Entering his 38th year as head cross country coach, Amity’s Bob Orgovan had yet to have a sophomore as his No. 1 runner.
Kyle Beaudette changed all of that.
Beaudette not only emerged as the top runner for the Spartans but as one of the best young runners in the Southern Connecticut Conference and state this past fall.
Beaudette, the Register MVP, put together an impressively consistent resume that resulted in an SCC individual title, team crown and state title.
The success he experienced this year came from what he learned his freshman season, and helped turn into a productive offseason.
“During our dual meet season Kyle ran with a great deal of confidence because he knew what to expect from the SCC teams and individual runners,” Orgovan said. “Kyle knew which runner or runners to watch out for from times they had run last season or the early season invitations and other SCC dual meets. Everyone knew Kyle was the fastest Amity runner but Kyle never made that his identity.”
Orgovan said one of the best attributes about Beaudette that set him apart from others was his patience. With a year of understanding the sport at the high school level, he was able to put together a special season on the trail and leave his mark.
“My freshman year was a tremendous experience,” Beaudette said. “My goal coming into this year was to try and improve upon what I built for myself last year. I had a good summer and was just excited to see where it would take me. However, in terms of my preparations, I didn’t do anything special. Coach (Thom) Jacobs often tells us that a distance runner must “live like a clock” so I didn’t want to change anything too much.”
Starting in September, Beaduette set the tone placing second at the Wilton Invitational (15:34) and Bethel Invite (16:57.30).
With the graduation of two-time SCC champion Christian Alvarado of Prep, the SCC crown was up for grabs come the first postseason race in October. With a highly competitive and balanced field Beaudette set himself apart with a smart and confident race, as he won his first conference title in 15:56. He was the only runner to clock under 16 minutes.
“It took him about one season (cross country) to really get an ‘intrinsic feel” for his pace and he was then able to put it into practice in his freshman indoor track and outdoor track seasons,” Orgovan said. “This was Kyle’s strongest asset this past season.”
Beaudette followed that placing seventh at the Class LL state meet (16:25) and 20th at the State Open (16:16). He clocked 16:36 at the New England Championships.
Aside from the individual success, Beaudette helped guide Amity to an SCC Championship, Class LL state banner, a fifth place showing at State Open and seventh at New Englands.
“There was no pressure to be No. 1,” Beaudette said. “I’m blessed to run on a tremendous squad as well as compete in one of the most competitive conferences in the state. So, it was in no way shape or form “I have to win.” It was and still is that we’ve worked hard and let’s just put out the best performance. If that means being 1, 2, 20, 50 that’s what it is. However I am a competitive person and always want to be able to bring a win home for the team.”
Beaudette said the next goal moving forward is just like freshman season, take what he learned this season and see where it leads him.
“It’s always nice to step away from your own conference and see how you match up elsewhere,” Beaudette said. “In situations like that you find a way to push past what you thought possible. That’s probably what I will take away moving forward, the new boundaries I’ve discovered.”