This week, we spoke with Mr. Jack Boyle '13, a student-athlete at Columbia University.
At the Academy
Several thousand miles before becoming one of the top runners at Columbia University, Jack Boyle was a freshman at CBA, struggling to decide between running and playing soccer. Still, he went ahead and tried out for cross country in his freshman year, and instantly fell in love with it.
Hard work and determination would help Boyle to become one of the dominant distance runners in the Northeast. Amidst his studies, Boyle helped the Academy's distance program reach a true pinnacle; finishing in the top five at the Nike Cross Country National Championships for three straight years. That span included a come-from-behind victory in 2011, for what was arguably the greatest Cross Country team in New Jersey state history.
During both his junior and senior seasons, Boyle earned first team All-Northeast and All-State honors in cross country during before joining the Lions of Columbia University.
(Boyle [pictured right] at the 2011 Nike National Championships)
Off And Running
Since arriving, Boyle has played an integral role in Columbia's distance running program—helping the team win two Ivy League Championships and come into more serious contention for an NCAA Championship berth.
One of his most recent accomplishments came in late November last year, when Boyle led the Lions to victory at the IC4A Cross Country Championship. Boyle broke the tape with a time of 25:21.2 for the five-mile course, en route to Columbia's second-straight meet win.
Now a junior, Boyle divides his time evenly between a rigorous curriculum and the many demands of being a Division I athlete.
"I've definitely come into my own since coming to Columbia," said Boyle in a phone interview. A major support for him, and something he recommends for prospective student-athletes, is utilizing the many services that a college-level Athletic Department provides.
"Every school will give it's athletes what they need, so taking advantage of that is important," said Boyle.
While running has certainly been a major part of his life, Boyle emphasizes that the "student" in "student-athlete" is what remains first. He recognizes how well CBA empowered him to make a splash both on the course and in the classroom right from day one.
A U.S. history major with a business concentration, Boyle has also become a part of the Catholic Ministry group on campus. He takes advantage of the many different visiting speakers the school has during the year, and he hopes to secure a marketing internship this summer.
The Next Step
Boyle's passion for running is certainly something he's considering long-term. With another year of eligibility left after graduation, he may try to run professionally while pursing studies in graduate school or law school.
For now, he remains positive and focused on making the most of his senior year campaign.
What He Misses Most
Although his Academy days are still a recent memory, Boyle admits that a significant difference exists in life after CBA. He misses the tight-knit, ever-present community that those who visit 850 Newman Spring Road know so well. But he knows he's fortunate to have two of his former CBA teammates—sophomores Michael McClemens '14 and Thomas Rooney '14—also on the Lions' distance squad.
How CBA Prepared Him
While a student at the Academy, Boyle took Advanced Placement courses, attended practices nearly every day, and learned the importance of balancing his time early on. He credits his 20-minute commute from Avon to CBA as kickstarting that need for effective time management.
With a few years under his belt, he recognizes just how well the Academy prepared him for the next big challenge of collegiate study.
"CBA is definitely as close to a college experience in high school as you're going to get," said Boyle.