Along with her powerful swing, rocket arm and light-footed grace, it’s the sparkly hair that opponents sometimes noticed about Jordyn Meyer.
“Sometimes I have glitter still in my hair from going to skating to softball,” explained the White Bear Lake 2022 graduate who’s a rare athletic combination of softball slugger and accomplished figure skater.
When players asked about the glitter, she would shrug sheepishly, “It’s a thing I do.”
Skating rubs off on softball, too, she added: “Sometimes when I go from softball to skating, I’ll have ‘eye black’ still on my face from games.”
The 6-foot, 160-pound Meyer belted eight home runs, batted .333 and drove home 26 runs for the Bears this spring, including a game-winning three-run blast in the first round of state. She was one of the main reasons the Bears them posted 22-5 record, won conference and section crowns, and placed fourth in Class 4A.
Meyer is headed for Division I softball at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, on a scholarship.
However, she’s been a figure skater for much longer, starting at age five — she started fast-pitch softball at age 12 — and her love of skating continues even after all her competitions are done. She still skates two or three mornings a week at White Bear Sports Center, her home rink, with coach Lynn Hanson.
“It’s such a challenging, yet rewarding, sport,” Meyer explained. She is “addicted” to keep trying new jumps, spins, or whatever the next element may be.
“When I’m on the ice, I have this feeling where nothing else matters, and I’m so relaxed. There’s nothing else like it. I love the sense of freedom while skating.”
Her softball teammates, well aware of her other sport, had fun mimicking her moves. “It’s entertaining,” she chuckles, “to watch them trying my latest ice jump.”
Skating is dominated by girls with much more compact bodies. “I’m always walking past other skaters a head taller,” she said with amusement. Her height is challenge, though: “It gets harder, definitely, with every growth spurt. You have to re-learn every move. But it’s fun to overcome that.”
Meyer achieved an eight rating on a scale of 10 in freestyle in the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) federation. She competes in several ISI events each year: the Holiday Open at her home rink, Frosty Blades at Schwann Super Rink in Blaine, a New Ulm event since age nine, and venues in Woodbury and Minneapolis. She has also competed in US Figure Skating (USFS) events.
Her signature moves are a cartwheel which she’s been throwing for years and the “illusion,” a windmill-style spin on one skate.Top achievements, she said, include medaling in six or seven events at New Ulm on multiple occasions and the “eight” rating which few skaters attain.
Meyer credits figure skating for helping make her a better softball prospect. “They liked my flexibility and versatility,” she said, meaning college coaches. “Skating definitely helps leg strength, which is beneficial for both catching and hitting. It also increases my overall balance and flexibility, which helps in all aspects of the game.”
A typical school day for Meyer was rising at 4:30 to 4:45 a.m. for skating practice, classes, a softball practice or game, then homework in the evening. She logged a grade-point-average over 4.0 and graduated with honors.
Meyer made all-conference twice and Star-Tribune All-Metro second team as a senior. Her junior year, she hit .290 with four home runs and 14 RBI’s.
That prodigious physical ability apparently skipped not one but two generations. Her mom Gina and dad just dabbled in high school sports, Gina said, (she in dance, Tom in basketball and baseball). However, great grandpa Frank Meyer was a good enough pitcher to play pro ball in Iowa. Jodyn’s grandpa told her tales about Frank, who had the same lanky frame. Jordyn has one sibling, Katelyn, who’s 5-foot-3 and prefers tae kwon do.
Meyer was recruited for college ball as a catcher. That’s her position on her summer team, Minnesota Force, which plays tournaments around the midwest (next two are Kansas City this week, Illinois next week).
With the Bears, though, she played third base as a junior and shortstop as a senior, sparkling at each with her mobility and arm, because ace pitcher Chloe Barber teams up with her sister Heidi, also a tall, outstanding backstop. Meyer would catch the second game when they had double headers. On the MN Force, Meyer is the regular catcher for Chloe, as Heidi plays one age group lower.
Throwing to second base is an exception skill; she’s cut down six of 12 would-be base-stealers this season on the club team and has recorded a “pop time” (from when the ball hits her mitt until she gets it to second base) of 1.66 seconds. The average D-1 time is around 1.80.
Meyer will leave home Aug. 13 to begin her college softball adventure and major in exercise science. And, yes, she’s hoping to find a skating rink in Omaha, too.