And he did just that in winning the long jump Sunday at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, winning a spot with the U.S. Olympic Team and a trip to London. Goodwin ripped off a career-long jump of 8.33 meters (27-04.25) on his final jump. For reference, Irving Saladino jumped 8.34 meters to win the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
The win marked Goodwin's second major victory this month, after he took home the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the long jump on June 6. He also set a personal-best at that meet, meaning he's eclipsed his top mark at each of his last two meets. He's the first collegian to win both the Olympic Trials and the NCAA long jump in the same year since 1960.
Goodwin jumped 8.07 meters (26-5.75) on his first attempt, putting him in the top spot for the first two rounds. In the third, three other jumpers topped that mark, but Goodwin reclaimed the top spot in that same round by jumping 8.23 meters (27-0).
Goodwin's Olympic qualification was guaranteed heading into the final jumps, but he fell to second before his final leap. That's when he leapt 8.33 meters to take home the title of top long-jumper at the trials.
“I started off pretty good and I ended even better, so it was a good day for me,” Goodwin said. “Earlier on in the year, I couldn’t really get it going until the last few jumps. Popping off a good jump with no scratch helped me relax and know that I can go out there and put out an even better jump.”
“To perform in front of 21,000 people on your last jump for the win at the Olympic Trials, I think that’s why we call him ‘Mr. Clutch,’” said Texas head coach Bubba Thornton. “This wasn’t about yesterday, it wasn’t about tomorrow, it wasn’t really even about making the Olympic Team. It was really about being the best he could be today, and as he achieved that, everything else just fell into place.”