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February 24, 2011 12:44 pm

Meeker's jersey joining Panther Hall of Fame

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Tribute to women’s sports pioneer will be Friday

Powell High School will pay tribute to not only one of its most storied athletes, but to a trendsetter in the field of women’s athletics this Friday when it retires the jersey of Dale Ann Meeker during a ceremony at the Powell-Cody basketball games.

The first female athlete to receive a basketball scholarship at the University of Wyoming, Meeker played for the Pokes from 1975-1979. During her senior season, her team earned the Intermountain Conference championship, finishing with a school-record 25 wins and seven losses. That season would stand as the best in school history until surpassed by the 2006-2007 NIT team.

Meeker served as the team captain that season, as well as during her junior year, and was enshrined in the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 along with the other members of that squad. Meeker continues to rank fourth all-time in single-game rebounds at UW with 21, seventh in career rebounds with 770 and is No. 20 at the university in career scoring with 904 points.

In high school, Meeker was part of the first-ever girls’ basketball team at Powell High School as a freshman. As a junior, she brought home a mythical state title — mythical because Wyoming did not hold an official state championship tournament for girls — while serving as the team captain. One year later, she repeated the feat, again as team captain.

Meeker was named the team’s MVP both of those years and earned three letters in the sport. Powell did not offer female athletes letters during her freshman season.

Meeker started every basketball game she played in throughout both her high school and collegiate careers.

In addition to her prowess on the hardwood, Meeker was a four-year member of the Panthers’ track program, again lettering three times and earning MVP honors during her junior and senior years. She brought home four runner-up and two third-place finishes from the state track and field championships.

She also lettered once in swimming and diving and twice in volleyball while a student at Powell High School. She was named the school’s outstanding senior athlete in 1975, and as a junior was featured in an issue of Women Sports Magazine as the Woman Sports Athlete of the Year, receiving an award autographed by Billie Jean King.

Following her graduation from Wyoming, Meeker returned to Powell, where she served as the assistant girls’ basketball coach for six years before taking over duties as the head girls’ coach for 15 years until her retirement in 2003.

During her coaching tenure, Meeker’s teams won five conference championships, three regional championships, nine top-four finishes at the state tournament and three state runner-up finishes. She was named the 3A coach of the year and was a four-time conference coach of the year selection. She served as the North all-star team coach and also coached the Wyoming-Colorado All-Star team on a European tour one summer.

Meeker becomes the seventh individual enshrined in the Powell High School Hall of Fame. She joins former Olympian Jesseca Cross, whom she coached, as the only female athletes to be so honored.

Meeker’s induction into the PHS Hall of Fame will come during a ceremony between the girls’ and boys’ basketball games on Friday against Cody, approximately at 7:15 p.m.

 

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