Nov. 14, 2003
When you think of an athlete standing 6 feet 10 inches tall, basketball or volleyball are the first sports that come to mind. For Luke Beevor, the towering freshman cross country runner from Great Britain, he’s going to run.
Growing up, Beevor was a golfer with professional aspirations but took up running after some encouragement from his father, who was a world-class runner from Great Britain. In 1971, the elder Beevor was ranked as high as 18th in the world.
“I got into running because my dad was a world class runner. I started in Luton 6th College, which comes right after high school (in England) and ran for a year before I came (to Florida State),” said Beevor.
Prior to his beginnings in Tallahassee, Beevor competed in a handful of cross country and track and field races. After placing 19th at the European Junior Championships, he finished third in a time 8:29.26 at the 2002 English Schools Track & Field Championships, earning his spot at eighth overall in the United Kingdom Under-20 3K rankings.
After hearing about this 6’10” phenom, Tribe head coach Bob Braman did some research to find out more about Beevor. After doing some investigating and traveling to England to meet with Beevor, his family and coaches, Braman offered him a spot running for the Noles.
“When I first head about Luke, I was intrigued by his height. A 6’9″ distance runner was unheard of. The more research I did, the more I became interested in him. I found out his father, Mike finished in the top 20 in the world in 1971. It was interesting because he had the pedigree to go with his uniqueness. Him being so tall is pretty neat but his talent stands out above his stature,” said Braman, in his fourth year with FSU cross country.
Beevor chose to come to Florida State because he liked the guys on the team as well as the great Florida weather. Coach Braman was also a major influence in Luke’s choice to attend Florida State.
“The guys here are great. The weather’s nice and I really like the city (of Tallahasse),” said the Icknield High School graduate.
Beevor has made an immediate impact in his two months of college competition participating in the Great American Cross Country Festival, the NCAA Pre- Nationals and the ACC Championships. Beevor finished 60th, 66th and 18th respectively, the latter helping his team to a second place finish at the ACC Championships – the Noles highest since joining in 1991. Beevor has transitioned into the top seven, scoring points for FSU out of the No. 2 position. At the ACCs, the newcomer raced with an injured leg and placed in the top three Noles and top 20 overall scorers.
“He has exceeded my expectations. I knew he was good but he did a phenomenal job running the No. 2 this season. At the conference championships, he ran a great race under more pressure to compete in a race in his life. He ended up finishing second for us behind our leader, (junior) Joep (Tigchelaar). Luke’s contribution has put us in the position we’re in – being second in the conference and heading into regionals with excellent seeding. I’m extremely pleased and we as a team feel he’s a valued addition to our squad. The key is keeping him healthy down the stretch,” said Braman.
“Running is starting to go well so hopefully I can finish out the year strong by doing well at Regionals and Nationals,” said Beevor.