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Seton Hill jumper makes mark at national meet

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Seton Hill senior Calsie Boyd finished fourth in the high jump at the NCAA meet.
Dannie Walls Photography
Seton Hill senior Calsie Boyd finished fourth in the high jump at the NCAA meet.

Seton Hill senior jumper Calsie Boyd has always been a goal setter. That's why it was no surprise when she snatched fourth place and All-American honors in the high jump at the NCAA Division II indoor championships in Birmingham, Ala., on March 8.

Boyd cleared 1.60 meters, 1.65 meters, 1.70 meters and 1.73 meters but failed at all three attempts at 1.76.

Her accomplishments mark the best finish for any Seton Hill athlete in an NCAA championship event. She is the school's second female track athlete to be named All-American.

She also competed in the triple jump, where she finished 16th. Her best jump was her first when she hit 11.75 meters.

“I can't believe it,” Boyd said. “It's something I've been working toward since freshman year, and it is incredible. And it has me pushing harder for outdoor nationals because I want to get All-American in triple jump and in high jump to end my entire track and field career. It really kind of lit the fire for me.”

Actually, Boyd was preparing for success long before college. At Richland High School in Johnstown, she was determined to get a college scholarship for track and field. She sought out the guidance of jumping coach Wally Miller to create the foundation for her colligate career.

“The one thing that I always noticed about her is that she sets goals for herself, and once they are set that's it,” said Gene Brisbane, Seton Hill's jumping coach. “She's going to do it, and it's going to be taken care of. And that's exactly what she did.”

Her second year at indoor nationals, Boyd used her year of experience to calm her nerves and stay focused. Last year she placed 10th in the high jump and 13th in the triple jump.

“I was a lot more at ease (this year),” Boyd said. “I knew what to expect and a lot of the girls I've seen at nationals already, so it wasn't that much of an adjustment.”

Boyd was joined at the national meet by senior Aron Kurzinski, who finished sixth in the long jump, marking the end of his collegiate career. His best mark was 7.36 meters, followed by 7.15 meters and 7.20 meters.

Kurzinski suffered an injury after his third jump but continued on to the next three — fouling the first two — and finished with a 7.14-meter jump. It would be enough to give him All-American honors.

“It shows that he really cared about being there,” said Tim Creamer, head track and field coach. “Not just, ‘I'm here, great. Whatever happens, happens.' It really showed that he cared about competing and trying to reach that goal of an All-American award.”

Kurzinski's career will end because he has used all of his eligibility, while Boyd will continue to train for the outdoor track and field season. Her hopes are to earn All-American honors for the high jump and the triple jump.

It will not come without more preparation. For her last season, Boyd will work on adding speed and consistency to her triple jump.

“Anything she's put her mind to, she's achieved,” Creamer said. “She's got a taste of being All-American once. Now she wants to place higher and get it twice. That's kind of what will push her.”

Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer.

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