Girls’ cross-country star Ariel Beauregard-Breton ’11 has taken Deerfield’s running program in stride.
“She’s the strongest and most competitive girl I’ve ever worked with,” said Head Coach Dennis Cullinane.
Not only is she the top Deerfield girl runner, but she is also the number two junior runner in Canada and she can’t actually remember a New England race over the past two years in which she hasn’t set a course record.
Since Beauregard-Breton is Deerfield’s top female runner, she often practices individually with Dr. Cullinane and has practiced a few times with the boys’ team. Apart from her training, Beauregard-Breton leads DA’s girls by example and brings a relaxed but extremely focused personality to the team.
“Usually number one runners are really introverted,” said Dr. Cullinane, “but Ariel is really social and friendly, giving advice and talking to all the girls before each race.”
Since Beauregard-Breton, her coach, and her team are confident that she will do well in New England’s, all she needs to do is continue training with the same drive that she’s had ever since she stepped into the racing scenes of New England and Canada.
Beauregard-Breton started her competitive running career on a whim four years ago. Her Canadian high school was promoting a regional meet and promised a day off for anyone who participated.
Excited by the idea of a Friday without classes, Beauregard-Breton decided to combine her casual interest in jogging with her desire for a long weekend. Going into that regional meet with mild expectations, Ariel finished third out of 200 in her first-ever competitive race.
Following her unexpectedly outstanding results, Beauregard-Breton reflected on joining her local club team, saying, “My initial goal was to be among the top ten runners in Montreal. Although my school didn’t have any sports teams of its own, it had a special program for highly ranked athletes to create an academic schedule centered around their specific trainings,” said Beauregard-Breton.
As her career quickly developed, her goals increased commensurately. After placing seventh in a provincial meet, she began to consider American prep schools where the level of competition would be higher.
“The first race she ever ran for us was the Canterbury Invitational last fall,” said Dr. Cullinane. “She got lost four times in the middle and still placed first.”
After her narrow victory over a Choate girl that day, Beauregard-Breton was told she would be facing a much larger range of competition in the New England arena. Beauregard-Breton took quick objection to his comment and stated firmly, “Those girls have no idea of what I am capable.”
Beauregard-Breton remained true to her word and her results this season are expected to place her in the number one slot at New England’s.
Despite her athleticism, Beauregard-Breton actually describes herself as an artist who runs, not a runner who does art. Although she is excited to run after she graduates from DA, Beauregard-Breton isn’t really looking to compete past the collegiate level.
“I’ll do my best in college and hopefully break lots of personal records on the track and in cross-country, and after college I’ll keep running for sure, but only for fun —no competition involved.”