Two of a kind
Feb. 12, 2011
Ryan Graney, Texas Media Relations
On Friday evening, January 28, in his first long jump competition of the indoor season, sophomore Marquise Goodwin stepped onto the track at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., for his first long jump attempt since winning the 2010 NCAA Outdoor title in June.
Once the outdoor season ended, Goodwin was thrust directly into summer workouts with the Texas football team. Without the benefit of having the summer and fall to train with the Longhorn track team, the early competitions of the indoor season allow the Garland, Texas native to make up for some of the missed training.
Goodwin, however, not only won the long jump competition at the Razorback Invitational, but he did so in impressive fashion. Goodwin's jump of 26-8.50 broke former Longhorn long jumper/running back Eric Metcalf's previous school record of 26-0 that had stood since 1986.
"To jump 26 (feet) or better indoors, to be ready to jump that far this soon in the season is impressive," track associate head coach Mario Sategna said. "Not just for Marquise, but there have been a lot of great jumpers that have come through here. That's a lot to go on. For him to surpass it this early and surpass it by eight inches plus, it just says how far even Marquise has come along."
Since he arrived on campus as a freshman, Goodwin has looked up to athletes like Metcalf. The sophomore appreciated the great athletes who have come before him and dedicated himself to putting in the work to achieve the same type of success.
The admiration goes both ways, as Metcalf is equally impressed by Goodwin's talents.
"I was excited for him," said Metcalf. "He's a very good kid and for him to be able to go out there in his first meet and jump that well and break the record . . . I'm just excited for him because he's just one of those types of kids that deserves something special happening to him. I think without a doubt he's an incredible athlete. "
"I came out here and worked hard every day," Goodwin said. "I looked at that record on the wall. I looked at his name on the wall. I thought, 'My name is going to be up there.' Then I looked at the board this year. I didn't have the opportunity to get my name up there last year due to injury. This year I came in with a little more persistence and trying to work to get up to that level to be able to have my name on that wall. I was able to do that."
Since Metcalf also doubled as a football player and long jumper, Goodwin understands the parallels between their accomplishments.
"It's pretty unique both of us being football players and long jumpers," Goodwin said. "You don't come across those too often. Having the opportunity to be here at Texas and sort of follow in his footsteps is an honor."
The fact that Goodwin spends half of his time as a football player and the other half in track allows him to offer the perspective of both sides. That perspective is something that his coaches believe is helpful to the team as a whole.
"The training that he receives in football helps not only from the physical standpoint but from the mental standpoint," Sategna said. "Football is a sport where you might not always feel at 100 percent, but you still have to persevere and work through those things. He brings that attitude to the track. He knows he's an athlete, and he has to work through those things. It's very nice and reassuring to not only us as a staff but to the other guys because they take note of it. It's a win-win on both sides I believe."
Having had the same experiences when he was a two-sport star, Metcalf knows first-hand the challenges that Goodwin faces.
"That's a lot of pressure. Not only is it the pressure of trying to be good at both [sports], but it's the toll that it takes on your body," says Metcalf. "When I did it, I took more of a break in between than he has his first two years. And so, just transitioning from being in football shape and then going to track shape, that in itself is different.
"Then on top of that you have to worry about taking care of your grades and going to class and all those type of things. There's so many factors that come into doing both sports well and succeeding as a student that people don't even consider, but us as athletes we know how tough it is. But when you're good at it, it just seems easy so people expect it to just happen for you."
Sategna understands that Goodwin's work ethic and desire to be great are a rare combination.
"A lot of guys have talent. It's what we do with it," Sategna said. "I think the thing that impresses me the most about Marquise is that he takes care of the little things. You never hear him complain, whether it's 6:30 a.m. weights or coming back for technical or a running session and still hitting study hall somewhere in the between all of that. It's a full day. Not just for the spring semester, but he's been doing this since August with football. It's easy to say you want to be a two-sport person, but to be a two-sport star it takes a certain athlete and I think it takes a certain personality. He obviously has all of that. It's fun. It's great for us. I always know that any time he goes out there and competes, he's going to give you the very best for that day. As a coach, that's all you can ask for."
While Goodwin is excited to have his name in the Longhorn record books, that is not what he is most concerned with. The sophomore knows that ultimately his dedication and work are going towards the team's goals.
"It's a great opportunity," Goodwin said of breaking the record. "Like I said, I'm just going to continue to work hard. If the records come, they come. If they don't, oh well. I'm not really worried about that. All I'm doing is trying to help my team out and trying to get better and trying to win."