Northern Arizona's Geordie Beamish won the men's mile title at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.
The New Zealand native finished the race in 4:07.69, outlasting Villanova's Casey Comber and his 4:08.03 time. Beamish had the fastest time at the 409-meter split at 32.55 and final split at 26.18.
Beamish has secured his place in Northern Arizona history not only as a member of three NCAA cross country national championship teams but now as an individual champion for indoors.
Despite having been boxed in and at times being located toward the back of the field, Beamish kicked hard down the stretch.
"His feel for when to move has been so spot-on this season," said Michael Smith, director of cross country and track and field at Northern Arizona. "Our conversation right before he went out there tonight was simply to trust those instincts. Those instincts brought him a national title tonight."
This is the fourth time in Lumberjacks indoor track and field history that a male student-athlete has won an individual championship. In 2007 Lopez Lomong won the men's 3000m title with a time of 7:49.74. David McNeill in 2010 won the men's 5000m in 13:36.41, and Andy Trouard won the 2018 installment of the men's 3000m in 8:04.94.
"We speak a lot about the tactics of 200-meter track racing," Smith said. "Trouard's race at indoor nationals last year showed our guys how to do it. (On Saturday) Beamish took control of the straights and fought off some relentless attacks that last 300 meters. He knew exactly what to do."
Beamish made the cut in the mile in Friday's prelims, clocking a 4:03.94 for third place.
It is the first time in the NAU men's track and field program history that two athletes have earned the gold at the NCAA Indoor National Championships in back-to-back years.
"It was a super-emotional race," Beamish said. "What was crucial for me was staying calm and keeping my emotions low early in the race. I knew I had to keep myself relaxed especially because I was boxed in for 90 percent of that race.
"Our program is so lucky to have an incredible support base built around our coaches, supporters and professional athletes in the area. It has been incredible to be a part of this and help us live up to the NAU standard."
It took extra time, but Northern Arizona was able to knock off Northern Colorado on the road Saturday night. The Lumberjacks took an 89-78 win in Greeley, Colorado, behind some late-game heroics.
The win gives Northern Arizona -- now 10-20 overall and 8-12 in the Big Sky -- its first 10-win season since 2015.
Bernie Andre hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with under 20 seconds left on the clock. Andre then converted two foul shots to give Northern Arizona a 74-71 lead with eight seconds remaining in regulation.
It seemed that the Lumberjacks would take the win in regulation, but Northern Colorado's Jordan Davis drew a foul on Brooks DeBisschop, converting both chances at the line.
With the score at 74-73 in favor of Northern Arizona, Carlos Hines had a chance to extend the lead but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity, and Northern Arizona was called for a foul on the rebound.
Northern Colorado's Jonah Radebaugh went 1 of 2 at the line, giving Northern Arizona the chance it needed in OT.
The Lumberjacks dominated the extra time, outscoring the Bears 15-4 in the extra period. Nik Mains had five of his 13 in the extra minutes, and Andre finished with a game-high, and career-best, 26 points, including clutch shots in regulation and overtime.
The Lumberjacks locked up their place in the eight-versus-nine-seed game Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the first round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament, facing either Sacramento State or Southern Utah. As of press time it is unclear who the Lumberjacks will play.
The Lumberjacks blanked Montana Saturday in Missoula, 7-0, marking the second straight win for the team as it improved to 2-0 in the Big Sky and 5-6 overall.
"I am proud of our guys, we were very professional in our practices and preparation to the match. When we take care of the things we can control we are a very solid team," Lumberjacks head coach Maciej Bogusz said. "Montana is a well-coached team, this is a good win for us."
Northern Arizona won both the No. 1 and 2 doubles spots for the point, and it had the lead at No. 3. No. 2 pair of Chris Steele and Tom Fisher were started the day with a victory, 6-2. Tim Handel and Ruben Montano secured the doubles point on a 6-1 victory against Montana (3-8, 1-2).
The first singles match win went to Facundo Tumosa, the No.4 singles player for the visitors, ending ahead at 6-3 in both sets. Handeltook his eighth singles match of the season, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 1. Northern Arizona sealed the victory when Lucas Taylor was able to win the No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-4.
The No. 3 singles match was won by Steele, 7-6, 7-6, while Fisher was able to win the No. 6 court, 6-1, 6-4. The final singles match of the day to finish was Montano.