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What you need to know for 12/13/2017

A 5-sport athlete — and perfect grades, too

A 5-sport athlete — and perfect grades, too

Scotia senior Juliana Geniti is a go-getter in and out of class
A 5-sport athlete — and perfect grades, too
Julianna Geniti of Scotia-Glenville played field hockey and ran cross country this fall.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCOTIA — Juliana Geniti had already completed track practice when she showed up at the Scotia-Glenville gym Wednesday for an early-evening workout with the basketball team.

The senior had some studying to do later. Maybe she'd have time to practice the flute or violin, too.

"The first word that comes to mind is driven," Scotia-Glenville athletic director Jamian Rockhill said. "I've known her since eighth grade. It seems like she has always been that way."

It was as an eighth-grader when Geniti made the Tartans' varsity basketball team, and the next school year she was playing varsity field hockey. Her scholastic running career began as a sophomore, after a pole vault experiment didn't pan out so well the previous outdoor season.

Geniti added cross country and indoor track to her athletic resume as a junior.

"She's just a competitor in everything she does," Scotia-Glenville varsity girls' basketball coach Megan Bowman said. "She'll come in from track and I'll tell her to take it easy, and she'll lead the team in sprints."

Scotia-Glenville student-athletes by administrative rule can play for two teams in the same season only as 11th and 12-graders, with permission from the coaches involved. Geniti was eager to do so.

"I had always wanted to do cross country, but didn't want to give up field hockey," Geniti said of her expanded athletic portfolio. "I didn't want to give up my other sports. I didn't want to let down my teams."

Geniti began playing basketball in first grade and picked up a field hockey stick for the first time as a third-grader, yet will pursue her newest sport at the collegiate level.

Geniti has a load of untapped potential as a middle distance runner, something the Stony Brook University staff took note of when reaching out late in her junior year. Geniti weighed all of her options, looking at 19 different colleges, before recently signing with the Seawolves.

"I haven't focused in on running yet," Geniti said. "They think once I get to college and really focus on it, I'll improve a lot. I think I will, too."

Geniti made a grand leap in what she called the highlight of this past cross country season, when she placed fifth in 18:57 at the Section II Class B championships at Saratoga Spa State Park.

Geniti's cross country season also included a win at the Tartans' home invitational, a second at Galway and a third at the Foothills Council title meet.

"I ran a sub-19 and beat most of the girls who beat me last year," Geniti said of her breakthrough at the sectionals. "It was a PR by 20 seconds. I passed out afterward, but I was okay."

Giving that extra something is part of the 17-year-old's makeup.

She is a National Honor Society member with a 4.0 career-grade point average (6th in her senior class), Varsity Club treasurer, Student Senate secretary, a unified basketball student rep and a member of S-G's orchestra, band and GIVE (Governor's Initiative for Volunteer Education) program.

"I just utilize every free minute," Geniti said.

At Stony Brook, that mind-set will come in handy. She plans to run in each of the three seasons while studying biomedical engineering.

"She is our Section II Scholar-Athlete nominee," Bowman said. "What other athlete plays five sports and has a 4.0? I don't think there's another one out there. And she doesn't just play five sports, she excels at five sports."

Bowman appreciates Geniti's skill, but also her dedication to the team and her leadership qualities. She is a team captain along with senior Kelsey Brown and junior Asia Winney.

"She is definitely one of those people who will be hard to replace," Bowman said. "When things are going tough we look to her. She's been here since eighth grade. She's been through it all."

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, jims@dailygazette.com or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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