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Track & field: New outlook re-energizes Fairview sprinter Meyer

  • Matthew Jonas

    Fairview High sprinter Ben Meyer should be a contender for top-five finishes in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the state track meet later this month.

  • Matthew Jonas

    Fairview sprinter Ben Meyer.

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Fairview’s Ben Meyer was happy when last year’s injury-marred track season was over. This season, his senior year, he’s back at full strength and happy to be at practice each day.

Meyer owns the ninth fastest official 100-meter dash time in the state, 10.83 seconds, and the third fastest official 200 time with a 21.48. Meyer also anchors the Knights’ 400- and 800-meter relay teams.

Finally recovered from a hamstring injury last spring — not to mention a broken right arm last fall in football — Meyer has been bolstered all season by the prospect of finally getting to show what he can do.

“Last year, I pretty much didn’t even run track because of the injury,” Meyer said. “This year, I’m back at full speed and I’m surprising myself with the times.”

The ability to realize his own potential has lifted Meyer to new heights of determination and rigor.

“I’m just really happy and grateful,” Meyer said. “I’m doing pre-emptive stretches and strength training. I have a totally different work ethic than last year and it definitely has paid off.”

Meyer, who has finished first in an individual event eight times between the 100 and 200, also has run a wind-aided 10.53 in the 100, which is the third fastest 100 time in the state this season.

Meyer missed nearly all of his junior season, but still ran at last year’s 5A state meet, where he placed 15th in the 100. After missing out on last year’s finals heat in his individual events, Meyer has his targets set high up on the podium in his final go-round.

“I want to make finals for both the 100 and 200 and a top-3 finish in both,” Meyer said. “Also our relays, we want to make the finals in the 4×1 and the 4×2.”

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound senior has also benefited from the continued tutelage of second-year sprint coach Tricia Vieth after the position has been occupied by numerous different coaches is recent years. Knights head coach Melissa Spencer said she has seen a different level of dedication from Meyer this year.

“I’m just so proud of him that he’s finally setting the PRs that we knew he could set all along,” Spencer said. “I don’t think he knew that himself. He’s had a lot of setbacks with all the injuries he’s had in the past and he just wasn’t able to. We knew he could be on top.”

Meyer himself feels he has developed a different, stronger mental approach.

Recently, he’s been impressive while running the opening leg of the 1,600-meter relay, which he expects he’ll have to run in college at Colorado School of Mines, where he will run track and play football (he played running back for the Knights). The Knights’ relay group currently ranks fifth in Colorado.

“There’s a lot of promise on the team this year,” Meyer said. “It’s mostly made out of seniors and sophomores and the sophomores compete right with the seniors all the time.”

Last year he dreaded it, but this year Meyer said he’s looking forward to state and the opportunity to challenge the state’s top runners, including 100-meter dash state record holder Raymond Bozmans from Fort Collins.

“It’s awesome. It’s really exciting to run against him,” Meyer said. “It’s great to see him run, too. I can learn from that.”

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi