick Beatty?

CVHS graduate Nick Beatty is preparing for a career in medicine after dominating the athletic field in high school and college.

By Leonard COUTIN

When soon-to-be high school graduates sit at their promotion ceremonies many times they are reflecting on the previous four years, feeling excited for new adventures, but also sad that the years passed so quickly. Many times they are preparing for substantial life changes: if they’re off to college that means new living quarters, new friends and new classes.

Before they know it they are once again attending their graduation ceremony, sitting on another field with their classmates.

For former Crescenta Valley High School graduate Nicholas Beatty is completing four years at Pomona College was the best step in reaching his education goals. As a high school student-athlete, Beatty achieved some excellent marks on the track team, running the 3200m in 9:46, the 1600m in 4:21 and the 800m in1:56.1, as well as participating and contributing to many wins on various relay teams. His dedication to running and to academic achievement in taking AP classes allowed a GPA at graduation of 4.3.

At Pomona College, Beatty fully engaged in college life, in education and in running a variety of races for the combined Pomona-Pitzer athletic program. Running a variety of races, he excelled in the college’s athletic program. He ran 4:02 in the 1500m as a freshman later posting 25:49 in the 8K as a junior. As a senior at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, he performed well in both the 3000m steeple chase (9:18) and in the 5K (15:08).

“Running competitively has always been a huge part of my life, with my running career factoring into every decision I have made for the past eight years,” said Beatty. “When I first started running in sixth grade, it was simply a way to have fun with my friends. But as I grew older, I started pushing myself because I enjoyed working hard, improving and competing. I joined my high school team in 2010 and have been running at a high level ever since.”

He went on to say how running provided an outlet to challenge himself and push physical and mental limits.

Photo by Leonard COUTIN
RIGHT: At CVHS, Nick Beatty could be counted on for his drive and determination on the track.

“I spent about 18 hours a week training and competing, not including the extra hours of sleep I needed to get each night so that my body could recover from my rigorous training schedule,” he added. “I feel that collegiate running was an especially challenging test for me, because running with a heavy academic workload was much more difficult to handle than without one, such as in high school. But after persevering through busy schedules, injuries, 6:30 morning practices, grueling races and countless runs and workouts in the California heat, I feel that there is no challenge I cannot handle.”

He credits running with giving him confidence and discipline, teaching him to be patient and persistent, and showing him that, with hard work, initial beliefs and expectations can always be surpassed.

As he prepares for medical study, Beatty said that his rigorous and active lifestyle provides a perspective different from the average medical student.

In addition to a rich sports career, Beatty volunteered hours to the Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Rehabilitation in the Transitional Living Center (TLC). These experiences were incorporated in his senior thesis, “Traumatic Brain Injury: Research, Treatment, and the Future of Contact Sports.”

During his junior year at college, he studied abroad at University College London in London, England, under a program specific to Pomona College and its neuroscience program.

“I took two neuroscience courses taught by teams of lecturers often composed of experts in the specific sub-field of neuroscience we were to learn. I also took two English-based humanities courses, through which I got the opportunity to learn new subjects from a different perspective. Beyond academics, life in the UK was much more culturally challenging than I had originally assumed. Adapting to different norms, mannerisms and dialects was a difficult obstacle I had to overcome.”

Beatty received a high honor in May 2018, The Coaches Award, given to an athlete on the track and field team who displays excellence. Looking to the future, Beatty hopes to advance his educational goals by becoming a medical doctor.

Reflecting on his past as he prepares for his future, Beatty credits his career as an athlete, including his time at Crescenta Valley High School, as instrumental in forming the person he is today.

“As a cross-country and track and field runner, I have learned to value hard work and perseverance, and I apply those principles to everything I do,” he said. “I also know the meaning of teamwork, and I love to help others improve, regardless of the endeavor.”