Senior thrower Bobbie Goodwin reflects on national championship, prepares for outdoor season

Courtesy / GVSU Lakers

Courtesy / GVSU Lakers

Kellen Voss

Grand Valley State University has a long tradition of earning national championships over the past decade, and thrower Bobbie Goodwin joined that illustrious group of champions on March 8, hitting a personal record of 20.66m in the weight throw at the indoor track and field championships. She topped her own PR later in the meet, hitting 20.75m with relative ease.

That individual national championship took a lot of hard work from the South Haven, Mich. resident, who got into throwing because of her early visit and found a pleasant home to do it in Allendale.

“When I was in middle school, my brother threw shot-put in high school, so it was just something I wanted to do because he did it and I ended up being ok at it,” Goodwin said. “When I transferred from Siena Heights, I was looking for something close to home, I talked to coach Sean (Denard) and came on a visit, and I just loved it.” 

It’s clear that Goodwin better than ‘okay’ at throwing, as she named 2017-18 GLIAC Champion in the weight throw (19.71m) and discus (44.63m), as well as USTFCCCA All-Region in indoor weight throw and outdoor discus. She’s the favorite to earn both those awards again this season.

Every thrower likes to stay focused when they’re in the ring ready to launch, and that was exactly the case with Goodwin, who gave herself a chance to breath and focused on what she did well in practice earlier in the week.

“When I’m in the ring, I try to pick out two things in practice earlier that week,” Goodwin said. “Usually Sean stands right in the back of the ring, so I just lock in and do what he says.”

Going into the indoor championships last week, Goodwin had the typical butterflies in her stomach. But through intense focus and hard work, she was able to win the national championship and that accomplishment hasn’t quite set in for her.

“I had a really good week of practice. I was super nervous going into the meet, but once I got into the ring, I wasn’t thinking about anything, I just let my body do what it does,” Goodwin said. “It feels really good to be a champion, I’m still kind of in shock because I never really thought it could happen.”

Looking ahead to the spring season, Goodwin’s main goal is to get healthy, as it is apparent she strained her rotator cuff in practice. Once the senior gets back up to a hundred percent, head track coach Jerry Baltes is confident her hard work will carry her far. 

“It’s been steady progress, a lot of learning and a lot of growing,” Baltes said on Goodwin’s career. “She’s worked really hard throughout, it’s been one step at a time, and all that hard work culminated into the opportunity to capitalize at the national championship last weekend.”

While she aims to become a state trooper once she retires, Goodwin looks to earn another national championship in both the weight throw and the discus in the outdoor season, which starts on Thursday, March 28 at the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. If she can get healthy sooner than later, Baltes is confident she can end her track career with another national championship to her name.

“She was the GLIAC Field Athlete of the Year last year,” Baltes said. “She’s been good for us for a while now, so hopefully she can take what she did indoor and what she did at the GLIAC level onto the outdoor season and into the national championship, where she can hopefully score in a couple events there.”