June 24, 2014
By David Dawson
Taking a cue from a popular phrase on the Vanderbilt campus, Sarah Goodale is hoping she can "keep calm and anchor down" this week.
But that won't exactly be an easy assignment for the rising sophomore. Her emotions are certain to be running high as she participates in the heptathlon at the prestigious USATF Junior Outdoor Combined Events Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
"I am very excited ... this is a great opportunity for me," said Goodale, who will get into action on Wednesday. "I've followed this meet (as a fan) for a long time. And now, to be able to compete in it, should really be a great experience, knowing that I will be competing against the best of the best."
Goodale left for Sacramento on Tuesday morning from her home in in Carbondale, Ill., where she is spending her summer break. Temporarily separated from her teammates, she has been working out on her own in recent days while preparing for this week's meet.
"I tried to keep the same routine that I used during the season, but it's definitely different without having the coaches around," she said with a laugh. "I've been running my workouts like we've done all year."
Goodale recently completed an outstanding freshman season at Vanderbilt. She capped the campaign with a strong showing at the SEC Outdoor Championships, where she posted a score of 4,920 points and earned a 10th-place finish. Her point total ranked No. 7 on the Vanderbilt's all-time performance list.
Goodale established four new personal records during the event -- doing so in the 800-meter run (2:16.93), high jump (5-5.25), shot put (34-11.25) and javelin throw (107-10) -- to punctuate the progress she has made over the past few months.
"I've definitely learned a lot this year," she said, "but I am still learning a lot as we go."
Goodale, who earned a spot for the national meet by surpassing the qualifying standard of 4,800 points, will get into action on Wednesday. The heptathlon opens with the 100-meter hurdles at 2 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, and concludes with the 200 meters at 7:15 p.m. The second day of the competition will start with the long jump, and concludes with the 800 meters.
Sacramento State University is hosting the USATF Junior Outdoor Combined Events Championships along with the USATF Senior Outdoor Championships, which start Thursday.
The other events of the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships are scheduled for July 5-6 in Eugene, Ore., where freshman Simone Charley will represent Vanderbilt.
Charley -- who owns the school record in the triple with a mark of 43-1 -- is ranked among the top-25 nationally in her event. She was in Eugene earlier this month for the NCAA Championships, and earned All-American Second Team honors after a ninth-place finish. (Visit vucommodores.com next week for more on Charley's trip to Eugene.)