Pennsylvania's shot put king regains the US#1 ranking at long last... and doubles in the Hammer

Whether he was the overwhelming favorite or the untested rookie, it didn't seem to matter to Jordan Geist.

Pennsylvania's shot put king regained the US#1 ranking at long last in his specialty and remarkably dominated an experienced hammer field in moving into that event's top spot for 2017 and onto the all-time list as well Saturday at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor.

Geist's winning throws of 76 feet and 238-9 both came on the final throws of the competitions at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. The winning put was an outdoor PR for the future Arizona Wildcat and worth US#3 AT outdoors to move behind Michael Carter and Brent Noon, while his incredible debut effort in the hammer is T-US#12 AT.

Geist was the top returnee in the shot put based on his runner-up finish in an epic battle of 70-foot putters in 2016 and his 2017 US#2 toss of 74-10.25. However, the two-time NB Indoor champ started slowly, leading by less than 5 feet with his 71-2.5 from round 2.

Everything changed in the finals as Geist uncorked a toss of 73-1.75 to move just inches shy of the meet record. After a foul in the fifth, the Knoch High graduate flipped the 12-pound ball toward the back end of the pit to guarantee his third national shot title.

"It was a great feeling because I was struggling until that point," Geist of his round 4 effort, "but I finally started clicking in that round and the next so I knew I had a big one. Luckily on the last one enough things clicked to put together a nice throw."

With only a few minutes between the shot final and his scheduled second flight of the hammer, Geist continued to dominate the action as he manhandled a field that featured five of last year's top nine.

"Building in hammer did surprise me because I am usually not that consistent in practice," Geist said of improving three times on his opening throw of 214-4.

Although he had never competed officially in the hammer until Saturday, Geist gained entry to the event based on his runner-up finish in the weight throw at this year's NB Indoor meet and a measured throw of 198-9 at his high school back in mid-April.

That effort was nothing compared to any of his throws Saturday as Geist would have won gold with four of his five marks and finished a respectable fourth with the other.

Round 2 resulted in a throw of 217-8, and Geist's fourth-rounder covered 221-6. With the victory assured, the 18-year-old whirled once more and unloaded another round 6 monster.

"The last throw felt way different because I have never thrown that far before," Geist said of the effort that bested the field by a whopping 25 feet, 9 inches.

Geist returns to the circle today in search of New Balance title No. 5 in the discus, where he was third a year ago. Future Arizona teammate and roommate Turner Washington is one of the favorites, having finished second in 2016 and sitting on a PR of US#4 227-10 AT from last month's Tucson Elite Classic.