SUPERIOR — At 6-foot-3, and stocked with an array of athletic skills, Kalynn Meyer can quickly grab your attention.
Her powerful attack on the volleyball court can lead to some booming kills. She can attract spectators at Omaha Burke Stadium when the PA announcer alerts the crowd of the start time to the Class C discus.
Meyer, as humble as they come, recently learned that she can even captivate people in another country. The Superior senior-to-be and others went on a school trip to the Dominican Republic.
"People were asking to take pictures with her, everywhere we went," said Superior volleyball coach Kelsea Blevins, who also is the Spanish teacher. "Because, in the Dominican, most people are a lot shorter, so they just thought she was amazing."
Taking pictures with the locals in another country or facing a triple team in the paint, Meyer can indeed draw attention.
After strong seasons in volleyball (Super-State first team), basketball (Super-State third team) and track and field (state-meet records), the Superior standout is the Lincoln Journal Star girls high school athlete of the year for the second year in a row.
Despite double and triple teams in basketball, Meyer managed to average 20 points and 17 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. Battling extra blockers at the net, Meyer produced 524 kills while becoming a weapon in the serve/receive game in volleyball. In a match against Freeman late in the season, she had 30 kills and 35 digs in a four-set win.
Meyer can draw multiple defenders, but she likes the challenge and the pressure that comes with it.
"It makes me a lot smarter with my moves and shots and more physical in basketball, especially," she said. "If you're down in the post and you're getting hammered by three people, you kind of have to stand your ground. It's definitely making me stronger inside and out in basketball, and in volleyball, too."
When track season rolls around, the dynamic changes quite a bit. Stepping into the discus and shot put rings, Meyer is by herself.
She capped an impressive junior season with her best throws at the state meet. Meyer won all-class gold medals with Class C meet-record throws of 49 feet, 5 inches in the shot put and 176-8 in the discus. Her effort in the shot ranks sixth on the all-time chart, and the 176-8 is second all-time.
Once again, Meyer shined on the big stage.
"Ending the state track meet kind of helped me going into the summer," said Meyer, who isn't ruling out taking a crack at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in the future. "I'm more comfortable with the way that it ended, but knowing that we didn't finish on the right notes in the other two sports motivates me and pushes me more into the summer, like, that's not going to happen again."
Yes, despite all the individual success, what's motivating Meyer entering her final year of high school are finishes to the volleyball and basketball seasons. A year after winning state titles in both sports — the school's first state titles in any sport since 1992 — the Wildcats fell short in the state tournament in both sports. As defending state champion, Superior was getting everyone's best shot.
So it pushes Meyer to work even harder.
If she's not at club volleyball or at camp with her high school teams, Meyer is either helping her father Andy with farm work, or she's in the big shed that sits to the north side of the family home.
In there is space for a makeshift volleyball court and a half-court setup for basketball. The kids applied the lines to mark the courts.
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Volleyball in yellow.
Basketball in red.
A chalkboard is set up to track scores or shots, and dad's work bench serves as out-of-bounds.
Meyer will go there to work on her volleyball swings, or pepper balls back and forth with sister Shayla, who just finished her freshman season at Superior.
"We're very fortunate that we have that available to us," Meyer said. "It's right at the edge of my fingertips, so I can go out there whenever, and it's great."
In front of the house is an open lot where Meyer and her siblings hone their throwing skills for track and field.
"She's always working," volleyball coach Blevins said. "She's in the weight room super-early, we had volleyball camp all day today, and then they go to basketball camp tonight. She's constantly working to better herself and enjoy this. You think a gal like her could be burned out as much time as she puts into it, but she keeps on working, and working and working."
That's why Meyer said it's important to find a balance and develop a routine. She's also in band and is involved with Future Farmers of America, as well as church and community events.
Club volleyball practice included driving to Lincoln twice a week. However, because Meyer played for VC Nebraska's 18s elite team (one of two 2020 recruits to play up an age division for the club), their season is complete.
That's giving Meyer some time this summer to recharge her batteries, help change tires on irrigation pivots on the farm and prepare for her final high school season. She wants to help get the Wildcats back to the top in volleyball and basketball and she's chasing four all-class gold medals in the discus.
Those are big goals for an athlete with an already stellar high school career. Yet, despite all of her success and the attention that comes with being a future Nebraska volleyball player, those close to Meyer laud her humility and her quiet approach.
"It's so fun to cheer for her because she is so humble, and the rest of the girls follow that," Superior athletic director Kevin Miller says. "They have that mindset, too, lead by example, lead by what you do on the court and what you do in practice."
Miller has seen Meyer grow into a top-level athlete. He recalls watching Meyer compete in discus in a junior high meet.
"It was 130-something (feet). As an eighth-grader," Miller said. "We (he and Andy Meyer) looked at each other and said, 'You know what? It wasn't even a very good throw. ... Wow, 136, 138.' That's when I thought this is the real deal."
Perhaps Meyer picked up some fans while in the Dominican Republic. Blevins, by the way, said Meyer hit a home run in a pickup baseball game against some of the local kids there, which amused those watching.
Being a standout athlete in a small town, Meyer and her teammates have some admirers at home, too.
"In a small town like ours, it's all of the little kids thinking they're superheroes when we have camps," Blevins said. "When we go to a high school, after a match (Kalynn) would have a little girl come up and ask for her autograph as a junior in high school.
"A lot of people look up to her because she is so talented."