Girls Track Athlete of the Year: Rensselaer’s Chelsie Meeks
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent June 28, 2013 11:06PM
For the honorable mention list, see page 29.
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:53AM
It seems like Chelsie Meeks is always the bridesmaid — never the bride.
When the Rensselaer standout competed earlier this month at the state meet, she came away bitterly disappointed once again.
This time around, though, the Bombers discus thrower didn’t have her heart broken following a No. 2 finish for the second straight year.
A year ago, Meeks lost the state title by a mere 14 inches to DeKalb’s Rachel Dincoff.
Earlier this month, Lawrence Central junior Adrina Brown launched a state-record throw of 168-6 and beat Meeks (144-8) by nearly 24 feet.
“Last year was a lot worse,’’ Meeks sighed. “This year, she (Brown) just went out and won it. There was really nothing I could do. Losing by more than 20 feet, isn’t anything like losing by only 14 inches.’’
Despite not winning state, Meeks repeated as The Post-Tribune’s Girls Track Athlete of the Year.
Meeks won conference, sectional and regional titles and was unbeaten in her quest to become a state champion — until running into Brown at state.
“That was my only loss this year, and it was a tough one,’’ she said. “I was still able to end the season on a good note, winning the Midwest Meet of Champions (throwing 149-7, in Fort Wayne, June 15th).’’
Brown’s performance was shocking when you consider it marked the first time she’d ever beaten Meeks.
She had beaten Brown at state a year ago and twice at the Warren Central Invite, including earlier this spring.
“I know it was disappointing for Chelsie not winning state,’’ Meeks’ throws coach Gene Edmonds said. “The other girl was pretty good, but she hadn’t been very consistent all year until then. We thought we could beat her, but it didn’t turn out that way. She put everything together at the right time.
“I’m pleased with Chelsie and her performances. She threw well, threw hard and worked hard. I surely don’t have any complaints about her. I thought I should have been able to bring her along more — and I just didn’t. Maybe that’s my limit (140 to 150 feet).’’
While Meeks’ high school career might not have gone according to plan, she’s excited about moving on and competing at Purdue.
“It’s weird the season and my career is over,’’ she said. “It definitely didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, but I’m happy with the way my four years of high school went. I’m definitely ready to move on, and I’m excited about it.’’
Meeks, who will work under throws coach Keith McBride, is excited about learning to throw the hammer along with the discus.
“I’m definitely looking foward to throwing for at least four more years, and we’ll see what happens after that,’’ said Meeks, who has a 3.7 GPA, but hasn’t decided on a major.
“I have no clue what I want to do, really,’’ she said. “I’m just going to check things out the first year and then decide.’’
Meeks praised the work of her coaches, especially the legendary Edmonds, and former Bombers discus thrower, Julie Koebcke, for helping her become one of the state’s best.
The 84-year-old Edmonds coached multiple state champs, an NCAA champ, and college All-Americans at Purdue, while Koebcke won the state title in 1991, and later became a three-time All-American at Indiana State.
“I’m going to miss them a lot next year and will have a very hard time leaving them,’’ Meeks said. “I spent every day with them for the last four years, but I won’t be anymore. Gene and I get along pretty well and have a good relationship. It’s really pretty awesome. Julie, she’s like a second mom to me.’’