Texas Longhorns receiver leaps all the way to London

Posted Sunday, Jun. 24, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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EUGENE, Ore. -- Football practice will have to wait for Marquise Goodwin in Austin this summer.

Goodwin, a native of Rowlett and a wide receiver on the Texas football team, leaped to victory in the men's long jump Sunday to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team.

Besides Goodwin, another marquee Austin athlete, Sanya Richards-Ross, made the team by winning the women's 400 meters in a trials record time of 49.28 seconds.

"Today was phenomenal," said Richards-Ross, who will try this week to also make the team in the 200. "There is something so special in competing at Hayward.

"You really can't think about [the Olympics] until you get past this."

Goodwin saved his best jump for his last, sailing a career-best 27 feet, 4 inches and then bowing to an appreciative Hayward Field crowd.

With his mom watching from the stands, Goodwin took a victory lap, stopping to sign autographs.

"Words can't even explain how overcome with joy I am," he said of winning in front of his mother. "I can hear her over everybody."

The joy of the Goodwins and the Richards-Ross family, however, was tempered by the ongoing consternation over what's going to happen to the final Olympic team spot in the women's 100 meters.

Late Sunday, after all the spectators had left the stadium, USA Track and Field officials announced a list of lengthy procedures that will be followed to determine whether former Texas A&M sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh or Allyson Felix gets the third spot.

In the minutes after Saturday's final of the 100 meters, officials judged from finish line photos that Tarmoh had beaten Felix for third place. A further review of twisting torsos and elbows, however, led meet officials to declare third place a dead heat.

The announcement Sunday appears to either leave it up to Felix, who still is favored to earn a spot in the 200, to decline the berth in the London 100, or to go to a never-before-used tiebreaker.

One of the tiebreakers would be extremely controversial -- a run-off between Tarmoh and Felix. Or, officials said, the athletes could opt for a coin toss.

In other events Sunday, recent Mansfield Legacy graduate Shelbi Vaughan finished fourth in the women's discus, throwing 195-9.

TCU product Darvis "Doc" Patton reached the finals of the men's 100, but finished fifth in 9.98.

Earlier in the day, current TCU sprinter Charles Silmon finished fifth in his semifinal heat of the men's 100, failing to make it to finals.

Finally, after three days of rainy conditions, the sun shined on the trials, and the athletes responded in kind.

In the finals of the men's 100, Justin Gatlin raced a redemptive 9.80 seconds to earn a return trip to the Olympic Games. Gatlin served a four-year suspension, ending in 2010, after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.

Joining Gatlin on the Olympic 100-meters team will be Tyson Gay (9.86) and Ryan Bailey (9.93). Jessica Beard, who formerly competed for Texas A&M, finished eighth in the 400 meters final, running 51.52.

In the shot put, Longhorns product Jacob Thormaehlen was seventh with a best of 64-10. The event was won by Reese Hoffa, who threw 72-2 1/4. Stephanie Brown-Trafton won Vaughan's event, the women's discus, with a 213-10 throw. In the day's other final, the women's pole vault, Jenn Suhr finished first, clearing 15-1.

Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697

Twitter: @gilebreton

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