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Olympic dreams

Seri Geisler throws the javelin during the NAIA outdoor championships in Alabama last month. Geisler is transferring to Arizona State. Photo Courtesy Mark Potts / VCSU Sports Information Director

Seri Geisler was ready to say "see-ya" to Valley City during her the fall of her freshman year.

Things were not working out for the Vikings volleyball recruit.

Fast forward a year and a half later and the Grand Rapids, Minn., native is leaving Valley, but with mixed emotions.

In less than two years, Geisler has become one of the top javelin throwers in the country. She's transferring to Arizona State where she hopes to chase her Olympic dreams.

"It was actually a lot harder than I expected it to be when we were saying our goodbyes after nationals and how much I'm going to miss Valley," the two-time NAIA javelin national champion said. "We wouldn't have been having this conversation during my first semester at Valley. I was ready to leave."

Originally a volleyball recruit for the Vikings, Geisler made what now appears to be a life-changing decision to join the track and field team at VCSU. In high school, Geisler never threw the javelin because Minnesota does not offer the event in track and field. Also, Geisler participated in softball during the spring, only going out for track her senior year.

"It's been a blessing how everything has worked out. It definitely was not part of any plan I had," she said. "There definitely was someone higher guiding me and helping me through this more than I could have ever imagined."

Despite never touching a javelin before getting to North Dakota, Geisler's years playing volleyball and softball were sound training.

"It definitely translates what I did in volleyball and fastpitch (softball) to the javelin," she said. "It all just kinda lined up in the perfect way, I guess."

Geisler's national championship-winning throw of 172 feet, 10.25 inches last month in Alabama ranks her 12th in the country this year among professional, collegiate or high school javelin throwers. She also leaves VCSU as the school record holder in the shot put (44 feet, 1.25 inches).

Geisler and VCSU track and field coach Chris Johnson collaborated on where she would take her talents next. The final list included Virginia Tech and Nebraska before Arizona State won out. The Tempe-based school also had her area of study (health and physical education).

"Coach Johnson and I made a list of schools that had good javelin programs and good track programs," Geisler said. "When I went down for a practice at Arizona State everything just felt right. It's a great opportunity and I'm hoping to make the most of it."

Like Valley City proved to be, ASU could be another stepping zone.

"My ultimate goal is to one day represent the U.S. at the Olympics," Geisler said, targeting the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. "Obviously, it's step by step, but dream big, right?"

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
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