Wolverine Athlete Spotlight: Mark Beams
Mark Beams

Feb. 6, 2014

Redshirt junior captain Mark Beams talks about being selected as a tri-captain, opening the season at Notre Dame this weekend (Feb. 8) and how he plans to use his degree in biochemistry.

On being selected as one of three tri-captains ... "It's definitely a huge honor. I don't think I'm the only one who is capable of fulfilling this role. I think any of the other cross country captains are capable of leading this team as well. It's a big honor and responsibility. I'm kind of bridging the gap between distance and the other event groups and trying to get some cohesion there -- that's really what we're looking for."

On the team coming together under coach Clayton ... "Things are definitely going very smooth. I feel like coach Clayton, and coach Rajewsky, are getting things done with sprinters and field event guys that haven't been done in the past. As a team, we've had a lot of good meetings and are working towards one unified goal. We're definitely moving in the right direction."

On most of the distance group competing for the first time at Notre Dame ... "We're very excited to get out there and get our first race and our first time. Morsi (Rayyan) got into the Mayo Mile, which is a prestigious mile at Notre Dame, so that's exciting. We're looking to get some fast times to get us into the 'A' heat at the Husky Classic. I think from the distance side, that's mostly what we're looking for."

On personal and team goals for the season ... "Individually, I would like to place very well in indoor and outdoor track -- in the 5K and 10K. I would definitely like to qualify for the indoor and outdoor national meet. As a team, we want to get as many scorers are possible, especially from the distance side -- I think we've been lacking a lot of scorers on the distance side of things on the track. That's something we definitely want to change and I think we have the capability to do it. We've had the capability for a while; we just need to implement that."

On the progress he's made as a distance runner in four years ... "It's kind of overwhelming when you take a step back and look at where I came from to where I am now. Overall the entire process has been very incremental so I think it's been easier to take it piece by piece. It's been pretty incredible."

On his decision to major in biochemistry and his future plans ... "I've been interested in science since middle school, when I took a science class with my high school cross country coach, ironically. He was a great teacher, and a great coach, and I really got interested in the subject. I like how it's very well defined and analytical. Health sciences also interest me. I've definitely thought about going to med school or getting a master's or PHD in biochemistry. I think I'll definitely be doing more school after undergrad. My main career path ideas right now are being an ER doctor or doing food science with biochemistry, developing sports nutrition supplements and things like that."

• Previous Spotlight: Austin DeWildt

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)