Home Sports Local Sports Bailey Beene signs with New Mexico State University

Bailey Beene signs with New Mexico State University

Bailey Beene signs with New Mexico State University. Front row, from left: Rachel Gallagher; Bill Beene; Bailey Beene; Maria Beene; Sofia, sister; Hunter Beene, brother; and Kage, brother. Back row: John Gallagher. Not pictured: Carter Beene, brother; and Alex Zumbrun, sister. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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If there ever was a video featuring Goddard Senior Bailey Beene, the perfect song for the video would be the classic by Frank Sinatra, “I Did It My Way.”

Because, in fact, in her four years at Goddard, Bailey did do it her way, on the way to helping the Goddard girls win the 2017 basketball state championship, and in the same year, she took the state javelin throwing title.

On Wednesday, with her family surrounding her at Ground Zero, Bailey committed to study nursing, and be on the track team as a javelin thrower at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces this coming fall. For Bailey, there were a few regrets, but too few to mention, as she nears the end of her high school athletic career.

“I got the opportunity to play for a great basketball coach, (Jared Neighbors), he brought out the best in me, and I learned how to be a leader on this year’s team,” she added.

Bailey helped lead the team to the 4A girl’s quarterfinals and play at The Pit one more time. And it was a memorable ending for Bailey. “She scored a career-high 36 points in her last game at the Pit.

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“She left it all on the court that day, played the best at the end. It’s what is going to make her an elite Division 1 athlete,” said Goddard girls basketball coach Jared Neighbors.

Along the way in her four years as a Rocket, she charted her course each careful step, doing it her way, including the first time she picked up the javelin. Her grandfather, John Gallagher recalls that moment. “When she was a freshman on the track team, her coach wanted her to compete in the running events. During practices, she saw some of the girls throwing the javelin, looked over at her coach and asked if she could try. He replied, ‘I think you would be better at the hurdles.’”

After a couple of other practices, Bailey pleaded with her coach to at least give it one try. “He finally gave in, Gallagher said. “She took hold of the javelin and threw it further than anyone else had. Coach looked at her and said, ‘OK, you’re throwing the javelin,’” Gallagher giggled.

Goddard track coach Chris Deck elaborates further. “She has worked incredibly hard at it since that day, and four years later, she’s signed to throw the javelin at a Division 1 school. It’s been a real privilege for me to have been a part of her career here at Goddard.”

In the past four years, Bailey has laughed and cried in her athletic endeavors and having family close to her in those moments were important, which was one of the main reasons she chose NMSU.

“Las Cruces is just three hours away from Roswell, and I am going to miss everybody. When they come up or if I come home, it will be a short drive,” Bailey said.

Bailey’s mom, Maria Beene, said it will be hard letting her go.

“But I am so happy she chose NMSU. She was heavily recruited across the country for javelin, and was among the top 100 javelin throwers,” said Maria. “She’s accessible and will be close to home, and close to family, and she’s my best friend,” Maria added, as her eyes welled with emotion.

Bailey’s father, William Beene, also was delighted with her daughter’s choice. You see, William is an NMSU alumnus, wink, wink. “It’s really not because of that,” William said with a wide grin. “She’s going to have who I believe is the best throwing coach in the nation.” That coach is Doug Reynolds, who was the former throwing coach at the University of Alabama.

According to William, Reynolds has coached national champions in the discus and Javelin. Reynolds had been at Alabama for 10 years before coming to NMSU two years ago. “The program is making great strides. He’s done a lot of great things at NMSU — their track program is coming around,” William added.

And now, Bailey faces the final curtain. She makes it clear of which she is certain that there is much more than this. At last year’s state track meet, Bailey came in second in the javelin — it was an uneasy feeling, and now she has a chip on her shoulder — she wants to regain the title.

“I am working harder this year. I am ready to step it up. I always want to score points for my team, and I am also trying to beat my personal best and possibly even beat the state record,” said Bailey.

But the athlete who beat her is on Bailey’s mind. “We’re going to compete against each other later this year. “She’s thrown for over 130 feet this year — she’s the one to beat.”

The athlete from Silver City is on Bailey’s radar. When she gets to NMSU, Bailey hopes to add at least 20 more feet to her throws, after all, this is Division 1.

“The big thing that coach (Reynolds) saw in me was potential. He believes I have a bright future in their throwing program. He thinks I’ll do really well, and I am prepared to prove him right,” Bailey said confidently.

The scholarship is for a full ride and Bailey plans on majoring in nursing. At Goddard, Bailey has faced it all and is prepared to do it all at NMSU — her way.