Olympic Trials: Goodman's dreams on hold for nowFrom Staff Reports
For now, Chalonda Goodman's Olympic dreams will remain on hold.
The former Newnan High standout sprinter and current University of Texas junior found herself unable to reach the final eight during Friday's 200-meter semifinals at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Jeter barely made the finals in 22.64 for the last qualifying time in the semifinals. Only two current collegiate sprinters — LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan and Central Florida's Aurieyall Scott — managed to make tonight's finals, which will be televised live on NBC.
Nike-affiliated runners Sanya Richards-Ross, Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh take the top lane positions into the 200 finals with Richards-Ross — a former Texas track star, leading the way in 22.15 on Friday.
Goodman's time of 23.23 ranked 17th among the 21 semifinalists.
While heading into her senior year at Texas next fall, the Newnan standout expects to have another chance at her Olympic dreams, which began as a seven-year-old watching the 1996 Atlanta Games on television. Richards-Ross is 27 and Felix, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, will also be 27 in November.
But she'll most likely be watching the duo in London this year and turning her attention to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After taking up gymnastics as a child, Goodman eventually turned her attention to the track and went on to add 13 gold medal efforts in both national and international events among the Junior Olympics, World Youth Championships and Pan-American Games.
Heading into her senior year at Texas, Goodman will be coming off her first full collegiate season after injuries cut short her freshman year. She made a comeback as a sophomore to make the NCAA Championships and anchored the Longhorns to a fifth-place 400-relay effort. She returned to the nationals this spring in the 100 and 200 as well as the 400 relay.
“The biggest change with myself between high school and college is that I’ve been able to grow both mentally and spiritually. I’ve learned through perseverance. It challenged me,” she said, prior to the Olympic trials. "I’m the type of person now that when things happen, I know they happen for a reason I don’t always understand. It doesn’t matter that I don’t understand. I just know I’m going to make it through and come out a better person and learn something from it and grow from it.
“It’s still been a fun year and I’m excited about my future," she added. "I’m a whole different person and I know what I capable of doing. I hoping to play an even bigger role for my teammates next year.”