Switch to field events paying off for Mercer's Goodman

May 25, 2004|JILL ERWIN

It's a change Chelsea Goodman hasn't fully grown accustomed to yet, but it's one that could pay off huge for Mercer County at this week's Class AA regional track meet.

Goodman has entered the realm of field events, dropping two sprints and picking up the high and long jumps. The sophomore has quickly made herself at home in the events, and hopes to qualify for state in them at this week's Class AA, Region 4 meet beginning Thursday at Richmond.

"With it being my first year, I didn't really know what to expect," Goodman said. "I've gotten a 4-10 on the high jump, and I'm clearing 4-8 almost every meet, so I'm pretty consistent there. On the long jump, my best was last Tuesday when I jumped a 16-2. But I'm consistently in the upper 15s."

Goodman was ranked ninth in the Week 5 rankings among Class AA long jumpers, but her jump of 16-2 is good enough to move her into a tie for second. Goodman's also tied for sixth in the state among high jumpers.


She is also a big contributor on the 400- and 800-meter relay teams. Mercer's 400 relay team is ranked eighth in the state in Class AA, and Goodman feels positive about the team's ability to repeat as regional champions in both events.

Goodman ran those same events last year, but also ran some individual sprints. Mercer coach Brian Pendygraft said she's adjusting well to the change to field events.

"This year she's dealing with the pains that come with jumping," Pendygraft said. "She's got some pain in her shins, but nothing she can't deal with. She's tough. We just need to work on her technique, and that's hard to do when she's sore. So we're forced to kind of use meets as workouts."

"I like it, because the jumps are something different," Goodman said. "Running is just as hard on you as jumping is."

An adjustment to having field events running at same time

It doesn't seem to have hurt Goodman at all. However, she said she's still trying to get used to the scheduling of track and field events. Track events run consecutively, but field events are scattered throughout, and Goodman is trying to adjust to having to be in three places at once.

"There's usually two of my events at least going on at the same time," Goodman said. "You go from sprints to jumps and you hardly have any breather.

"You only get 45 minutes to get your jumps in, and sometimes in the long jump and high jump I don't feel like they're letting me get my jumps in. By next year, it will be a lot easier."

"It's hard to get as much continuity when you're going from event to event like that, but sometimes she also uses the sprints to get loose," Pendygraft said. "So it's a positive and a negative for her."

She didn't plan on getting into the jumps this year, but had done the long jump at times last season. Before this season began, she told Pendygraft she'd like to try it again. He added on the high jump.

"I think she has a chance in both the long jump and the high jump in the region," Pendygraft said. "She's a threat to win both of them, but even if she doesn't, she's still got a great chance to get to state.

"She can go in the 16's in the long jump. If she's in that range, she has a chance to win. She's cleared 4-10 before in the high jump, and if she can get that, we'll shoot for five feet. The 4-10 is an attainable goal, but five feet is the wish list."

Her best in the long jump is five inches better than last year's region-winning distance of 15-9. Her best high jump of 4-10 would have been good enough for a tie for second last year, qualifying her for state in both events.

Goodman said she doesn't spend too much time looking at what other people have accomplished or where her numbers stack up. Instead, she focuses on herself and her goals.

"I just try to go in and do my best," Goodman said. "Sometimes I look, at the beginning of the meets, to see what everyone's done. But it doesn't bother me. I just try to get myself to where I need to be."

Central Kentucky News Articles