Gierke runs to next level

By on February 12, 2009

Senior signs letter of intent for Northern Iowa track

by Mike Slodki

At least one athlete associated with the University of Northern Iowa had a good month.

While former grad Kurt Warner got stopped on his chance for Super Bowl glory in Tampa, Fla., a noteworthy development was taking place at the Kaneland High School library last Wednesday as senior Lindsay Gierke signed her letter of intent to join the Panthers track program in the fall.

In 2008, Gierke finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, sixth in the 100 meter dash and seventh in the 200 meters at the Class 2A State meet. She holds a personal-best of 11.99 in the 100 meters along with a time of 24.60 in the 200 meters.

Now Gierke prepares for life after Kaneland track for Northern Iowa athletics and a partial scholarship, and learning under head coach Travis Geopfert.

“You just have to keep training and working hard; it’s a big deal out there,” Gierke said.

Gierke also made it to state the previous two seasons, including representing the Lady Knights in the 100m dash,300m low hurdles and the 200m dash at the 2007 gathering.

Gierke decided on Northern Iowa after also contemplating Michigan State and Illinois State, among other schools. Now she can conduct her senior year of track with a weight lifted off her.

“It’s a lot less pressure, but keeps me motivated because I’m going to a good school,” Gierke said. “I met some of the girls on the team and they’re really nice.”

“She’s done a lot of good things here and she got what she deserves,” KHS alum and Elmhurst College football player Ryan Gierke, Lindsay’s brother.

The current Elmhurst Bluejay offered some insight on how to handle the transition from high school athletics to Division I spotlights, having also seen time on Northern Illinois University’s football squad.

“You have to stay confident in yourself. You see bigger, stronger athletes and it’s easy to get intimidated,” the elder Gierke said.

Lindsay’s quest for more IHSA state glory sees outdoor activity for the first time on Tuesday, April 7 at Burlington Central.