STAYTON, OR (KPTV) – Banners on banners on banners - 14 of them in the last two decades, including 12 in a row for the Stayton Highlights.
Number 15 would bookend a highlighted dance and drill coaching career for proud SHS alum and a state champ with the class of 1987, Robin Meier.
“Dance sometimes doesn't get the recognition it deserves, and they are athletes, if you watch what they do on a daily basis, you go, 'wow, those kids are killing it,'" Meier said.
Killing the game with the Stayton Highlights since 2000.
“We joked about, 'oh, can you imagine having ten in a row?'” Meier said. “We just thought that was unfathomable, which it is, and then we are still going.”
Dancing like everyone is watching for 25 years in the mid-valley.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been in these kids’ lives,” Meier said. “I know I have changed their lives, but they have changed mine and they have given me just as much as I have given them. I love hearing about their graduations from college and I get wedding invitations and baby showers and it's neat."
Coach Meier’s career began by winning a title with McKay High School in 1999 before the party called from her alma mater. Fourteen 4A and 3A state championships with the Highlights later, Meier is calling it a career.
Meier won 10 straight with her oldest daughter in 2012, then made it to 12 with her youngest in 2014.
“When I won our first one, she was in kindergarten, and we would joke, ‘Oh, mom, but you have got to keep winning until I get up there,’ and we did,” Meier said. “It was kind of the joke of the house."
Highlights practice is a serious affair.
“We have very high expectations of these kids and they either meet them or they find out it's not the program for them and they rise to the occasion," Meier said.
Macey Frost, a senior, says the practice is difficult but worth it.
“I have learned over the past four years not to take it to heart because she wants the best for us,” Frost said. “At times, it may seem difficult because we’re constantly getting critiqued, it can kind of get hard, but knowing what is in the end, and that is what we are pushing for. She wants the best for us. It makes it all worth it and it makes it easier too."
“Perfecting these little things are going to make the routine that much better,” Kaitlin Sandall, another senior, said.
The Highlights have been so good over the last two decades under Meier and staff that they have their own trophy case. In addition to the 14 state titles are five runner-up finishes.
The best awaits the defending champs at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in March.
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