Meeks taking passion for track to Neosho

Gene Morris / Staff Photo

Amanda Meeks signs a national letter for track at Neosho County community College. Pictured with Amanda are (in front, from left) her parents Bonnie Meeks and Robin and Keith Meeks; (standing) Paola coach Mike Smith.

PAOLA — Amanda Meeks signed a national letter of intent to compete on the Neosho County Community College track and field team.

Meeks, a three-time state qualifier in the hurdles, made her decision official April 24 during a ceremony at Paola High School.

She was surrounded by family, friends and coaches.

“I liked the atmosphere of the campus and the coaching staff drew me there,” Meeks said.

Meeks leaves the Paola Panther family, but remains a Panther, signing with the Neosho Panthers.

“It is cool that I don’t have to change a lot of my wardrobe,” Meeks said. “I am still going to be a Panther.”

Meeks was recruited for the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles.

“It is great to have a chance to continue to do what I love,” she said. “I have been doing the hurdles since seventh grade and love it. I have always dreamed of going to the next level to compete.”

Meeks has competed in some big meets for the Lady Panthers, running the hurdles in Frontier League, Class 4A regional and state competitions. The state meet held in Wichita is the largest high school track and field meet in the nation.

“Competing for the Panthers has helped me get my nerves settled for big meets,” she said. “You are in some really big meets.”

Meeks is a four-year letter winner for the Paola track and field program. She is looking to make her fourth straight trip to the Class 4A state track and field meet at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University.

“Amanda has been a three-time state qualifier for the Panther track team,” Paola coach Mike Smith said. “She has a very bright future at Neosho County in the hurdles. We look forward to watching her progress during college.”

Meeks reached out to Neosho County Community College, and coach Noe Hernandez was impressed with the Lady Panthers.

“Having Amanda come to Neosho is huge,” he said. “She has that leadership role and drive to be great. She is going to have a huge impact next year and make a statement for herself. She is going to do amazing things and be part of the foundation and tradition we are starting at Neosho.”

Amanda is the daughter of Bonnie Meeks and Keith and Robin Meeks.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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