Some 2-year-olds play in a sandbox. Tommy Beale jumped into a swimming pool.
“I thought I better put him in swimming lessons so I wouldn’t have to jump in and save him,” said his mother, Linda. “He was able to swim across the pool by the time he was 3, and he joined the swim team when he was 4.”
On July 15 to 17, the 8-year-old from Camas captured four gold medals for the Columbia River Swim Team at the Oregon Swimming 10-and-younger Long Course Championships, in Bend, Ore. Beale snatched first place in the 50-meter breaststroke, with a time of 47.97 seconds. He also finished first in the 50 butterfly in 44.99. the 50 backstroke in 45.51 and the 100 freestyle in 1:24.51.
“It was very relieving and awesome when I popped up as the winner in those races,” Beale said. “It felt really good going fast the water, like I was flying.”
“He had an outstanding meet,” added Beale’s coach Mark McBride. “He’s been working really hard to achieve those watermarks, and it shows that his hard work is paying off.”
Linda Beale said Tommy is a natural in the breaststroke. It all starts with his dive.