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Seneca Valley graduates excel on, off track at SRU

| Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Juggling athletics and academics is more of a marathon skill as opposed to a sprint.

And it is a skill former Seneca Valley student-athletes and Slippery Rock University men's track and field standouts Eric Geddis, who recently graduated, and Jonathan Boyd, who is heading into his senior year, both seem to have.

Both qualified as All-Academic honorees last year.

Geddis saved his best for last, earning the honor in his last college race, reaching the NCAA provisional standard in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the PSAC championships.

For a student-athlete to earn the All-Academic title, the cumulative grade point average must be at or above 3.25 and the athlete must reach at least a provisional qualifying standard during the indoor or outdoor season in their respective events.

“You have to make sure you are always doing something,” Geddis said. “Either school or athletic related. I try to get all my work done by the time we practice, and after practice we were able to have a team meal.”

Geddis graduated with a degree in business management and works at the Gingerbread man Running Company, a running and walking specialty store in Indiana, Pa.

The 3,000-meter steeple chase is an event in which there are large barriers along the way the runner has to scale.

“When I came in as a freshman, my brother was here, and he ran the steeplechase, too,” Geddis said. “I tried it, and I missed the PSAC qualifying time at first, but I stuck with it and got better.”

Boyd said concentrating on his studies always is a priority, as he sets his sights on graduate school and is studying to be a physician's assistant.

“Time management is important,” Boyd said.

Boyd earned the All-Academic Honor for the first time in the 110-meter hurdles during the outdoor season and hit the NCAA provisional mark when he won the PSAC title in the event.

“I worked all year to try to get faster,” Boyd said. “There is not a lot of room for error. The key is to get past the first hurdle as fast as possible.

“I have great teammates, and I have to give a lot of credit to them and my coach, he gets me where I need to be.”

Boyd said it was cool to see long-time teammate Geddis get the honor as well.

Once he finishes at Slippery Rock, Boyd plans to head to Fort Myers, Fla., to work on his master's degree at Nova Southeastern University.

“I wanted to branch out, and I really liked the school,” Boyd said.

Geddis said he and Boyd were top performers at Seneca Valley and noted that Boyd is a talent on and off the track.

“Jonathan is an extremely hard worker and he puts in the time,” Geddis said. “He always has been a good student.”

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him atjeclark@tribweb.com

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