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.”