CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Central track and field coaches saw Jenna Goodrich’s potential as a sprinter and jumper when she competed during the indoor season as a freshman.
Goodrich still considered herself a soccer player then, and spent the spring season kicking it on the pitch.
As a sophomore, Goodrich’s indoor track teammates worked overtime to convince her to stick with the sport during the outdoor season. It worked, and Goodrich has steadily become one of the best all-around track athletes in the state ever since.
Last week was arguably the best of Goodrich’s career.
She won the 200-meter dash at both the Okie Blanchard Invitational and Cheyenne Central Invite. She also claimed top honors in triple jump and long jump at the Okie Invitational and the 100 at the Central Invite. Goodrich also crossed the finish line third in the 100 at Okie.
Those efforts earned Goodrich Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
“Last week was awesome,” the senior said. “All of those first-place finishes were great, but the best thing was my (personal record) in long jump.”
Goodrich’s leap of 17 feet, 9½ inches at Cheyenne East’s Okie Invite broke her previous best by 5 inches.
“My best jump this season was 16-8,” Goodrich said. “That was good enough to qualify for state, but it had been a long time since I broke 17. It felt really good to get back there.”
Goodrich scratched on the jump before she uncorked her 17-9½, but the distance looked so solid Indians jumps coach Brad Pickett asked the meet volunteers to do a courtesy measurement. Goodrich checked in at 17-8 on the scratched jump, which also would have been a personal-best.
Goodrich heard the distance, but said it didn’t really register because she was focused on hitting her mark on her next jump.
Goodrich was due for a 17-footer, Pickett said.
“I knew she was going to get past the 17-foot mark whenever she had some legs,” he said. “That East meet was on a Monday, so she had been off the day before. She was fresh, and she jumped like it.”
Goodrich has reached the podium at the Class 4A outdoor state meet seven times during her sophomore and junior seasons. Six of those came individually. Her best finish was a third-place effort in the 200-meter dash last season.
“I was really excited when she decided to come out for outdoor track,” Central girls track coach Sean Wilde said. “Even though she ran cross-country for me in the fall, we knew she wasn’t going to be a distance kid. Because of her makeup, she was going to excel in the power events and sprints.
“She has gotten a little better every year, so it’s nice to see all her hard work paying off and catapulting her into great things.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
n Jourdaine Cerenil, girls track and field, Pine Bluffs: The junior won high jump and triple jump and took second in long jump at the Pine Bluffs Invitational on Friday. She also took second in long jump at Monday’s Burns Invitational.
n Sam Hageman, boys track, Cheyenne East: The senior won the 100-meter dash at both the Okie and Central Invites. He also won the 200 at Okie.
n Eliza-Grace Smith, girls soccer, Central: The sophomore scored three goals in the Lady Indians’ 7-0 win over Cheyenne South.
n Zeuss Jimenez, boys soccer, South: The senior goalkeeper recorded 20 saves across the Bison’s losses to Central and East.
n MacKenzie Marler, girls track, East: The senior won the 1,600 at both the Okie and Central Invites. She also won the 800 at Central.
n Ethan Mathis, boys soccer, Central: The senior scored two goals in the Indians’ 3-1 win at Cheyenne South.
n Rylee Ward, girls track and field, Burns: The freshman won the 100-meter hurdles at the Burns and Pine Bluffs Invitationals. She also won the 300 hurdles in Pine Bluffs, and placed second in the 300 hurdles in Burns. Ward was fourth in pole vault at both meets.