When he relived the jump later, he groaned and leaned over, putting his hands on his knees.
He stood back up straight and smiled.
“It was a good jump,” Meyer said. “I laid back good. The standards weren’t quite right.”
Meyer still won his second straight 5A title at Cessna Stadium in the state track and field meet with a jump of 16-0. The title is what mattered.
“I got the 10 points for the team. That’s what I really care about the most,” he said. “The record would have been a plus. But it’s for the team. I’ve still got long jump and the (400) relay. I have to move past it. Can’t think too much about it.”
Ah, the record. Meyer’s goal has been not only jumping the elusive 17 feet, but of hitting 17-2, which would be the record for all classes. He went 16-7 in 2012, setting the 5A record.
Meyer, whose career best is 16-8, began Friday’s competition at 14-6 and promptly went over in one jump. He walked over to the fence and talked to his coach, Denis Frazier, about the swirling winds.
Then it took two jumps total to get over at 15-0 and 15-6.
“They pushed him a little bit,” Frazier said of the rest of the 5A competition. “A lot of times we don’t get that, unless it’s a big national meet. It made him think a little more, and he came in and made his big jumps right off the bat.”
St. James’ Timothy Perkins finished second, while Great Bend’s Chris Burley was third.
Meyer needed three tries to get over 16-0.
“I was kind of nervous,” he said. “ ‘OK, what’s going on?’ You might have saw, on my third attempt, I lifted my pole up and I just smiled. I smiled and relaxed. ‘I’ve done this multiple times, what am I thinking? Stop overreacting and do what you have to do.’ ”
He got over with ease, stood up and said “Yeah!” He and Frazier went through a series of hand signals that they’ve developed over the past four years, then Meyer walked over to discuss at which height he should have the bar set.
He’d already won the title, so he immediately said 16-10 would be his next height. And then 17-2.
“It would have been a (personal record), another step before 17,” Meyer said of choosing 16-10. “Really, I should have just gone 17-2, like I did last year.”
Frazier listened and quietly told Meyer it was his decision on how high to set the bar.
But before Meyer made his first attempt, he helped start a slow clap for Gardner-Edgerton pole vaulter Cassie Wait, who was going for the 6A record in the other pole vault pit. She set the 6A record by more than six inches, clearing 13-2.
“We’re really good friends,” he said. “We’re both going to (Kansas); she’s going for volleyball. I have to cheer for her.”
He paused to cheer for Wait before his next two attempts at 16-10, as well. Each time coming up with a smile after his miss.
For Frazier, Meyer’s final state appearance was emotional.
“We just spend a lot of time together in the summer,” Frazier said. “I get to watch him sometimes in the indoor meets. I can’t coach him, but I watch him. We kind of have a language, but I’ve known him for four years now. Basically, I spend more time with him than I do my own kids.”
Meyer didn’t feel any disappointment. Even though he didn’t reach his goal.
“I’ve had an amazing four years, an amazing career,” he said. “I’m blessed to have been jumping at the state meet for four years as a Golden Eagle. I couldn’t be happier.
“In the long run, records are meant to be broken. (My) record will be broken some day. I’m not even worried about it. Someone is going to come along, and I really hope they break it.”