Emerald senior Zac Beckom signed Friday to join Columbia International University’s men’s track and field program.
“It’s a chance for me to further my faith and academics and also get to run,” Beckom said. “Emerald has shown me a lot, shown me how to love to run, shown me how to love my teammates and shown me how to be a great person.”
Beckom was a key returner for an Emerald boys track team team that looked to build off its fifth-place finish in Region 3-3A last year.
Emerald hosted its only meet on March 10 before the season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Beckom finished second in the 400-meter hurdles and third in the 110-meter hurdles.
“Coming into this year, I was able run both of my races, and that was huge,” Beckom said. “That meant a lot to me, just to go and do that in my senior season, even if it was my last race.”
Beckom formed a strong relationship with Emerald coach David Payne over the years and said he credits Payne for challenging him to become a better runner.
“As frustrating as it can be being an athlete under coach Payne, I love him to death,” Beckom said. “He put me through a lot. He showed me how to work hard and how to stay focused. That’s the big thing I give to him, because he taught me how to stay focused and stay true to who you are.”