Staff writer Mark Beech, who has written extensively on college football, horse racing and NASCAR, among other subjects, cites his 2007 profile of Olympic gold medal-winning freestyle wrestler Henry Cejudo as his most memorable SI assignment. "I was at a NASCAR race in Charlotte on a Sunday afternoon and got a call from an editor asking me if I could fly straight to Colorado Springs to start work on a story about Cejudo for the next week's issue," says Beech. "I knew nothing about him at all but spent the next six days learning everything I could mostly through interviews, since there was no real record of him in the press at the time. The story was much bigger and more deeply affecting than I could have ever imagined, and I thought it came off very well considering the amount of time I had to write and report."
During his tenure at SI Beech has also written on the NHL, soccer and college basketball. He writes a weekly auto racing column (Racing Fan) for SI.com, and also provides coverage of major horse racing stakes for the website. He says college football is his favorite sport to cover "for all the tradition and regional passions."
Beech has been with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED since 1997. Before joining SI he spent five years in the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of captain, and serving primarily with the 84th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Beech received a B.S. in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1991 and an M.S. in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1997. He and his wife, Allison Keane, have an infant son, Nathaniel, and reside in Westchester County, NY.
Updated 21 October 2009