Oct. 1, 2013
NC State Selects 2013 Hall of Fame Class | Complete Bios | Purchase Tickets
RALEIGH, N.C. - It's kind of ironic that Ted Brown and Betty Springs Geiger both came along about the same time at NC State.
And no doubt about it - both had the same philosophy: Run to Win!
Brown, the ACC's career rushing leader on the gridiron and an original inductee into the NC State Hall of Athletic Fame, helped propel State to the ACC Championship in 1979.
Betty Springs Geiger, however, used her skills to bring two national championships home to Raleigh, as the four-time cross country All-American guided State to back-to-back AIAW national titles in 1979 and 80. In addition, she was the first woman to win an individual NCAA championship in 1981 and repeated it in 1983.
Those feats, along with a whole host of other individual honors, have earned her a place among the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
"I was really thrilled when I got the call," Geiger noted about hearing the news from NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow. Her parents will travel from Georgia for the induction ceremony on November 22, and her 86-year-old mother-in-law will also be in attendance.
One person who is close to her, however, may not be able to see her receive this great honor: her husband of 27 years. The induction falls on the same weekend as the NCAA Cross Country Championships and her husband, NC State track and field coach Rollie Geiger, hopes to be leading his team in that event as he has 44 times combined between the men's and women's programs.
In retrospect, if it hadn't been for Rollie's keen awareness of athletic potential, his wife may not have become a Hall of Fame inductee as he was her distance coach during her collegiate career. The two were married in 1986 and have two children: Rachael and Trey.
"We are very blessed," she quipped. "Rachel is working at in bio-processing in Holly Springs just eight miles away and Trey is doing an internship with the Wolfpack Club while majoring in sports management."
Inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, Geiger's list of accomplishments almost boggle the mind. She set school records in the 3000m (8:59.79), 5000m (15:33.43), and 10,000m (33.01.02). The records in the first two events still stand, while she now ranks third in the 10,000m.
Those accomplishments helped elevate her to two-time NCAA Champion status on the track in the 5,000m and 10,000m. She won the ACC 10,000m crown in 1983. In that same year, she was deemed The Athletics Congress (TAC) National Champion.
During 1983, she was ranked number one in the nation and third in the world in the 5000m.
Geiger is the only woman to ever win the NCAA Cross Country and the US Cross Country Championships in the same year.
The two-time winner of the Kennett Award as NC State's top female athlete, she was runner-up in the AIAW Cross Country championship in 1980 and placed fifth in 1979.
Team-wise, Geiger led State to four consecutive ACC Championships in 1979, 80, 81 and 83. She was also a member of the Wolfpack cross country team that finished third in the country in 1983. In addition, she was a six-time member of the USA Cross Country team.
In outdoor track and field, the Pack placed 10th at the NCAA meet in 1983, with Geiger scoring 20 of State's 37 points.
"When I arrived in Raleigh, it was a culture shock," Betty noted. The Florida native wasn't used to running up any hills since the topography of her home state is totally flat.
She says her freshman year was special.
"It was really exciting. We won the national championship as a team. Now that was really exciting as a freshman. We were not expected to win."
Geiger says the friendships made during her career at State are most meaningful.
"It's exciting to get out the scrapbooks and remember your teammates. I appreciate those friendships more as I get older."
By George Cox