On Campus: Denison Junior John Geissinger

By Brian Savard

SELINSGROVE, Pennsylvania, September 11. THE On Campus series focuses next on Denison junior John Geissinger.

Geissinger qualified for the 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. Individually, he placed 22nd in the 50 freestyle (21.07), fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:39.93) and fifth in the 100 freestyle (45.20).

His most noteworthy performances at the meet, however, came from his relay swims. He swam the anchor leg on the third-place Denison 200 freestyle relay with a 19.89 split, the anchor leg on the second-place Denison 400 medley relay with a 43.93 split, the anchor leg on the gold-medal winning Denison 800 freestyle relay with a 1:39.09 split and the anchor leg on the first-place Denison 400 freestyle relay, splitting a 43.55.

Geissinger is a Darien, Conn., native majoring in history at Denison. He attended high school at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. While attending Lawrenceville, Geissinger garnered four All-American honors.

What is your favorite movie?
Any James Bond movie. Except "Never Say Never Again." I don't even count that as one.

What one song psyches you up the most before a race?
Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine

Collegiate awards won (both academic and athletic)?
All-American in Swimming, We have taken second two years in a row at NCAAs, I feel like that is pretty much the coolest award. Besides first; which we will get.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Hopefully, employed steadily. Chicago sounds like a nice city and I would love to live around there. Otherwise, I'd like to do something back on the East Coast. Hopefully not in a van down by the river.

What made you choose the college that you attend?
It was a combination of swimming and academics that made me choose Denison. When I met Coach Gregg, I thought he was cool and made me feel comfortable about spending so much time down at the pool. On the academic side the class sizes are ideal, as I never feel that I have to try hard to get my voice heard.

At what point in your swimming career did you realize your talent as an elite swimmer?
That is a hard question because I am not sure that I even know. It may have been over a period of time.

What are your goals for the 2007-08 season?
To improve in every way. I would like to see Denison continue on its path upward and win the National Championship. There are, of course, lots of little goals that will have to be accomplished in order for that one to be realized, but that is the most important one.

What advice would you give to a high school swimmer with your talent looking at colleges?
Don't be swayed by what the coaches tell you. Most of them will say a lot just so you come to their school. Also, try to think of it without the swimming aspect. What I did was ask, would I want to go to this school if my shoulder got ripped apart and could not swim. A lot of kids go to college purely for the swimming aspect and end up not enjoying the college that they are swimming for. Makes no sense.

What is the most difficult challenge that you've had to overcome in your swimming career?
My health. I've had accidents over the past few years, freshman year I broke my wrist three weeks before conference. We had to cut the cast off so I could swim.