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Geist gets his moment

It was only a matter of time, really.

But the moment meant the world to Knoch graduate Jordan Geist.

A longtime NCAA gold-medal contender in the shot put for the University of Arizona, Geist had been ranked No. 1 in that event before, only to come up short during the national competition.

Being ranked No. 1, of course, doesn’t guarantee victory in anything. Just ask Purdue or Kansas in the current NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Los Angeles Dodgers in baseball, the undefeated New England Patriots the year they lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, etc. ,etc.

When you’re up against the best — even when you’re considered among the best — it doesn’t take much to fall short.

“I went into some (championship) meets ranked first, but ended up fifth,” Geist said in a recent Arizona Daily Star article. “That was pretty disappointing.”

But experiences like that make the experience Geist realized at the recent NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., that much sweeter.

Geist’s first throw in that event traveled 69 feet, 4.75 inches. None of the other 15 competitors could match or beat that throw throughout the event — and Geist secured his long-awaited national championship.

Don’t think for a second he’s stopping there.

University of Arizona track and field director Fred Harvey said in that same article that Geist “never questioned himself. He continued doing everything it takes to be successful.”

Harvey and an Arizona assistant coach had traveled to Saxonburg to recruit Geist a few years ago. They felt it was worth the trip. And the powerful thrower has not disappointed.

Geist endured a bout with COVID-19 that set him back temporarily, but now he’s back on track and is headed into the outdoor season with a head of steam.

At 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, Geist is not as tall as some of the athletes he goes up against. Buit he’s faster than most.

In fact, Arizona’s new throws coach, Lucais McKay, referred to Geist in that article as “one of the fastest throwers in the world.“

MacKay has been working with Geist since joining the Arizona program in August. He’s made some tweaks in his technique that are paying dividends. Geist went through the indoor season unbeaten and his best throw of 70 feet, 5.75 inches shattered his own school record.

The biggest thing is, Geist remains hungry.

He wants the NCAA outdoor championship. He wants to earn a spot on the next two United States Olympic teams. He wants to compete professionally and gain enough sponsorship top do so on a full-time basis.

Jordan Geist has been at this for a long time.

His best may be yet to come.

John Enrietto is sports editor of the Butler Eagle

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