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SEE IT BEav IT: Cindy Greiner

Sep 6, 2022

Cindy Greiner was one of the most accomplished and decorated athletes to ever compete at Oregon State, and she remains one of the premier track and field competitors in school history more than 40 years after her 1981 graduation.

She was an AIAW All-American as a senior, when she set an American record in the heptathlon. She subsequently represented the United State in the heptathlon in three Olympiads (1984, 1988, 1992), finishing fourth in 1984 and eighth in 1988.

Greiner also captured U.S. heptathlon championships in 1984 and 1990, and earned a silver medal at the 1983 Pan American Games and a gold medal at the 1987 competition.

Yet some of her most memorable moments as an athlete came with the OSU track team in 1980 and 1981, back when the program competed at the Old Valley Field track.

"I have a million memories from OSU, from having to run up that damn hill at Peavy Arboretum in the rain and snow, to eating spaghetti at Denny's on every road trip (yeah, it was as bad as it sounds), to my teammates helping me succeed in meets when I was on the verge of disaster in an event," said Greiner, a retired Hewlett-Packard manager who now lives in Boise.

"The best thing about being an OSU athlete was the friendships we developed and the discipline, goal setting, teamwork and confidence we gained, which has carried over into many aspects of my life."

She still ranks No. 3 all-time in the heptathlon (5,420 points). She also ran a leg on the 3,600-meter relay team that took seventh at the 1980 NCAA championships; it remains tied for the best-ever finish by an OSU athlete or relay team at an NCAA meet.

Greiner was inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

Greiner is being showcased in conjunction with OSU's SEE IT, BEav IT initiative, marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX. It will focus on celebrating the stories of OSU prominent women's athletes and athletics.
"Title IX set the stage for important growth, and we are grateful to all of the pioneers of women's athletics who helped create opportunities for our current generation of student-athletes," said OSU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Barnes.
"We look forward to sharing the stories of some of our outstanding past and present female student-athletes, coaches and staff members throughout the 2022-23 year."

Greiner and her husband, John, moved to Boise in 1988, shortly after Greiner earned her MBA at the University of Oregon. She worked in many positions at H-P for 25 years and retired 10 years ago as the Director of Managed Print Services (LaserJet Printers). 

The Greiners have two children. Andrew (28) is a Boise State grad who now works as an estimator for a large company in Boise. Rachel (25) is in medical school at the University of Washington. 

She remembers her two years in Corvallis as "a great experience" and feels fortunate to have trained and competed for the Beavers.

"Our team was just fantastic," she said. "We had a remarkable group of athletes and we all got along well, both the men's and women's team.  We were also fortunate to have knowledgeable and caring coaches. 

"I do believe that over time it certainly has become more meaningful. Competing in track opened a lot of doors for me in other areas of my life. It is still surprising to me how people react when someone tells them I am an Olympian. 

"(OSU) really did set me up to move on to an Olympic career.  When you have good coaches and great athletes to train with, they help you improve so much and that is what I experienced at OSU and was able to parlay that beyond college."