Olathe East senior Allison Meads became the only gymnast in Kansas history to win the state all-around title three consecutive years, but that wasn’t the championship she coveted most.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
“Being state champions as a team meant more to her than any of her individual accomplishments,” Hawks coach Julie Bayha said. “She won state as a sophomore and junior, but both those years she would have traded the individual all-around for a team title.”
Still, while Meads led Olathe East to that long-sought title, the program’s fifth overall and first since 2008, it’s worth rehashing her impressive individual accomplishments too.
After all, Meads also won The Star’s All-Metro gymnast of the year honor for a third straight time.
Lawrence’s Mallory West, who won the all-around crown in 2004, 2005 and 2007, also was a three-time champion, but she didn’t do it in succession and can’t match Meads’ 12 career individual gold medals.
Meads won individual gold on all four event apparatuses at least two times.
She didn’t compete in the high school ranks as a freshman, but Meads won the floor exercise all three years at Olathe East — a first in Kansas history.
She won the balance beam as a junior and senior, one of six two-time champions in the event.
Meads also won the uneven parallel bars as a sophomore and junior and won the vault as a sophomore and senior.
“She has had a great work ethic, and it’s paid off,” Bayha said. “It’s been such a privilege. She came in with amazing talent, but she was still willing to try new things and learn.”