North Thurston Three-Sport Standout Alexis Meyer Looks to Build on Sophomore Success

North Thurston's Alexis Meyer posing on the volleyball court
Jackie Meyer (left) with her daughter Alexis Meyer at last year's 3A state volleyball tournament. Jackie is her daughter's high school coach in both volleyball and basketball. Photo courtesy: Jackie Meyer

As the start of the new high school sports year approaches one of the more intriguing questions at North Thurston High School is, “What will incoming junior Alexis Meyer do for an encore?”

Saint Martin's University new logoThe three-sport standout was absolutely phenomenal during her sophomore campaign, achieving both individual accolades while at the same time helping her teams find success. Meyer kicked off last year by earning first-team all-3A South Sound Conference honors in volleyball as she led the Rams back to the state tournament for the first time since 2018.

Up next was basketball where the 5-foot-9-inch Meyer was an honorable mention selection, playing post for a North Thurston squad that captured a conference championship before advancing to the regional round of the state tournament.

She capped her sensational year by breaking the school record in the 800 meter (2 minutes, 20.99 seconds) and participating at the 3A state championship in the event.

North Thurston's Alexis Meyer playing basketball
North Thurston’s Alexis Meyer pulls down a rebound during the past girls’ basketball season. Meyer was an all-league selection, helping the Rams win the conference championship. Photo courtesy: Jackie Meyer

It was about as impressive a run a sophomore athlete had ever experienced at the school – one made even more eye-popping given the fact Meyer was coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, an injury that sidelined her for nearly a year.

“It meant a lot,” Meyer said about the success she experienced last year, “because I worked hard over the summer to get stronger and faster. I wasn’t sure I would ever be back mentally and physically, and the hard work paid off. I felt really lucky to be a part of three state competitions because my injury taught me to never take anything for granted and embrace every opportunity. I told my parents in the summer that I wanted to go to state in all three of my sports.”

Her mother, Jackie Meyer, who coaches Alexis in both volleyball and basketball at North Thurston, described the incident that resulted in the torn ACL as a freak accident. It occurred during Alexis’ eighth grade season of volleyball after she collided with another player while chasing after a loose ball. A little more than a month later, surgery followed, forcing Alexis to miss much of her freshman year of sports.

“The process had many ups and downs,” Jackie Meyer said about her daughter’s rehabilitation, which included Alexis working with Olympia Orthopaedic Associates and physical trainer Alaina Hill. “There are many times when Alexis felt ready to return to 100% and didn’t understand why the process took so long. Alaina and her set goals around her sports activities and she was able to use the COVID shutdown at home to work on getting stronger and meeting all the milestones during the nine-month recovery. As a parent I hate to say an ACL injury was the best thing that ever happened to her, but it really changed who she was as a person and athlete. She gained a whole new perspective on life, hard work, and determination.”

North Thurston's Alexis Meyer running track
Alexis Meyer advanced to state in three sports last year, including participating in the 800 at the 3A state track and field meet. Photo courtesy: Jackie Meyer

All those traits were on full display during her sophomore season.

“The best part about being hurt during COVID is that I didn’t miss much,” said Alexis, who also utilized her non-athletic downtime by doing her eighth-grade science project on ACL injuries and recovery time. “At first, I was devastated because I thought I was going to miss so much. When I took the court for the first time, I was very nervous because I was afraid of either getting hurt again or not being the same. It felt strange to get back into game movements again because I hadn’t done them in a while, but I felt so grateful to be back.”

“Everything we researched and learned from experts was that the closer she could get to one year the more likely she would not reinjure,” Jackie Meyer said. “With her being so young and our love for all sports we knew she would want to have a long career with athletics. Alexis was ready to go at eight months and saw her first competition at the one-year mark – as volleyball started late her freshman year due to COVID. She had a super successful year this year in all her sports and school, but I don’t think I realized she was back 100% until her first track meet this spring. She ran without her brace, looked strong and confident, and broker her personal record in the 800 by 15 seconds.”

North Thurston's Alexis Meyer standing on a medal podium
Alexis Meyer (No. 3) following her third-place finish in the 800 at the Shelton Invite. Photo courtesy: Jackie Meyer

Pushed by track coaches Rob Smith and Brad Hooper and PE teacher Lance Baker, who helped her find a love for lifting during her rehab, Alexis continued to trim time throughout last track season. She finished fourth at the 3A SSC championships before setting the school record in the 800 at the district championship meet, which secured her trip to the state meet.

“Thanks to track season my freshman year, I had a taste of success and it made me more comfortable during basketball season that year,” Alexis said. “So, when I came out my sophomore year in volleyball, I felt stronger, faster and capable. I was ready to have a great year. I just cut lose and was no longer afraid.”

Alexis will now take that attitude into her junior year, hoping to build on her sophomore success.

“I am really focused on having fun and new challenges,” Alexis said. “I am excited to set new goals and see how far we go.”

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