This Palisadian Will Be the Youngest Ever U.S. Olympian in Beach Volleyball

Miles Partain, 22, Is One of Several Olympians That Came Out of Pali High

By Zach Armstrong

Palisadian talent will represent the Red, White and Blue on the international stage next month.

Miles Partain, a professional beach volleyball player and former Pali High Dolphin, will represent Team USA at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this Summer along with his partner, Andy Benesh. In addition to Partain becoming the youngest ever American Olympian for the sport, the Benesh/Partain duo are set to be the youngest U.S. men’s beach team in Olympic history, according to NBC Sports.

Partain, 22, is one of several Olympians that came out of Pali High, including Chris Marlowe, Ricci Luyties, Dave Saunders and Kent Steffes, as his website states.

The star athlete grew up in Pacific Palisades, having played in his first organized beach volleyball tournament on Will Rogers Beach at 10-years-old, his website states. During his tenure at Pali High, the Dolphins won three CIF City Section Championships, while Partain himself placed 3rd in the 2018 Junior Nationals and 5th in the 2019 Junior Nationals as a player for Pac6 volleyball club.​

After graduating valedictorian and a semester early from Pali High, Partain completed coursework at UCLA in March 2023 for a B.S. degree in Applied Math. He then trained full time with beach partner Benesh (who played four years for the USC Trojans’ indoor team and earned Volleyball Magazine’s 2023 AVP honors as its MVP, according to Partain’s website).

Benesh and Partain first teamed in a one-off in November 2019 while Partain was still a high school senior, according to NBC Sports. The pair won a one-day Southern California tournament. Although Benesh played with different partners while Partain went off to UCLA, Benesh “always kind of knew [he] wanted to play with Miles,” as he stated on a volleyball podcast. 

Last spring in a top-level international tournament, the pair finished third and were victorious in the next event, as reported by NBC Sports. In those events, they defeated Tokyo Olympic gold medalists Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway.

Although American men won three of the first four Olympic beach volleyball tournaments in 1996, 2000 and 2008, they have not won a medal since, according to NBC Sports. Next month in Paris, Pertain and Benesh look to change that; as the former is already the youngest American to win a gold medal in a major FIVB event (Dubai 2022) and the youngest to win a gold medal in a NORCECA event (Jamaica 2019), as stated on Pertain’s website.

in News, Upbeat
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