When Josiah Beasley started high school, his mother encouraged him to find a sport.
When baseball and football didn’t grab his attention, he turned to swimming.
“I looked into the swim program because I always loved swimming,” Beasley, 17, said. “I went to a summer clinic and did pretty well and that’s how I got into it.”
Following his mother’s advice led Beasley down an unexpected path of success and opened the door to a future in the sport beyond high school. The senior recently completed his Triton High School swimming career winning a pair of bronze medals for the Hawks in the 50m and 100m freestyle events. He also captured the Tri-County 6 Conference Swimmer of the Year award for a third time after winning a gold medal at this year’s regional competition.
“If you would’ve told me freshman year that I would be standing on that podium at states this year, I would’ve called you a liar,” said Beasley. “I didn’t know much about the sport and just hopped in. I thought that would be it. I joined and stuff kind of just started piling on from there.”
Beasley’s swimming career didn’t launch off the ground the moment he dipped his toes in a pool. He worked tirelessly at it. Beasley joined the Harnett County Aquatic Club after his freshman season and found success the following year, winning his first conference swimmer of the year award.
While swimming is a team sport, Beasley said the individual aspect of running a singular race drew him to the pool competitively.
“I enjoy the competition,” Beasley said. “I’ve always been a very competitive person. There’s a team aspect to swimming but I’ve always been attracted to the fact that when you’re in the pool for an individual event, it’s just you, the water and the people you’re trying to beat to the wall first. As competitive as I’ve always been, swimming has the right balance between the team aspect and what I can do in the water.”
Beasley’s sophomore season success propelled him to an even better junior year. He claimed his second consecutive conference Swimmer of the Year award after going undefeated during the regular season before reaching the regional finals for the first time. Beasley placed second in the 100m free and barely missed the podium at the state championships, finishing fifth.
His continued success showed Beasley that he could have a future in the sport if he continued to work hard.
“If I could pick one point where I thought I could take this further it would be when I made states last year,” Beasley said. “Once they put the results up and I saw I made the finals, it hit me that I should start being serious about this. I was serious about it before but I had never made the finals at a meet that big. The [Cary Aquatic Center] pool is massive and it can be very intimidating. Once I got through that I felt it was time for me to go even farther.”
His hard work paid off as Beasley closed out his high school career winning the gold medal at regionals for the 50m freestyle and silver for the 100m freestyle. He went onto to win a pair of bronze medals at the state finals.
Beasley visited Barton College several times before signing up to join a talented recruiting class in Wilson. He plans to major in business administration and minor in history with hopes of one day returning to high school as a teacher and swimming coach.
“I decided that was the right spot for me,” said Beasley. “I’m excited to compete there.”
Eliot Duke can be reached at email@example.com or at 910-230-2038.
Favorite color: Red
Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza
Favorite restaurant: Lil Caesar’s
Favorite music genre: Christian rap
Favorite artist: No Big Deal
Favorite subject in school: History
Favorite teacher: My mother [Amy Beasley]. She taught Spanish at Triton a couple years ago.
Favorite sport: Swimming
Favorite athlete: Caeleb Dressel, UF swimmer.
Favorite team: USA Swim Team
If you could go out to dinner with anyone who would it be: Caeleb Dressel. I would want to ask him for some tips.
Who would you want to be in a group with in the middle of a zombie apocalypse: My dad, Richard Beasley, as the handyman, my mom as the cook and my girlfriend Morgan Morrison for moral support.