Photo by Don Rich
Jordan Geist has said it time and time again.
He has one simple goal meet in and meet out - PR.
Last Friday at the 122nd Penn Relays, the junior shot put ace did a little more than PR. Geist established himself as the best 11th-grader ever to throw the 12-pound ball - no matter the weather or the venue.
"I wasn't expecting it," Geist said of the prospects just a few short years ago of being the junior class national record holder indoors and out. "I just worked real hard, and It became a goal at the beginning of the indoor season. Thankfully, I was able to pull together some good throws this year."
Geist's longest toss at the Mondschein Throwing Complex - a second-round blast that traveled 73 feet, 0.75 inches - not only dominated a quality field of Jamaican and U.S. throwers by more than 7 feet, it obliterated his weeks-old state record by more than a foot. It also bettered the Penn Relays and junior class national records held by New Jersey's Nick Vena, and it was a PR.
"As soon as I woke up this morning, I felt great," said
Geist, who also topped his longest throw of 72-9.5 from the 2016 indoor season.
"I had a great breakfast. Everything leading up to today was awesome. I knew
from the beginning of the day it was going to be a good day."
It was obvious almost immediately to the large crowd gathered around the shot put venue that Geist was destined for a memorable day.
"The warmups were amazing," coach Mike Hambrick said of Geist's bombs that showered photographers at the rear of the sector with debris as soon as they hit the ground. "That was the best warmup I saw out of him yet this year.
"Everything was very nice tempo, very nice pace and very lacking of effort and still throwing the thing pretty far. Off of his warmup, I was super excited. I literally thought that if he put everything together, he could go 75."
Hambrick added that the Knoch standout's continued use of a controlled start to his rotation is the key to bigger and better throws.
Photo by Don Rich
"I still think that's a very important thing," Hambrick said. "Jordan has the ability to generate speed really fast in the front of the circle. It's key for him to be in control in the back of the circle so he can hit the optimum positions to hit that real hard strike in the front."
Geist is back in action today at the Baldwin Invitational. A year ago, he put a scare into the former state record of 70-1.75 held for decades by Baldwin shot great Ron Semkiw by throwing 69-1.
Last year's best at Baldwin is a distance that the junior now has put in his rearview mirror and tries to best in all attempts.
"Whenever I throw a big throw, I get spoiled," Geist said of his new PR at Penn and intentionally walking out on his remaining throws that were all in the neighborhood of 70 feet or longer. "I just start to foul the ones that aren't as far. Whenever I get to a national level though, whenever fouls matter, then I'm gonna start keeping those throws."
Judy Geist, his mother and throws coach at Knoch, said her son has raised his standard of acceptability to a very high level.
"The sky's the limit, and he's not satisfied yet so he's going to keep working to get where he needs to be," she said.
With weeks left in the 2016 regular season, Geist stands behind only Arnold Campbell (74-10.5), Hayden Bailio (75-4.75), Vena (75-10.25), Brent Noon (76-2), Ryan Crouser (77-2.75) and Michael Carter (81-3.5) on the all-time U.S. list.