Down to his last throw and sitting in second place behind his biggest rival, Arizona’s Jordan Geist urged on the crowd for support as he attempted to win the men’s shot put at NCAA Outdoor Championships.
With a flurry of spectators clapping in unison, Geist reached back, spun and let out a furious yell. A metal ball flew through the Austin, Texas night sky, then landed with a thud some 69 feet later, setting off a great cheer.
Moments later, the scoreboard at Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium told the story. Geist had done just enough to become national champion.
Geist’s sixth and final throw of the men’s shot put competition landed 0.02 meters ahead of ASU’s Turner Washington, a former Wildcat turned Sun Devil who beat Geist in the same event two years ago. Geist’s mark of 21.06m (69-1.25) gave him his second national title in shot put this spring, having previously won the NCAA Indoor championship.
“You know what you’re working on, you do it in practice every day so it’s just about doing that with the meet adrenaline and execute when it matters,” Geist told reporters.
The competition marked the final event of Geist’s collegiate career. He leaves Arizona as one of the school’s most decorated athletes.
Earlier in the day, Geist finished third in the hammer throw with a personal best and school record mark of 75.97m (249-3). Geist’s throw is fifth all-time in Pac-12 history and 14th all-time in NCAA history.
Geist said he trained for the double session of hammer throw and shot put.
“We can't prepare for the humidity but we have plenty of heat in Tucson, ourselves,” Geist said.
Geist was one of four Wildcats to compete Wednesday. Youssef Koudssi and Zach Landa placed 18th and 20th, respectively, in the shot put competition. Jared O’Riley finished 22nd overall in the javelin.
The day, however, belonged to Geist.