Attleboro Resident Earns Swimming Scholarship to UNC
Joshua Beals of Attleboro has signed a letter of intent issued by the NCAA to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a swimming scholarship beginning next year.
A home-schooled student, Beals, 17, will join the Tar Heels' nationally ranked swimming program as a distance freestyle specialist. He chose UNC over approximately 30 other schools that recruited him during the past two years.
"I chose UNC because it was the best all-around fit for me," Beals said. "The outstanding academic reputation, amazing teammates and first-rate coaching staff all influenced my decision. I can't wait to get there next fall because I already feel like part of the team."
The son of Randy and Andrea Beals of Attleboro, the swimmer earned a sports scholarship despite never competing in interscholastic athletics. Instead, he competed during the past eight years in state, regional and national competitions sponsored by National YMCA Competitive Swimming and Diving and USA Swimming, and distinguished himself on multiple occasions.
As a 16-year-old last year, Beals completed USA Swimming's competitive season ranked in the top 10 nationally among male swimmers in three events—1,650-yard freestyle (first), 1,000-yard freestyle (sixth) and 500-yard freestyle (eighth). This year, he was ranked as the top male high school swimming recruit in Massachusetts by the College Swimming website.
UNC was one of five colleges that Beals selected for official recruiting visits this fall. The other schools were Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Princeton University and University of Louisville.
In addition to his athletic exploits, Beals has produced an extraordinary academic record. After attending Grace Baptist Christian Academy of Attleboro through eighth grade, he opted for home-schooling by his parents complemented by courses at GBCA, online courses and classes taken at a local academic center.
Beals boasts a 4.0 grade-point average during his high school career and scored 1,520 (760 in verbal and 760 in mathematics) on the SAT. He was recently named to USA Swimming's Scholastic All-America team for the Class of 2013.
At UNC, Beals said he plans to major in economic and finance and ultimately pursue a career in business.
Beals began swimming competitively at the Attleboro YMCA as a 9-year-old and competed for its Attleboro Tsunami swimming team for seven years. He joined the Crimson Aquatics swimming team, based in Whitinsville and Cambridge, two years ago.
During his competitive swimming career, Beals has participated in numerous meets in all six New England states as well as New York, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Indiana and California. He is scheduled to compete next month in a major USA Swimming event in Tennessee.
Beals also competed in youth karate (earning a second-degree black belt) and baseball (attaining all-star status in leagues in Attleboro and Swansea and playing AAU Baseball for three seasons) before opting to devote his full energies to swimming more than three years ago. He also earned several awards with GBCA in statewide music competitions.
Beals has a sister, Olivia (15), and a brother, Luke (6).