June 27, 2014
Although her final score wasn't what she wanted, Vanderbilt's Sarah Goodale came home with plenty of positives from her trip to Sacramento, Calif.
Competing in the heptathlon at the prestigious USATF Junior Outdoor Combined Events Championships, the rising sophomore at Vanderbilt set multiple personal-bests during the two-day competition. But an unfortunate moment on Wednesday night in the high jump -- where she narrowly missed a strong mark by nicking the bar -- caused her to essentially be eliminated from a top-tier score.
Still, she finished strong, including setting a new PR in the long jump on the final day of the event.
"It was a great experience for her, but it was an emotional roller coaster," said Vanderbilt assistant track coach Clark Humphreys, who traveled to California with Goodale. "She had a tough break in the high jump, but the way she continued to battle and compete makes me very proud."
Goodale got off to a terrific start when she opened the two-day competition by posting a personal-best time of 14.42 in the 100-meter hurdles, which topped her previous best by .40 seconds.
Her momentum temporarily ended when she failed to clear the bar in the high jump in the second event, but she bounced right back by setting a new PR in the 200 with a time of 25.52 in the final event of the first day.
"She went from being sky-high after the 100-hurdles to essentially bottoming out, emotionally, after what happened in the high jump," said Humphreys. "But to her credit, she kept competing. It really shows a lot about her character."
Goodale notched one more PR -- with a mark of 17-9.75 in the long jump -- on the final day of competition on Thursday.
"She handled herself with lots of class and grace," said Humphreys.
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 in the heptathlon. Her point total ranked No. 7 on Vanderbilt's all-time performance list.
"She had a great freshman year," said Humphreys, "and she has all the tools. It's just a matter of putting everything together at the same time. And that will happen. She is going to have her day on the track."
CHARLEY COMPETES NEXT WEEK
Vanderbilt's Simone Charley will compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships on July 5-6 in Eugene, Ore.
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.)