WALKER

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS -

For Good­win, it was an in­jury to se­nior team­mate and team pace­set­ter Jasper Wil­son that forced the sopho­more to as­sume an even big­ger role as a team leader, on and off the course.

“It was a big year for me,” he said. “Jasper has al­ways been the guy and our times on the track have al­ways been close. We worked re­ally hard to­gether over the sum­mer

and re­ally in the past year.

“It was def­i­nitely a blow to the team when Jasper got hurt be­cause he’s been such a big part of things here. I knew I re­ally needed to get this team to where it needed to be to make up the ground that we lost with him get­ting hurt. He was able to come back to­wards the end of the year, though, and it was good to have him back.”

Good­win’s aver­age time of 18:04 was an im­prove­ment over his aver­age of 18:20 a year ago, although his sea­son-best of 16:39 was a full minute faster than his sea­son-

best a year ago. That 16:39 came in the open­ing race of the sea­son at Ridge Ferry in Rome, where he not only fin­ished fourth over­all, but set a new GL school record in the process.

He went on to win Walker County and Re­gion 6-A ti­tles be­fore tak­ing sixth at state. He also led his team to an re­gion team cham­pi­onship and a fourth-place tro­phy at state.

“I thought I had a lit­tle bit of an in­con­sis­tent year,” he ad­mit­ted. “We had a stretch where we had sev­eral races right in a row and I over-trained a lit­tle. I had a cou­ple

of bad races where I was run­ning in the 18’s, but I had sev­eral good races through­out the year where I was in the high 16’s and low 17’s. Plus, I got the school record.”

He cred­ited his suc­cess to just plain old hard work.

“I’ve been on the right train­ing plan, in­clud­ing lift­ing and eat­ing right,” he ex­plained. “That and putting in a lot of miles. I put in 433 miles over the sum­mer and it feels good to see your hard work be rec­og­nized.”

“Ian def­i­nitely earned ev­ery­thing he got this year,” Burns said. “He

worked his tail off all sum­mer long. He put in tons and tons of miles from the end of cross coun­try last year to the start of this year and it re­ally showed by him get­ting that school record right off the bat. He’s also su­per-ded­i­cated to the sport and he just loves to run, plus he has very good lead­er­ship skills and it’s all start­ing to pay­ing off for him.

“It’s great to know we’ll have both of them com­ing back (next year) and, hope­fully, we’ll put some other peo­ple with them and maybe get a team ti­tle or two next year. That’s the goal.”

From B1

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