Knoch's Jordan Geist wins shot put at national event, will compete in Peru
Knoch grad Jordan Geist's bad day at the office isn't like everybody else's.
The reigning three-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA shot-put champion needed just one throw and landed it as Geist claimed first place at the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday in Sacramento. The win punches Geist's ticket to Peru as he will represent the United States at the Pan-American Junior Championships on July 21-23 in Lima.
“Finally, I'm getting to make my first U.S. team is awesome,” Geist said by phone. “Every throw aside from the 69-footer was not very good. It only takes one, but I need to keep trying to get more consistent by the time Peru rolls around.”
Geist created a little drama around the Sacramento State University track oval by waiting until his fifth throw before securing first place with a toss of 69 feet, 4 1⁄4 inches in what was considered, by his standards, a lackluster performance.
“I just need to try and get more consistent,” said Geist, who committed to Arizona in October. “Luckily, that one throw at least came.”
Geist qualified by throwing a 13.2-pound shot unlike the 12-pound shot he has been using in high school.
The performance was just par for the course for Geist, who has been to known to attract a crowd for his throws. On top of his WPIAL and PIAA crowns, he broke his Penn Relays high school shot put record this year with a distance of 74-9. As a junior, Geist broke the record with a 73- 3⁄4, which helped him garner national attention.
With Geist's success, he is cautious to call this his most significant accomplishment.
“It's definitely up there, especially for this team,” Geist said. “Hopefully we can try and get a win in Peru as well.”
On Thursday, Geist was named the 2017 Gatorade Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year, an award he also won as a junior. He holds the state record, which he set as a junior, with a top throw of 74-3 1⁄2. He set a personal record of 76 feet at the New Balance Outdoor championships at North Carolina A&T in early June. Geist is also a two-time New Balance national indoor champ as well.
Geist's Arizona coaches didn't waste the opportunity to catch up with one of their prized recruits in Sacramento. Geist said his future coaches were on hand to watch, adding to the pressure.
“It was a really cool experience to do it with them here,” Geist said. “It's just so much more pressure on myself, and it's such a relief to finally make a team.”
William Whalen is a freelance writer.