Most Viewed Stories
Girls' lacrosse player of the year: Miranda Beal, Air Academy
Miranda Beal found inspiration in the most unlikely place — a Sandra Bullock flick.
It was a viewing of “Miss Congeniality” as a child that hatched Beal’s lifelong desire to become an undercover FBI agent.
“That looks so sweet and so fun,” Beal said. “I know that’s probably not the real deal, but that sparked my interest and it has ever since.”
To achieve that end, Beal will leave later this month to begin her journey in the U.S. Naval Academy. There, she’ll continue a stellar lacrosse career and expand upon a broad base of experiences that should help her slide convincingly into any undercover role.
Just 18, she’s already a world traveler after trips to Italy, England, Germany and Mexico, among others. She’s a sports star as a former member of the junior national handball team and a state champion in basketball and lacrosse. She’s a stellar student, graduating magna cum laude with a 4.4 GPA and a penchant for math.
And, like Bullock, she’s a dead ringer for a beauty queen, complete with the congeniality fostered while waiting tables at Salsa Brava and a smile she wears at all times.
“I feel like I’m a positive person,” Beal said. “You only live once and I don’t want to not live it to the fullest.”
Yes, there’s no doubt that Beal is trying all that life has to offer. That’s part of why she chose Annapolis.
She knew she wanted to continue her lacrosse career at a high level, and Navy offered that chance. She also wanted to keep with the family’s military tradition. Beal’s father, Craig, served more than 20 combined years in the Navy and Air Force. Her sister, Chelsea, attends CU and is in the Army ROTC, and her mother, Ramona, grew up with a father who was a military lifer.
She could have achieved this at the Air Force Academy, but she’s already attended school on that base and needed a change.
“I wanted to go off and kind of forge my own way and start something new,” Beal said. “I didn’t want to go in state.”
The versatility and zeal Beal has in life was particularly showcased in athletics. In basketball, she had the strength to play on the inside and was the leading 3-point shooter for a team that went 26-2 and steamrolled its playoff foes by nearly 20 points per game on the way to a state title.
In lacrosse, she was named an All-American and is the area’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season despite never being more than a part-year player (this year’s season opener was the afternoon following the state championship basketball game). She was second to teammate Erin Todd with 72 goals, led the team with 48 assists, had the most shots on goal and could fill every role for a team that made the state final for the second consecutive season — this time taking out mighty Cherry Creek in a 14-8 blowout.
“Here in Colorado Springs I’m a big fish in a little pond; (at the Naval Academy) I’m going to be a little fish in a big pond,” Beal said. “It’s definitely going to be a culture shock at first, but I think that’s going to be part of the challenge is just the difference in how I’m viewed. I’m not going to be seen as a star athlete or anything, I’m just one of everyone else and I have to make a new path for myself.”
It’s almost like going undercover.