After a phenomenal freshman year, it seemed that Dess Meek couldn’t do anything more impressive for the Sam Houston State women’s track and field team.
Meek, now a sophomore, was part of two women’s conference championships last year as a red-shirt freshman. She qualified for the NCAA regional competition outdoors in the high jump, long jump, and 4×100 meter relay, winning the regional title in high jump. She advanced to the NCAA outdoor national championships in high jump where she finished No 16.
Based on these accomplishments, Meeks was named the Huntsville Item’s “Female Athlete of the Year” for 2008.
However, Meek proved last Saturday at the University of Houston Indoor Invitational Track and Field meet that she is looking to achieve even more in 2009. At the meet, Meek won the women’s high jump with a personal best of 6 ft., an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
“It was just amazing,” Meek said. “At first it was unbelievable. I wasn’t sure it was six foot; I had to look over and ask coach.”
The six-foot mark is an SHSU record, and ranks Meek the No. 1 high jumper in the Southland Conference, as well as No. 6 in the nation for Division I female college athletes.
Meek appears to be destined to make another trip to an NCAA nationals this March at Texas A&M University. She would be the first ever SHSU track and field athlete to qualify for an indoor national championship meet.
Head track coach Curtis Collier said that while Meek is not officially qualified for nationals, he is confident that her six-foot leap sealed the deal. Collier also admits the possibility that that Meeks can improve her mark even more this season.
“It isn’t normal for an athlete to keep making those types of improvements throughout the season,” Collier said. “However, it’s possible based on the clearance she had at six feet. I think it’s possible.”
As for Meeks future potential, she admits to already passing her expectations for the indoor season.
“My goals were five-eleven for indoor and six for outdoor, so it’s whatever God decides to surprise me with.”