CHEYENNE – Sammy Geyer knew she was going to be behind her San Diego State teammates when her freshman swimming season started.
Not only was Geyer from Wyoming, where the high school swimming season trumps the club campaign, she also took time off during the year to stand out on the basketball court.
“I knew I was getting myself into something way bigger than what I had ever been part of before, so I was more than a little nervous,” she said. “But my whole entire freshman year, I was behind in practice. I was doing different sets than the other girls because I couldn’t keep up.
“I was very different from those girls coming in. I knew – because I hadn’t swam year-round in high school – that I had the potential to be one of those girls by the conference meet.”
The 6-footer made up for a lot of lost time during her first season with the Aztecs, placing fourth at the Mountain West Championships in the 50-yard freestyle and taking eighth in the 100 free. She also was 10th in the 100 breaststroke. Her 50 free (22.71 seconds) and 100 breast (1:01.95) times cracked the top 10 in school history.
“That really boosted my confidence,” Geyer said. “It made me realize again why the coaches had recruited me to go there, why my parents believed in me, why my friends believed in me, and why (Central coach Mark) Miller believed in me.
“They saw the potential I had, but I’m not sure I realized it until after my freshman year.”
Geyer bettered most of those finishes as a sophomore.
She captured third in the 100 breaststroke (59.78), fifth in the 50 free (22.80) and ninth in the 100 free (50.38). She also was part of the winning 200 freestyle relay team. Her efforts helped San Diego State capture the conference title.
“There’s always room for improvement, but I have come so far since my freshman year,” she said. “Looking back on the year I had, I was just so much better mentally and physically and really started putting some things together.
“It’s kind of hard to not be happy with the year I had. I’m very happy and humbled to have performed so well at the Mountain West meet, and be part of such an amazing team.”
Geyer earned all-state honors for the Central basketball team as a senior. Spending nearly five months on the hardwood each winter was a welcomed respite from the rigors of logging yardage in the swimming pool. However, it also was time she could have been fine-tuning her strokes and turns.
Geyer started playing catch-up by spending the bulk of the summer before her freshman year training with Aztecs coach Mike Shrader. What they did in the weight room and pool was eye-opening.
“I was doing all these new things, and my body was like, ‘Oh my goodness! What are you doing?,” Geyer said. “It was all so fresh and new, and it was helping me excel in the pool. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was in the right place.”
Other recent accomplishments by local high school graduates include:
– Central alumna Logan Anderson competed at the NCAA Division II Championships as part of Colorado Mesa University’s 200 freestyle relay. They stopped the clock in 1:35.09 to take 13th during the preliminaries. The sophomore posted season bests in the 50 freestyle (24.29 seconds), 100 free (52.70), 50 butterfly (27.11), 100 individual medley (58.82) and 200 free (1:53.03).
– Central grad Hannah Linde wrapped up her junior season at the University of Wyoming. She had season bests of 1:06.44 in the 100 breaststroke, and 2:28.84 in the 200 breast.
– East alum Jackson Mugg placed 20th in 1,650-yard freestyle at the Great Lakes Valley Conference meet for Lewis University. Mugg is a sophomore at the NCAA Division II school based in Romeoville, Illinois.
– Rachel Pietsch finished her sophomore campaign at UW. The Central alum had a personal best time of 2:22.80 in the 200 butterfly.