photo by Trevor Currie
Two years ago, TKC published a profile on an unsuspecting student: short, scrawny, multi-sport sophomore Beau Bramlett. His combination of hockey and cross country careers made him an unusual athlete; rather than success, however, he said untapped potential came to define him. Both Wayne Baldwin, head boys’ cross country coach, and Charlie Klapp, JV hockey coach, expressed hope for the young athlete’s future.
“I think Beau has the potential to be a top-seven varsity runner for the Pioneers,” Baldwin said in the Oct. 18, 2013 article, “So you think you know Beau.”
Since that article, Beau earned a varsity spot on the cross country and track teams and represented KHS as one of three state qualifiers in the 2015 cross country season. He dropped his 5K time from 19:19.00 to 16:48.30 to become the school’s fastest distance runner as a senior. However, Beau quit hockey this year to join the St. Louis Warriors indoor track team, which would not accept dual-sport athletes.
“That was tough because he had been playing hockey since he was four,” Cathy Bramlett, Beau’s mother, said. “But Beau was already hanging out with the cross country kids more than the hockey kids.”
Looking back upon his journey as a runner, Beau said he initially viewed varsity as an impossible achievement. In fact, he wouldn’t have joined the cross country team at all had his parents not forced him to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
“They made me run 3 miles in Florida the week before cross country started, and I could barely do it,” Beau said. “It was terrible.”
The senior expressed gratitude for Baldwin’s support throughout the ups and downs of his career. He said he will miss his coach and the other KHS faculty when he departs for college.
“At first, [Baldwin] was scary,” Beau said. “Then, he got scarier. He got scariest at the beginning of senior year, but then he seemed chill. The way Baldwin believes in all his athletes if they put in the work can be fun.”
Beau plans to attend Truman State University with an undecided major this fall. He is also undecided regarding his running career. Baldwin expressed hope that the senior will continue to defy old expectations as a college athlete.
“If Beau makes the same kind of jump he made here in college, he will have a great career,” Baldwin said. “Did I worry whether he would make it this far? I did, and that’s honest.”
But Beau and Baldwin agree the athlete’s past holds equal importance to his present. It’s what makes Beau Beau, they said, and now we know.