Palisadian Miles Partain Qualifies for Olympics

Palisadian Miles Partain has qualified for the summer Olympics in Paris.

Professional beach volleyball player Miles Partain will play for the USA in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Partain, 22, and partner Andy Benesh, 29, are ranked fourth in the world. The duo will be the youngest U.S. men’s beach team in Olympic history (the sport debuted in1996).

They teamed for the first time in November 2019 and won a one-day Huntington Beach tournament, while Partain, a Palisades resident was still in high school and playing indoors.

Partain, who was a standout at Palisades High School, was recruited by UCLA Head Coach John Speraw (also USA Olympic Indoor Head Coach), when he was a sophomore.

NCAA does not sponsor beach volleyball for men at the college level. Partain selected UCLA, not only because of the coaching staff, but because he could remain close to the beach.

Beach volleyball was Partain’s sport. He played his first organized beach volleyball tournament at Will Rogers with his brother Marcus, when he was 10.

For an hour every morning before high school, the Partain brothers would head to the beach with Dylan Maarek, a professional player and their coach. Partain was 15 and Marcus, 17, when they became the youngest duo to qualify for the main draw of an AVP event in 2017.

During Partain’s three years at Pali High, the Dolphins won three CIF City Section Championships. As a high school student, Partain also played for Pac6 volleyball club, winning the 2017 Holiday Classic, placing third in the 2018 Junior Nationals, and fifth in the 2019 Junior Nationals.

He was UCLA’s setter for the 2022 season, earning First Team All-American Honors as well as the All-Conference Player of the Year. Partain was one of three finalists for the Lloyd Ball Award as the nation’s top setter That team reached the semifinals of the 2022 national championship.

In January of his 2023 UCLA season, Partain learned that dates for the tournaments that were required for beach volleyball to qualify for the Olympics.

It would be nearly impossible to play on the collegiate level while training and traveling for beach volleyball.

In a May 2023 Volleyball magazine story (“Mile Partain, Totally Dedicated to Beach Volleyball, Fanning His ‘Spark from God’ into Flame) Partain explained his decision to leave UCLA.

“Before January, I was like ‘This is going to be difficult to do both [indoor collegiate volleyball and playing qualifying tournaments]. I tried to do both, but it felt like I was taking too much away from beach and beach is where I have more intrinsic passion.

“I wouldn’t have left if our team didn’t have other setters but we had two other good setters. I didn’t feel like I was abandoning them. I knew we had good hands to set the team,” he said and made the decision to focus on beach. UCLA won the National Championship that year.

Partain said simply, “I wanted to continue playing beach.”

Having graduated as valedictorian and a semester early from PaliHi, Partain had accumulated enough college credits to complete his bachelor’s degree in applied math in March 2023.

On his website click here, the  6’3” Partain speaks about the mindset that goes with his incredible athletic ability. “

“Pressure is such a cool part of playing sports,” Partain said. “There are so many different ways it can come at you and learning to deal with it are lessons I hope I never forget.”

And he quotes Ecclesiastes 5:18, “Just enjoy, live, laugh, love, have fun. Don’t control but be.”

Andy Benesh and Miles Partain in
Gstaad, Switzerland

This entry was posted in Community, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *