Hampshire Regional’s Rachel Beaulieu signs National Letter of Intent to compete in gymnastics at Rutgers University

Hampshire Regional’s Rachel Beaulieu (seated, center) signed her National Letter of Intent to compete in gymnastics at Division 1 Rutgers University during a ceremony at Roots Gymnastics Center in Westfield on Wednesday night.

Hampshire Regional’s Rachel Beaulieu (seated, center) signed her National Letter of Intent to compete in gymnastics at Division 1 Rutgers University during a ceremony at Roots Gymnastics Center in Westfield on Wednesday night. STAFF PHOTO/BRADYN COTE

By BRADYN COTE

Staff Intern

Published: 11-08-2023 8:35 PM

WESTFIELD — After a full year of a verbal commitment to Rutgers, Hampshire Regional senior Rachel Beaulieu was finally able to put pen to paper on Wednesday night, and cement her spot at Rutgers University.

After receiving offers from other prestigious universities, such as Towson, West Virginia, and Central Michigan, Beaulieu had her mind set and knew that she felt at home when watching the Rutgers gymnastics team compete in the Big Ten.

“I watched one of [Rutgers] meets for the first time and just the atmosphere, and the energy from the team right away got my attention,” said Beaulieu. “From then, I have been looking at them and have just been so interested.”

Beaulieu, who lives in Holyoke and currently attends Hampshire Regional, competes unattached from the high school gymnastics program. She’s competed under Roots Gymnastics in Westfield for all 12 long and hard-working years of her gymnastics career.

“Being an individual gymnast, it’s hard enough to balance as it is,” said Beaulieu. “It’s kind of a challenge to be your own support system, but I'm so thankful for every single session.”

Despite competing away from the high school program, it never got in the way of Beaulieu's goals to one day compete at the Division 1 level.

“This has definitely been one of her goals,” said Roots Gymnastics owner and team director Steve Pryor. “Getting a Division 1 college scholarship is a lot of people's goal, but it's a very challenging task. It takes not only a high talent level, but a work ethic and a nice track record of staying healthy.”

Gaining attention from Rutgers not only helped attain Beaulieu's goal, but also checked the boxes of where she plans to spend her next few years.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Music in the sky: Summit House Sunset Concert Series returns to its 173-year-old home
Knitters’ paradise: Webs, ‘America’s Yarn Store’ and a mainstay for Valley crafters for generations, turns 50
Easthampton to lose Pepin school gymnasium as public recreation space
Easthampton’s 11 Ferry St. project promises affordable five-story, 96-unit complex
Taylor Haas takes the reins as new executive director at Three County Fairgrounds
Sunderland receives $195K grant to study, design multi-use trail from Whately to Amherst

“Finding a college that fits me as a gymnast has been a challenge because there’s so many options out there,” said Beaulieu. “Finding the one that has the family aspect and the energy in the atmosphere, I think that’s the most important part.”

Throughout the college application process, Beaulieu said she’s been so grateful to have such a strong backbone of supporters both in and out of the gymnastics facilities.

“My family and my coaches' support all the way has been nothing but made me who I am,” said Beaulieu.

Beaulieu continues to train hard and compete under Roots Gymnastics as she simultaneously wraps up her senior year at Hampshire Regional. The countdown now begins as she awaits the next chapter of her gymnastics career – only this time as a Scarlet Knight.