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The Daily Wildcat

 

Geer leads by example for Arizona swimming

Courtesy+of+Ryan+Dunn
Luke Adams
Courtesy of Ryan Dunn

Margo Geer anxiously prepared herself for the biggest race of her life.

Her dream was to swim in the Olympic games and this was her chance. As she stood on the block waiting to dive into the water at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., she said she saw her whole swimming career flash before her eyes.

“I wasn’t a part of a team [in high school],” Geer said. “It was all about my individual performances. When I race, I put everything on the line. I lay it all out there, give it my all and don’t like to leave anything behind.”

Geer grew up in Milford Center, Ohio, where at a young age she found her passion for swimming. She started with the Buckeye Swim Club in Columbus, Ohio at the age of five.

By the time she entered high school, she was already a decorated swimmer with a fiery competitive streak. Geer attended Fairbanks High School where she swam, but used the Springfield Family YMCA club as a training base for competition.

By the time she graduated high school, Geer was considered the fastest female swimmer in the history of the state of Ohio, and nearly the fastest in the country. She won a total of eight state championships, placing first in the 50 and 100 freestyle for four consecutive years.

As a senior, she set state records in the 50 and 100 freestyle, compiling times of 22.40 and 48.99 respectively, and possessed the fifth fastest times in U.S. history by a high school swimmer.

“She has always swam really diligently,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “It’s always exciting to watch her race, but I think she can still do better. She is capable of a lot and I can’t wait to see her compete in nationals.”

Coming out of high school, Geer was a five-star recruit and on the radar of many college teams. She said she chose to attend Arizona because she fell in love with the swimming program.

“I chose UA because I initially really liked Frank Busch and Rick DeMont,” Geer said. “The environment of the team felt really close and I liked the combined men/women’s program.”

In her first season as a Wildcat, Geer continued with her success, setting personal best times in the 50 freestyle (21.79), 100 freestyle (47.70) and 200 freestyle (1:45.78).

During November 2010, she placed first in eight events including dual meets against Wisconsin, UCLA and USC, and was named the Pac-10 swimmer of the month. Less than a month later, she won the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational.

“I wasn’t that surprised,” Geer said. “I pretty much expected to succeed from the beginning because I knew that coming here, I was going to get faster right away.”

Geer was named Arizona Athletics’ Female Freshman Athlete of the Year after placing third in the nation in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.

“It was definitely a big honor,” Geer said. “I know that there are a lot of great athletes at Arizona. It’s a big privilege to be named as one of the top athletes here.”

As a sophomore, Geer said she looked to improve even more on her previous success. She served as one of Arizona’s team captains and was named Arizona Athletics’ Female Sophomore Athlete of the Year.

She recorded a team-high seven All-American honors following her sophomore campaign. At the NCAA Championships last winter, Geer placed second in the nation in the 50 freestyle and 200 and 400 medley relays and third in the 100 freestyle and 200 and 800 freestyle relays.

“Margo is one of those people that leads by example,” sophomore Shannyn Hultin said. “She helps bring out the best in you. She really believes in her teammates and inspires them to accomplish things they maybe thought they couldn’t.”

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