Ranked number two in the junior class at Hillside High and number one in the state for indoor shot put, Kayla Beasley exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding scholar-athlete.
Beasley earned the title of 2017 NCHSAA 4A Indoor Shot Put Champion in February. She was determined to win after placing second last year. Practicing and training five days a week with competitions on the weekends kept her busy, but the work paid off.
“I like being busy,” said Beasley. “It helps me stay focused and I really enjoy being involved in activities. I usually don’t get home until 9 p.m. and then am up doing homework until around 1 a.m.”
Obviously staying busy is working for her. In addition to maintaining a 4.82 weighted GPA, Beasley is Hillside’s junior class secretary and treasurer, president of Lambda Zeta Chi sorority, a member of the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society, participates in drama and writes for the school’s literary magazine.
And she doesn’t just throw the shot put – she also competes in the discus for Hillside’s indoor and outdoor teams. During the summer, she is a member of the USA Track and Field team and also participates in the weight throw, hammer throw and javelin. Beasley placed fifth in shot put in the 2016 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships.
Beasley definitely has her sights set on college and would prefer an academic scholarship over an athletic one.
“I love track and I have a lot of fun practicing and competing,” said Beasley. “I’m just concerned if my college education is dependent on a track and field scholarship that it will start to feel like a job and I don’t want that to happen.”
Right now she plans on a double major of business management and sports management. She is a part of Hillside’s International Baccalaureate program and said the program has helped prepare her academically for the challenges of college.
After traveling to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and watching her idol Michelle Carter win the gold in the shot put, Beasley doesn’t rule out pursuing a spot on the 2020 USA Olympic Track and Field team.
Beasley describes herself as self-driven and as someone who never gives up. She credits her parents for always supporting her in whatever she does and Hillside teacher Kimelon Harvey for being her biggest supporter at school, always having her back.