Watch now: Why Nebraska volleyball player Kalynn Meyer made a return to track and field | More Husker sports
When Kalynn Meyer made her choice for college sports, there was extra suspense because people were wondering not only what school she would attend, but for what sport.
The three-sport star from the small town of Superior could have gone NCAA Division I in volleyball, basketball and track.
Volleyball was the sport she chose, and Nebraska was the school.
Some people would have told you at the time that track was her best sport, and as a high school junior, she had the best discus throw in the nation. She’s second all-time in the state in the discus.
When Meyer announced her decision in 2017, there was no mention of trying to do both volleyball and track at Nebraska.
But in the back of her mind, Meyer thought track was something she may also want to try during college. This year she decided was the right time to start.
So now Meyer is a three-sport athlete in college, too. She competed in her first college track meet last week and is also on the Huskers’ beach volleyball team.
People are also reading…
Last fall during her second season at the school she was a backup middle blocker for the Husker volleyball team playing behind a couple of All-Americans.
The Husker coaches think highly of Meyer, and with Lauren Stivrins and Callie Schwarzenbach no longer on the team, Meyer will have her best chance to play in 2022.
This winter Meyer will be practicing with the track and beach volleyball teams. Beach volleyball will be new for Meyer, and she’ll be trying to make one of the five pairs for the Huskers’ duals. Nebraska doesn’t take beach volleyball as seriously as many schools and doesn’t attempt to qualify for the NCAA championship, but it allows the Huskers to practice more in the offseason and allows more players to compete.
Track wasn’t an option for Meyer last season because the volleyball season got moved to the spring. That was when Meyer began to think about track more.
“Last year was the first year that I hadn’t done multiple sports in one year, so I kind of figured out that I get burned out easily if I just do the same thing over and over again,” Meyer said. “So I knew I wanted to do something different and something more. And I could showcase my abilities. And so the perfect opportunity was to go ahead and go with the track team for a little bit, and do some of that on the side.”
Meyer is on scholarship with the volleyball team, and the coaches were on board with her being a part-time track athlete.
“I was really happy to hear that from them, because that was obviously a big concern just how they would feel if I was doing two different sports,” she said.
Last week in her first college track meet Meyer won the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 3½ inches. She won the event by about 3 feet. Her mark ranks third for the Huskers this season and 18th in the Big Ten.
It came in her first meet in more than two years. The track season was canceled her senior year of high school due to the pandemic.
Meyer’s goal for her first meet was to go over 50 feet, which would have topped her personal best from high school of 49-5 (the implement weighs the same in college).
“I was pretty pumped about that,” she said.
She practiced during Christmas break, throwing with her dad (former Nebraska track athlete Andy Meyer) on the family farm. But her event win came after just four official practices with the track team.
Meyer is settling into a routine where she goes to beach volleyball practice about three days per week, and goes to track practice three or four times per week. Some of the Nebraska throwers practice at 9 a.m., and Meyer is usually able to attend that session.
Nebraska has another home meet this week when it hosts the Adidas Classic on Friday and Saturday. Meyer is scheduled to compete in the shot put at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Meyer probably won’t compete at the Big Ten indoor track meet in February because of beach volleyball.
During outdoor track in the spring is when Meyer will have her best chance for success in track. That’s when she can throw the discus, her best event, and there should be about five weeks when she can focus on track after spring practice for volleyball is done.
Then she’ll compete at the Big Ten meet and try to qualify for the NCAA regional meet.
NU track coach Gary Pepin said that Meyer has so much talent in track that he thinks she could be an Olympian in the discus.
Meyer liked hearing that.
“It’s kind of always been my goal once I start throwing again to get to the 2024 or 2028 Olympics,” Meyer said. “So him saying that, it hit me that if someone else believed in me that I could do it.”