The term student-athlete is applied to every Pirate that is lucky enough to put on the blue and white during their time in South Orange.
There is no misunderstanding for senior cross country star Nyala Eddings that the phrase puts the word student before athlete.
The Chicago native has spent her time in the classroom at Seton Hall as a finance and management major and hopes to take her field by storm after she graduates in May.
Eddings has juggled her responsibilities of academic all-star and cross country team captain just as well as her coach John Moon could expect.
“Academically, she’s off the charts,” Moon said. “She’s my secretary, she’s a leader, she’s my number one girl on the team and she has everything going for herself.”
In addition to school and cross country, Eddings has been able to keep another ball in the air for the past two years.
“Throughout my four years here, as well as running track and cross country, I’ve been doing internships with Verizon,” Eddings said.
After four years as an intern with the major-league service provider, Eddings was offered a full-time position with the company after her graduation.
Moon was glowing when he spoke of his captain’s achievements in her field of management.
“She is one of my first athletes to have been employed with a job and she hadn’t even graduated yet,” Moon said.
“I already got my offer a couple of weeks ago for the full-time position,” Eddings said. “So I’ve kind of been doing two things here for a little while. But at least now, I’m definitely set up for the workforce and corporate America afterwards if I decide to go that route.”
Although her priorities are clearly set, Eddings running has been fantastic this season.
She finished first on her team in the season’s first four meets and even set her 5K personal record (19:20:60) on Sept. 21, in the UMES Cappy Anderson Invitational in Princess Anne, Md.
Eddings hopes to take what she’s learned while running track and cross country and apply it to her future in the finance game.
“Determination and learning how to do multiple things at once because obviously you have to learn to balance the workload and try and be successful in other areas,” said Eddings. “I incorporated that atmosphere when I was interning over the two summers because it was a rigorous program and you had to stand out among a lot of other people and what gets noticed is my ability to excel in many areas at once.”
Eddings will leave behind a legacy that brings such a smile to her coach’s face that he is struggling to let her go.
“I am going to be really, really hurt when she leaves,” Moon said. “Not only because she’s an athlete but because she’s a friend and the kids on the team love her. She’s like a big mother.”
Eddings will reprise her role as, “big mother,” on Oct. 11, in the Metropolitan Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.