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As a Capital Region high school senior, Julia Geer planned to move to a distant college to play Division I lacrosse and try out for a swim team. Lucky for Rensselaer, she decided to stay close to home and compete athletically here.   

Today, four years later, Geer is a national All-American swimmer and a two-time captain of the lacrosse team.   

Geer’s athletic success didn’t come without its pitfalls. As a sophomore, she underwent corrective surgery for debilitating tendinitis in her shoulder and suffered from a bout with mono, which hampered her swimming and sidelined her in lacrosse.   

With extensive rehabilitation, weight training, and determination, Geer came back with a vengeance last year as a junior. She broke four school records and earned national All-American status after finishing 13th in the country in the 200 backstroke. Last spring, she picked up her lacrosse stick, embraced her role as captain, and finished fourth on the team in scoring. She also earned All-UCAA (Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association) Second Team honors in the process.  

Now in her final year as an undergraduate, Geer is again preparing for stiff competition. That includes swimming well in state competition and making it to the national level, and helping get the lacrosse team back to the NCAA Tournament. She also has a new “challenge”—helping her younger sister, Allison, become a record holder and an All-American swimmer at Rensselaer, even if it means seeing some of her own marks beaten.   

Allison, a freshman, has already broken one of Geer’s records. “She’s awesome—amazing,” Julia said of her sister’s swimming ability. “I try not to put too much pressure on her but she’s definitely a ‘big-meet swimmer.’”   

Despite the difficulties Julia Geer has faced, her college experience has been tremendous, Geer says. “I love it here. I faced a lot of challenges, but overall it’s been great.”


Rensselaer Alumni Magazine On-Line