Daniel Geib emerges as running star at Galena | NevadaAppeal.com

Daniel Geib emerges as running star at Galena

Dave Price

Daniel Geib was playing freshman football at Galena High School at this time two years ago, and he already had plans to play baseball in the spring.

It’s funny how things turn out sometimes.

You see, Geib’s plans took a detour in the spring of 2003 when he was cut from the baseball program. But instead of being disappointed and disillusioned, the freshman simply decided to run for Galena’s track and field program. The decision has turned out to be a good one so far because Geib is now a junior who stands as one of the best cross country runners in Northern Nevada, if not the entire state.

He ran away from the field to win the boys race at the Carson Invitational Friday with a time of 18 minutes, 41 seconds over the challenging 5-kilometer course at Western Nevada Community College. For 3.1 miles, it’s not the fastest time around, yet Geib felt good about his effort.

“This isn’t a course where you’re going to run a fast time, but it is a great training course with the sand and hills, and today you had wind resistance. I felt good on the hills today and that was the best part for me – this will help me get ready for the regional and state races.”

That hill work will come in handy because Geib is training for what looks as a good medal duel with Reno junior Joseph Parker when the Northern 4A Regional meet is held on Thursday, Oct. 28, at Rancho San Rafael Park.

Geib bested Parker when they met in the first race of the season, but they had another good race on Sept. 18 when Parker ran 15:55 to win at the Nevada Union Invitational (Grass Valley, Calif.) and Geib took a close third in 15:58.

“Nevada Union was a good race for me,” Geib said. “It was an intense race. He won it, but I hung in there with him.”

A week later, Parker ran 15:58 to place second in the Division II race at the high-powered Stanford Invitational. Reno senior Leif Anderson fourth in 16:11 and Geib was close behind in 16:16.

Good competition has helped him develop into a better runner. Geib has benefited from more than just the close races this fall, too, because he got used to running hard on a daily basis when he was training with teammate Stephen Pottey at Galena. Pottey doubled as state champion in the 800 and 1,600 this past May and is now running for Cal-Berkeley.

“Stephen has been like a really good mentor for me,” Geib said. “I saw him go through some adversity and he always kept running. I remember there were times when we’d be doing a really hard workout and I wanted to stop and he’d tell me to keep going. All the work is evidently paying off for me now.”

Geib is not one to shrug off hard work.

“He’s a very focused and hard-working young man who just keeps getting better,” said Galena coach Domingo Tibaduiza, a four-time Olympian for Columbia in the 1960s and ’70s. “He’s getting more confidence with each race, whereas before, he had some doubts.

“By the time he’s through here, I think he is going to be close to the times Stephen ran, especially the two-mile.”

Speaking of the two-mile, Geib ran an impressive 9:29 for 3,200 meters back in April at the Arcadia Invitational in Southern California. As a sophomore last cross country season, he placed seventh at the regional meet and then eighth at state. And he was obviously fit coming into this season, judging from his impressive effort of one hour, 16 minutes and 15 seconds to win the Silver State Marathon’s half-marathon race on Aug. 22.

Now, Geib says he prefers a challenging long run as opposed to facing the baseball challenge of making it 90 feet from home to first during an at-bat.

“My dad runs marathons so I had run some road races before high school,” he said. “I remember eating dinner one night and my mom said, ‘I think you’d be a good distance runner.’ So, when I didn’t make the baseball team my freshman year, I went out for track. I said I wanted to be a distance runner, and it just seemed to come pretty natural to me. Having someone like coach Tibaduiza helped, too. He’s so encouraging – he just wants us to do our best.”

Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1220.