Sam Geiger topped off his Track Town Youth League championship medal with two scoops of chocolate ice cream.
“It was super messy when I was eating it,” he said. “It was good, though. So worth it.”
The 12-year-old from Camas captured first place in the boys 11-12 division 1,500-meter run June 27, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. He passed Ashland’s Zachary Holt during the last lap and crossed the finish line with a time of 5 minutes, 5.19 seconds.
“It was fun to run in front of a big crowd. I could hear them cheering for me,” Geiger said. “It was hard at the end. I had no breath in me. What kept me going was the bet I made with my mom before. I could taste that ice cream.”
Geiger loves basketball, but he got into track in the spring at Liberty Middle School. He earned two district titles for the Lions in the 800 and 1,600 runs.
His mother, Sherrie, encouraged him to join the Track Town youth series. Geiger competed at meets throughout Washington and Oregon, before qualifying for the 1,500 championship.
Geiger said he felt nervous at the starting line, but he was also determined to stand on top of the podium.
“I had really hard competition with one lap to go. I really had to give it my all to win,” he said. “I’ll remember getting the gold medal and these gold sunglasses. I really loved the ceremony.”
Sam Geiger attributes his passion for running to his parents. Sherrie is a member of the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame for cross country and track. She also continues to coach and teach at Skyridge Middle School.
Shane Geiger ran for Camas High School and the University of Portland. He passed down his racing singlets to his younger brother.
“It’s special,” Sam Geiger said. “He handed them down to me. Maybe one day, I can hand them down to some one else.”