Chalonda Goodman gazed at the
television, fixating on Michael Johnson's
golden Nikes. Then after Johnson won his first
gold medal of the 1996 Summer Olympics,
Goodman turned to her father and said, "I
want to do that."
"Ever since that moment, that's been one
of my dreams -- to win an Olympic gold
Nearly 13 years after Johnson donned
those iconic Nikes at the Atlanta Games,
Goodman is well on the way to achieving her
own Olympic dream.
The Newnan (Ga.) senior is by far
the nation's top female sprinter, having won
the 100 and 200 meters at the Nike Outdoor
Nationals in both 2007 and 2008. Goodman
also recorded the nation's fastest 200 time in
2008 (23.22 seconds).
At the high school level, Goodman's
dominance borders on unfathomable. She is
the three-time defending state champion in
the 100 and 200 in Class AAAAA (the highest
class in Georgia).
But Goodman isn't satisfied. Instead, she
trains five days a week by running, lifting
weights and stretching. Somehow she also
finds time to be an honor student.
"I'm always up for a challenge," Goodman
says. "I challenge myself with all these goals
that I set. Challenges are the only way you can
The next goal on Goodman's radar is
winning her fourth state titles in the 100 and
200. Then she'll head off to college, where she
knows new challenges will await.
"I know it's not always going to be easy,"
says Goodman, who's deciding among Texas,
Auburn, LSU, USC and South Carolina.
"Training-wise, I'm going to have to step it up.
It's a whole new league that you have to
Before that, Goodman offers an inside look
at the training regimen that's helped her
become the country's top sprinter.
Station No. 1
"A good start is extremely important. In my case, in the
100 it's most important. It's not really about getting out
the quickest, it's having the mechanics. You have to have
the form and mechanics so you'll be up with the majority
of the field. The keys are power, staying low and drive,
drive, drive like crazy."
Station No. 2
"Weight lifting is important. It's important to have
strength in your legs. It gives you an extra edge to
have strength to go along with your quickness, especially
when you're moving up to a different level. That can
really be a difference that can give you an edge over
Station No. 3
"We were working with the medicine ball, going back and
forth and side to side to work all the core muscles. I'm told
that it's important for all sports, but I know it's important to
have a strong core when it comes to knee lifts in running. It
really helps, especially at the end of the race when you're
tired. You're able to stay upright and lift your knees. It's easy
to have better form when you have a strong core."
Brian A. Giuffra covers high school sports for ESPN RISE.