Cal Lutheran Hockey Club honors Borderline victim, Alum Justin Meek


Photo by Lauren DeRosa-Reporter

The California Lutheran University Hockey Club honors fallen alum Justin Meek.

Lauren DeRosa, Reporter

On Nov. 5, 2021, the California Lutheran University Hockey Club hosted a memorial before their home game against University of California Santa Barbara to honor the victims of the Borderline shooting, with alumnus Justin Meek among those who lost their lives. Now, three years and one pandemic later, the Hockey Club came back to honor their former trainer with a pre-game service and honorary puck drop for the Meek Family. 

Spencer Votipka, former coach of the Hockey Club, shared his memories of his friend and co-worker during the game.

“He was close with some of the former players… and was just a great friend and great guy to be around and would come to our games as a fan and support us and just wanted to get involved and had never played hockey but always had an interest in it and always being around,” Votipka said. 

Laura Lynn Meek, Justin Meek’s mother, said it was his older cousin who introduced him to hockey and allowed him to grow up around the sport. Though he did not play on the team, he was hired as an athletic and medical trainer due to his certification as a first responder during his time as a lifeguard. He worked with the team from 2015 to 2017. 

“I think he just fit in with you guys too. He would come home with like the biggest smile on his face because he had such a good time with you guys. Justin definitely fit in with them,” Victoria Rose Meek, sister of Justin Meek and Cal Lutheran alum said.

This year will be the last that senior players on the hockey team that will have known Justin Meek from his time as their trainer, but the team is still committed to honoring his legacy. 

“Being able to share his story means a lot. We look forward to having the club doing the best that they can to have an early November home game as the ‘Justin Meek memorial game’ for as long as we can,” Votipka said.

“Mama Meek,” as Laura Lynn Meek is affectionately called by those who know her, explained her own hopes for not only the hockey team, but Cal Lutheran as well. 

“That’s the thing about Cal Lu, we are a family and we always will be a family, and through the adversity of everything that has taken place, Justin was not forgotten and still is not forgotten,” Laura Lynn Meek said. She too graduated from California Lutheran University the same year that Justin had, which has placed her in the heart of the Cal Lutheran community. 

“Justin’s name will always be out there because of people who love him and care for him and want to keep this legacy going. That’s what Cal Lu’s about,” Laura Lynn Meek said. There is even a student scholarship available in his name for students that are looking to make a difference, just as Justin had. 

Dubbed the “Hometown Hero,” Justin’s impact on the hockey team continues to empower the family-dynamic.

“You don’t need tragedy to bring you together. Cal Lutheran is a family and we are a small but mighty school, I mean, look at how much the hockey team has grown over the years and…you have grown so much as a team,” Victoria Rose Meek said.

Everyone that spoke shared similar sentiments regarding Justin Meek’s character: selfless, caring, and heroic.

“That’s why he died a hero. Because he was trying to do the right thing. He did the right thing,” Laura Lynn Meek said.