"Brody is not very big; we're hoping that this is just the beginning of his potential, but that remains to be seen. We will have some big decisions to make in the future."
The coach added, "Long-distance running requires a tremendous amount of time and energy and it is definitely his strength. I believe the longer the race, the better he is. So it will be very tough to juggle running and baseball in the future."
Like coaches often like to say, Brent Beiler said his family will just take it one day at a time.
A star (runner) is born
The Beiler family annually participates in the 10-mile Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on the first Sunday in May. Last year, Brody, an eighth grader, decided to run in the event with minimal training. He had never run more than 7.2 miles. The family expected him to run out of gas long before the finish.
Said Brent, "I opted out of this race and waited eagerly for Brody at the finish. My family and I were completely astonished when he ran past us (at the finishing stretch) at less than 65 minutes. He pumped his fist as he ran by as if to say 'I'm OK' and 'I got this.' I couldn't believe it: 1 hour, 4 minutes and 47 seconds."
Brody placed 473rd overall (out of about 40,000 runners) and third in his age group.
"It was a very proud moment for his mother (Candie) and me," Brent said. "And at that moment, we knew we would have to work something out with baseball and track."
If things do work out, both coaches McGuire and Beiler will enjoy the younger Beiler's talents for three more years.
n Sports editor Harold Raker covers high school track and field. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.