Instead of sitting in a classroom, Kalynn Meyer spends her days sitting on top of a tractor working on her father’s farm in south-central Nebraska, fertilizing and getting the soil ready for planting, which she’ll also be assisting with over the next couple of weeks.
The future Nebraska volleyball player has completed the academic portion of high school at Superior. The senior class will not return to school this spring, regardless of the direction the COVID-19 pandemic takes locally.
“I enjoy my time on the farm, especially knowing I won’t be here that much once I get to Lincoln,” said Meyer, who is scheduled to start classes at NU and begin volleyball training on June 1. “There’s lots of stuff to do with fertilizing and planting; we’re staying busy.”
Meyer is hoping the pandemic hasn’t closed the book on her high school athletic career, too. She has aspirations of state records in the girls shot put and discus as the final chapter of a storybook high school athletic career for the two-time Journal Star girls prep athlete of the year.
But with the Nebraska School Activities Association extending its suspension of all spring activities until May 1, a high school track and field season looks dubious at best.
A year ago at the state meet, Meyer left everyone anxiously waiting to see what was in store for her senior year. She earned her third straight Class C girls discus title with an all-class gold medal throw of 176 feet, 8 inches, the best mark nationally a year ago and second on the state’s all-time charts behind the 185-4 (sixth all-time nationally) by Wilber-Clatonia’s Melanie Uher in 2002.
Meyer unleashed an all-class gold medal effort of 49-5 in the shot put, which landed her sixth in the state’s all-time top 10 and third in the national 2019 charts. The Nebraska state record is 52-9¼ by Fremont’s Becky Beachler in 1997.
Meyer won the Kansas Relays shot put and discus title last year, but she was scheduled to compete at the Penn Relays instead this spring.
Her father, Andy Meyer, holds the boys state discus record with a throw of 203 feet, 6 inches he uncorked competing for Superior in 1989 before his college career at Nebraska. Andy, who now coaches his daughter, said Kalynn’s workouts earlier this month at the shot put and discus rings he has on the farm were promising.
“If we’re fortunate enough to have some type of season, I think she has a chance at state records in both events,” Andy Meyer said. “We haven’t measured any throws, but I’ve got a pretty good idea just watching them, and right now she’s basically where she left off last year.
“Kalynn’s in tremendous shape right now, maybe the best she’s ever been,” he added. “We don’t need to make any major adjustments to what she’s doing in either one (shot put or discus). Most of it’s just minor tweaks to her technique or getting through the ring quicker.”
Kalynn is throwing three times a week, being careful not to burn out on too much practice and not enough meet competition. Her older sister, Leah, has now joined her in those throwing sessions since the rest of her Nebraska season has been canceled.
Kalynn mixes that in with three days of running on the track and three days of weight training with the setup her father has at home. The 6-foot-3 volleyball middle blocker is also faithfully doing the at-home workouts her Nebraska club team recommends for its players.
“Basketball forces me to be in better shape, so I was feeling pretty good about how everything looked when track started,” said Kalynn, an Under Armour first-team All-American volleyball player last fall in addition to being a first-team Super-Stater. She was a second-team Super-Stater in basketball this winter.
“I’m going to keep working, just in case.”