AMSTERDAM — As Charli Beekman made her college decision, the Amsterdam senior track and field standout certainly had a willing advocate to talk up Boston College.
That would be her uncle, former Amsterdam football star Josh Beekman, who was an All-American offensive lineman at BC during a career that spanned from 2002-06 before starting up an NFL career that lasted for several seasons.
Josh Beekman has since returned to his alma mater as BC’s Director of Football Initiatives, and was more than willing to help convince his niece to join him in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
“He definitely persuaded me a little bit,” Charli Beekman said Monday following a ceremony at Amsterdam High School where she signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Boston College.
Charli Beekman’s bona fides as a sprinter made her an attractive prospect for the Atlantic Coast Conference program. A mainstay in sprint events for Amsterdam for the last several years, Beekman is a two-time qualifier for the state indoor track and field championships in the 55-meter dash and holds five program records between indoor and outdoor competition.
Indoors, Beekman is the Amsterdam record-holder in both the 55 (7.25 seconds, eighth on Section II’s all-time leaderboard) and the long jump (16 feet, 8.5 inches). Outdoors, she holds the program’s best time in the 100-meter dash (12.55) and was part of record-setting efforts in the 4×100 (50.15) and 4×200 (1:44.84) relays.
Beekman said she’s looking forward to adding to her resume in college, where she said she’s expected to focus on the shorter sprint events while also mixing in the long jump.
She’ll be perfectly happy to stay on a straight line — maybe one turn, max.
“Hopefully, they don’t put me in the 400,” she said with a laugh. “I’m hoping for it. Don’t go there.”
Beekman is the seventh Amsterdam track and field athlete, and fifth from the girls’ program, in the last seven years to head to a Division I college program, joining Izaiah Brown (Rutgers), Omahri Sturdivant (UAlbany), Olivia Lazarou (Iona), Brenda Santana (UAlbany), Gabby Stanvich (St. Francis of Pennsylvania) and Lauren Santiago (Sacred Heart).
“We’ve had a good run,” Amsterdam girls’ 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.”
Stanavich and Santiago both submitted video messages for Beekman that were played before she signed her letter of intent.
“They appreciate and understand all the work it took to get here,” Palczak said, “and what a nice honor it is.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s been more than a year since Beekman — who missed out on qualifying for the 2020 indoor state championships — has competed on the track.
That lack of competition and restrictions on campus visits certainly complicated her recruiting process.
“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,” Beekman 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 was attracted not only to BC’s track and field program, but also the school’s academics, as she plans to study nursing.
On the track, she’ll be hoping to add to the Beekman legacy in BC maroon and gold.
“I definitely have to carry the name on my back,” she said. “I’m excited.”