Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Long jump an Olympic preview

The Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships has no shortage of Olympic talent that many will recognize once the London Games hit television sets this summer.

Two of those names have a good chance of coming out of the men’s long jump and triple jump.

Texas junior Marquise Goodwin and Texas Tech junior Bryce Lamb are the class of the field.

Lamb, who is a three-time All-American, came into Manhattan with No. 3 jump in the country of 7.94 meters and Goodwin was fourth.

Saturday, Goodwin set the new mark, though, with a distance 8.19 meters. Not surprisingly, it was good enough for the Big 12 long jump crown.

Kansas State’s Mantas Silkauskas finished second in the event.

It’s been a good year for Goodwin, who also played football for the Longhorns as a wide receiver in the fall. He is projected to start as a wide out this coming season.

“I felt great (coming into today),” the 5-foot-9, 177-pound Garland, Texas native said. “I had a little ding here and there, but at the end of the day, it was all about competing.”

Goodwin, who caught 33 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns last season for Texas, initially wanted to focus primarily on track and field this year, but was encouraged to come back. It was a decision that wasn’t a hard one for him, he said.

“Football is football,” Goodwin said. “I’m just focusing on track. We had a better year (in football) this year, that’s for sure.

Lamb had what he considered an off-day, but his efforts were still good enough for a fourth-place finish.

“It wasn’t my day,” he said. “It’s always good competition in the Big 12. Me and Marquise always want to push each other and keep that tradition. We might not be friends out there during the competition, but after it’s all said and done we are friends and want everyone to do well.”

Lamb, who is also No. 1 in the conference in the triple jump, acknowledged the Olympic year adds to the hype of this weekend’s meet, but that the approach stays the same.

“It’s still the same approach,” he said. “We are all still trying to chase each other and put up numbers. That doesn’t change.”

Goodwin spoke highly of the pedigree of jumpers the conference has on display, year-in and year-out, while echoing the sentiments of sportsmanship among the competition.

Of course, that ends when it’s time to jump.

“It’s a great field, every time,” Goodwin said. “You have Bryce Lamb, an All-American, and a couple of others to name. It’s a wonderful competition every year. You have to come out and compete.

“We continue to push each other. I encourage (Lamb) as he does me — it’s all fun out here. But when you step on that runway, it’s all business.”

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