Orting High School wrestler Taylor Meeks, who led his team to state championships during his junior and senior seasons, is the Columbia Bank Male Athlete of the Year and winner of a $2,000 scholarship.
Meeks' won-lost record was an astonishing 112-1 for his last three years and 146-5 with 87 pins including his freshman year. Honored as captain his junior and senior years, Meeks was a three-time state champion (160, 171 and 189 pounds) and also placed third (145 pounds) as a freshman. On his march to the 2010 state title Meeks won each of his matches by first-round pins, according to Coach Mike Sowards.
"Taylor did not lose to a Washington wrestler since the semifinals his freshman year. I have coached 10 state champs and numerous state placers, and Taylor is the only wrestler to outgrow his coaching staff. A great leader, his team always came first. He was never cocky, just confident. He is a quiet kid who is liked by all students at Orting," Sowards said. "Taylor may be the hardest working athlete in the state in all sports, and he works hard in the classroom, too."
Meeks was nationally ranked by USA and WIN magazines. He was the Tacoma News Tribune's 2010 Wrestler of the Year, Seattle Times Athlete of the Week on three occasions and three-time Tacoma Athletic Commission Athlete of the Month. He will be attending Oregon State University on a wrestling scholarship.
Meeks has been competing in non-school wrestling tournaments for more than 10 years and won age-group championships at Reno in 1999 and 2002, at Tulsa in 2001, at Kansas City in 2003, at Coeur d'Alene in 2008 and 2010, and at Orem, UT in 2009.
He also competed hard on the gridiron, leading the 2010 Cardinals in tackles and winning all-league honors as a running back and nose guard.
Meeks, who current and accumulative grade point averages are 3.67 and 3.12, respectively, is committed to helping young athletes get good starts. He volunteers at camps and with junior wresting.