If she is able, Port Clinton senior Cheyenne Meek will compete in the 50 freestyle today at the Division II state swim meet in Canton.
Her father, Brad Meek, will plead with her not to swim in the 100 freestyle. Meek injured her knee when she banged it on the wall during a turn in the 100 at districts last week.
“I’m worried she’s risking her career,” Brad said of his daughter, who will swim at Ohio State. “She’s 18 and she listened to the doctor. It’s her decision.”
Meek’s brother, Shane, helped pull her out of the pool after the 200 freestyle relay at districts. She then defiantly swam the 400 freestyle relay against her dad’s wishes with tears adding to the water in the pool.
Meek’s knee swelled up and became discolored as she took Saturday and Sunday off. She visited orthopedic surgeon Gary Kresge in Port Clinton on Monday and was told that she was risking severe injury.
Kresge suggested rest but one event if Meek insisted, preferably the 50 because it’s the shortest. Meek’s ugly knee swelled again after she finished third in the 50 in 23.62 seconds Thursday to advance to today’s finals.
“This year’s prelims I swam better than in previous years,” said Meek, who has made state in four events four times. “Going into prelims I knew that my goal was to make finals, so it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as previous years because I knew I was in a pretty good position going in.
“I really just wanted to swim the best I could and have fun with it.”
She swam the 100 freestyle and finished sixth at 51.54 to move on with her dad begging otherwise. Brad said Cheyenne was then strongly encouraged to shut it down by a trainer at the meet and she cried because she didn’t want to disappoint her teammates.
“Going into this year, one of my goals was to not only stand on the podium for my two events,” Meek said, “but for my two relays as well. I never foresaw getting injured last Friday and the decisions that I’ve had to make recently have literally been the most difficult I’ve ever had.
“The doctor told me that every time I get in the pool I’m risking a complete rupture of my patella tendon, but swimming is my life and there’s no way I couldn’t swim. I’ll leave it all in the pool (today) and I hope that against the odds I can still achieve my goals.”
The Redskins’ Allie Schroeder, Taylor Steyer, Mackenzie Stine and Emily Shaw finished 24th (1:45.68) in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay (3:55.78).
“Knowing that we swam among the best of the best and we deserved to be there after all our hard work was a really cool feeling,” Steyer said. “Being there with some of my best friends and people I love and getting to share the excitement of the whole meet was awesome.”
Port Clinton’s Zach Barr, Ty Gallogly, Nick Reineck and Shane Meek finished 21st (1:31.91) in the 200 freestyle relay for the boys.