Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Loved and lost: Freshman leaves legacy of joy after tragic passing

Jay Deegan
Freshman Alex Beiga holds a Central flag at the DuPage Valley Conference boys swim and dive championship on Feb. 3. Beiga was killed in a ski accident on April 1 in Switzerland. Photo courtesy of NCHS Swim and Dive.

Alex Beiga, a freshman at Central, passed away on April 1 in a skiing accident in Zermatt, Switzerland. Alex was 15 years old at the time of his passing, and was an active member of Central’s swim team and choir.

“He was just always having fun,” Eva Beiga, Alex’s sister, said. “He was always positive. If I was ever in a bad mood, he would come cheer me up. And he was very caring about his family and friends.”

In addition to choir and swimming, Alex loved the outdoors in all forms. An avid mountain biker and snowboarder, he found joy on the mountainside, especially in the wintertime.

“We were really outdoorsy,” Eva Beiga said. “Just getting to hike and bike and just make those memories with him was really fun. Just anything to do outside, honestly, he loves it.”

A friend since elementary school, freshman David Ingram first met Alex when he moved in on the same street as him. After going to different junior high schools, they reunited this year in Central’s choir and swim and dive team, on which Alex swam and David dove.

Alex knew how to be funny and joking, but he also knew how to be serious because he really cared about sport.”

— David Ingram, freshman

“He would always be dancing, but when Mike [Adams, the head coach,]would tell him to lock in, he would be really focused,” Ingram said. “Alex knew how to be funny and joking, but he also knew how to be serious because he really cared about sport. And I know he was really ambitious about it, too.

Coming from a swimming family, Alex swam from an early age. His dad was an olympic swimmer for the Lithuanian national team in 1992 and 1996, and his sister was also a swimmer at Central and now swims for Trinity College. Alex also swam for the Academy Bullets swim team. His main stroke was the breaststroke.

Robert Hargrove was Alex’s breaststroke partner on Central’s team. They would often practice breaststroke together.

“He’d be over in that underclass lane and just try to go stroke for stroke trying to match [my speed] the entire time,” Hargrove said. “That was just incredible to see that because a lot of time it takes a lot of energy takes a lot of guts to try and do that and actually do that.”

In addition to being an ambitious person, Alex’s personality has left a mark on those who knew him.

“He was always such an energetic kid,” Eva Beiga said. “He was always an energetic person, even now. Ever since he was a little kid, he was always on the move. Always exploring, always doing new things, and always super friendly. It was always so easy for him to make new friends. He honestly could be friends with anyone.”

Freshman Alexa Miller was Alex’s girlfriend and first met him at the beginning of this year in choir and Spanish class.

He always just brought life to the room”

— Alexa Miller, freshman

“He always just brought life to the room,” Miller said. “He would always be doing different dance moves, messing around in a very energetic way and just brought the mood up.”

In a close-knit class like choir, Alex’s personality really shined through, building close friends and impacting those around him.

“He had such a nice smile and I could just tell he was going to be a friend to us,” said freshman Halle Taylor, a friend of Alex’s who originally met him in choir this year.

There was “never a boring day” in choir, which Taylor credits to Alex’s bubbly personality.

“During warmups, he would dance to the random warm ups, he was the funniest kid ever,” Taylor said. “He made the funniest jokes. He would get yelled at a lot, like ‘Alex, stop making jokes like we’re trying to work here,’ but he really just wanted to have fun all the time.”

Alex’s family requested that Central teachers abstain from comments to the media about him.

One of Eva Beiga’s favorite memories of Alex was when they had a water balloon fight together.

“He decided I was chasing him with the hose and he decided, instead of getting sprayed, he was going to open the door to our living room,” Eva Beiga said. “Then instead of spraying Alex, I got water all over the house. It was just him being goofy.”

His goofiness was part of a litany of traits that made Alex special to the people who he spent time with.

“I think he made a lot of people feel loved and respected and cared about,” Miller said. “I think it’s really going to be different.”

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About the Contributor
Jay Deegan
Jay Deegan, Print Managing Editor
Jay Deegan is a Junior at Central and happy to start his third year of journalistic adventures at the Central Times. Jay loves writing features and diving in-depth into issues that plague our community. In his free time Jay runs a freelance videography and photography business and loves to creatively express his interests in sports and filmmaking. If you’d like to join CT or have a tip, reach out!
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