Geer’s Olympic swimming hopes must wait another year due to virus

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Fairbanks High School graduate Margo Geer is pictured practicing at the Union County Family YMCA pool in this file photo. Geer must wait another year for the Olympic Trials as the 2020 Summer Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

Former Fairbanks High School athlete Margo Geer will have to wait another year in order to compete for a spot on the United States Olympic swimming team.
The Journal-Tribune spoke with the eight-time state championship high school swimmer on Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee was postponing the 2020 Summer Games for a year.
That is due to the coronavirus pandemic that has encapsulated the planet.
“I knew they were planning for July of 2021,” said Geer. “That would mean the Olympic Trials would be pushed back to June of 2021 in Omaha.”
Geer is a veteran of the Olympic Trials. She first competed in the Summer Games qualifier in 2008 and continued through the 2012 and 2016 Trials.
The former Panther athlete, who won state high school titles in both the 50 and 100 freestyles each year of her prep career, also won numerous NCAA accolades during her four-year pool tenure at the University of Arizona.
Geer currently swims as a professional for the LA Current International Swim League team that is based in Mission Viejo, California.
“I swam in many meets during the fall and winter months,” she said. “Our last race was held the first weekend in March.
“I’ve been making pretty decent money with that sponsorship,” she said.
Geer currently lives and trains in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
“My swimming coach, Coley Stickles, took the position as the head coach at the University of Alabama,” she said. “I followed him down here to continue to train with him.”
Geer had previously trained with Stickles when he was associate head sprint coach for the University of Indiana swimming program.
Geer’s training routine has changed since swimming pools throughout the country have been shut down due to the virus.
“I’m still on track with my weight training and I can do things like sprints and jumps outside,” she said. “The weather has been pretty nice down here in Alabama, so I can get outside to work out as long as I keep my distance from people.”
Geer, however, can’t go through the most important part of a swimmer’s training.
“Swimming is such a ‘feel-based’ sport and you have to be in the water,” she said.
Geer, who served as a volunteer assistant coach at The Ohio State University during the 2016-17 season, told the Journal-Tribune the 2020 Olympic Trials were going to be her final attempt at qualifying for the United States Olympic team.
Whether she extends that another year remains to be seen.
“I had already started making some post-swimming plans that would have started this next fall,” said Geer, who is a 2010 graduate of Fairbanks High School. “I know it’s only a year away, but there is a lot of grueling training involved for the Trials.
“I’ve got to talk to my coach and there is a lot to think about as far as 2021,” she said. “It’s too early to jump into a decision.”



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