College sports

Multi-sport athlete Amanda Meyer headlines Valparaiso’s 17th Hall of Fame class

2014-02-19T19:00:00Z 2014-02-20T03:28:07Z Multi-sport athlete Amanda Meyer headlines Valparaiso’s 17th Hall of Fame classPaul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 19, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | While some Hall of Fame athletes have to decide which logo goes on their cap, Amanda Meyer is fortunate that Valparaiso University isn’t making her choose which jersey to put on during her induction ceremony.

Meyer is one of six individuals being inducted as part of the Valparaiso Hall of Fame's 17th class Saturday morning. The 2006 graduate was a three-sport star for the Crusaders, totaling eight letters in basketball, soccer and track and field.

Meyer was a member of the 2002 WNIT Elite Eight basketball team as well as the 2005 NCAA tournament women’s soccer team. She also holds multiple school records in indoor and outdoor track.

“I had quite the unique college career,” Meyer said. “Some people change majors. I just changed sports teams.”

Meyer was originally recruited to the track and field team, but as soon as she arrived on campus, she began looking for additional challenges. Meyer soon found assistant women’s basketball coach Steve Bruce and joined the team the first night of practice.

“I was able to get out of all the preseason workouts, and my teammates still give me grief about that to this day,” Meyer said. “The team was very successful my first year, and when we made it to the Elite Eight of the WNIT, that only gave me about six weeks to have a track and field career. We had a lot of good guards, and I decided to become a more committed track athlete.”

Meyer’s commitment to track paid off as she helped set a school record in the 1,600 outdoor relay (3 minutes, 58.65 seconds) during her sophomore year and then added a school record in the 600 indoor dash (1:39.54) as a junior. Meyer is listed 13 times among the top five in various events at Valparaiso, including second in the pole vault, a record which she held for eight years.

While Meyer was content with being a track athlete during the school year, she would often return home and play club soccer during the summer against Division I athletes. Once she returned to campus for her junior year, Meyer went on a shopping trip with former Andrean product and then-women’s basketball player Jamie Stangel (Gutowski). The pair discussed Meyer’s love for soccer, and Stangel encouraged her to join the team. Several phone calls later between Stangel’s mother, Laurie, and the coaching staff led to a mid-season tryout for Meyer.

“We started practice at 9 in the morning, and when I got there at 8:30, Amanda was already out on the field warming up,” then-women’s soccer coach Stephen Anthony said. “We were 15 minutes into practice, and I turned to John Marovich and said, ‘She’s on the team.’”

Meyer entered her first game in overtime against Eastern Illinois and promptly scored the game-winning goal. The junior then added two goals the next game against Southern Utah, including the match winner. Meyer went on to play in 41 career games, starting 26 times, including the program’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2005.

Meyer suffered a torn ACL in the first exhibition game that season, but battled back and was able to play significant minutes in the Mid-Continent Conference title game as well as the NCAA tournament appearance against Notre Dame.

“When I think of Amanda, I think she is the gold standard for what we look for in an athlete, and she did it for three different teams,” Anthony said. “She represents what we want, and it’s her intangibles. When you’re around Amanda Meyer, you know you’re around a special person.”

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