Jaimeson Meyer’s dominant season for Waterford earns her the right to be the first Deseret News Ms. Lacrosse
Meyer scored a state-leading 143 goals and recorded 44 assists, second-most in the state. Meyer finished with a state-high 187 points — 50 points more than the second-place point-getter.
To help you understand the kind of athlete that Waterford lacrosse star Jaimeson Meyer is, her coach, Elizabeth Weidner, wouldn’t refer to anything that took place on the lacrosse field oddly enough. Rather, she would point to what she accomplished this season on the basketball court.
While prepping for her final basketball season this past winter, Meyer learned that Waterford’s girls basketball season would not be taking place after a COVID-19 outbreak within the volleyball program revealed the risks of playing through a pandemic.
Although distraught that she wouldn’t be able to play for her school, Meyer petitioned for the opportunity to play for her local school — which for her is Brighton High School — and was afforded the opportunity to try out.
“She never ever gives up, no matter what the challenges and she is fiercely competitive. When she puts her mind to something, she’s going to do it.” — Waterford coach Elizabeth Weidner on Jaimeson Meyer
Meyer made the team and excelled, leading the team in points per game and qualifying for the 5A all-star game.
“To me, that shows so much about her. She never ever gives up, no matter what the challenges and she is fiercely competitive,” Weidner said. “When she puts her mind to something, she’s going to do it. I mean, basketball isn’t even her No. 1 sport, and she put so much time and effort into it.”
The time and energy that Meyer dedicated to basketball directly translated to her lacrosse game and helped her become more than just a goal-scorer. Meyer, who played point guard for Brighton, said that learning to see the basketball court as a floor general allowed her to increase her vision on the lacrosse field and add another dimension to her already astounding repertoire.
To go along with a state-leading 143 goals, Meyer recorded 44 assists, which was good for second in the state. The improvement in her passing game allowed Meyer to finish with a state-high 187 points — 50 points more than the second-place point-getter.
Her sheer dominance in attack made Meyer the clear and obvious choice to be the recipient of the first ever Deseret News Ms. Lacrosse award.
“From an individual point of view, this season, for me, was really about proving that I had what it takes,” Meyer said. “I was able to lead in points and I’m so grateful for that, and for my teammates who just had my back and supported me all season. But yeah, I really couldn’t have asked for a better season, it was so awesome.”
In addition to her teammates, Meyer also accredited much of her lacrosse prowess to her twin brother, Jack.
“We definitely bring out the best in each other because we are very competitive,” Meyer said of her brother. “We play in the backyard, so, you know, it gets pretty intense.”
It was actually her brother who initially introduced Meyer to the sport.
When he started playing lacrosse in fourth grade, Meyer watched her brother and found herself intrigued by the game. After watching, she decided to pick up a stick and get involved with teams herself.
However, it wasn’t until a few years later, when Meyer’s mom started a middle school lacrosse program through Waterford, she began to “fall in love with the sport.”
Meyer began to try and surround herself with the sport in any way possible. She played club lacrosse, joined the high school team freshman year and even traveled to the East Coast for tournaments.
Meyer said that constantly surrounding herself with all things lacrosse allowed her to become a leader and a driving force for improvement on her Waterford squad, especially since many of her teammates were new to the sport.
“She definitely is (a leader),” Weidner said. “She pushed them a lot, and the way that she plays in games is the exact way that she practices ... she was always offering to organize extra opportunities for kids to get better, and they needed it too because they were brand new at the sport.”
That leadership, coupled with her talent, allowed Meyer to lead a smaller, somewhat inexperienced school like Waterford into the championship game against lacrosse behemoth Park City. Although they weren’t able to pull off the title win, Weidner said going toe-to-toe with a school like Park City was an accomplishment itself for her Waterford squad.
“I would really, really push my teammates, almost literally sometimes just to toughen them up, because I knew there were big teams like Park City that weren’t going to take us lightly and were going to be physical with us,” Meyer said. “So I kind of took on that role of being a bruiser during practice.”
Waterford ’s appearance in the championship game all but sealed the certainty that Meyer would be the player who received the Ms. Lacrosse award.
While the award is a huge accomplishment in itself, what Meyer has had to overcome to get this point has been the most staggering part of it all.
Born with a clubfoot, doctors said that Meyer may not be able to run and potentially even walk normally when she grew older. Thanks to four surgical procedures and to Meyer’s perseverance and will, she has been able to overcome her deformity and become an elite athlete.
“That’s something people don’t really know about me and when I tell them they’re usually very surprised,” Meyer said of her foot. “It’s just a part of me and who I am, but it’s something that I still have to overcome sometimes.
“This year I kind of struggled with it. The doctor said I had arthritis and bone spurs that were causing me so much pain. But, you know, I kind of just have to deal with it and take care of myself the best I can. I’m still able to do things I love and that’s the most important thing for me.”
Now graduated, Meyer will depart at the end of the month to continue her lacrosse career at the collegiate level for the Naval Academy, which she said will be a dream come true for her.
Meyer also said that honors like being able to play Division I lacrosse and receiving the inaugural Ms. Lacrosse award have made her feel a strong sense of gratitude.
“It is just so cool, I’m so grateful,” Meyer said. “I never could have imagined this. ... And the fact that I’m the first one just means so much to me. I really do just want to be a part of Utah’s lacrosse history and I’m glad I could bring (the award) to my team and to my school, because (the award) is about them as well.”