This Saturday, senior weight thrower Alex Godell will be the only CSU athlete to compete in the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. It will be Godell’s first time competing at nationals.
Godell finished the regular season ranked 14th nationally with a personal best record of 67 feet and nine inches. This season, only the top 14 weight throwers are welcomed to compete this weekend.
Head coach Brian Bedard said that Godell has two goals for the meet, to make it to the finals and to be on an All-American team. To be an All-American, Godell needs to finish in the top eight in the nation.
Godell is an athlete that is not too concerned about results; he humbles himself enough to know it’s a rare honor he has been given.
“I’m trying not to focus too much on what place I’ll end up . I really just want to go down there and hit a personal best,” Godell said. “It’s a huge blessing just to get to go down there. The Lord has given me this opportunity for a reason, so I’m just going to go down there and just make the most of it.”
The top ranked weight thrower this season is senior Chris Rohr from Missouri, with a throw of 74 feet and six inches. Bedard said that if Godell can duplicate his throws from recent practices, he would have a shot to match the Tiger.
“(Godell) had the best practice of his life last Thursday. He threw extremely well. He’s been in the 70’s range . but you have to do it when your name is up,” Bedard said.
Bedard said that weight throwing is not all about strength. Like any sport, an athlete has to control emotions and to remember technique.
“Al (Godell) has been pretty confident all season. He has learned to manage his emotions and keep (them) under control,” Bedard said. “That has taken some time for him.”
Godell has been a weight thrower since his freshman year at Arapahoe High School in Centennial. He said that his football coach, Adam Wallace, told him to take up a spring sport in the football off-season. So the offensive lineman took up weight throwing and “the rest is history,” Godell said.
“It’s been a real long road getting here, and I’ve had a lot of ups, a lot of downs, had my share of rainy days,” he said.
Godell is looking forward to competing this weekend not only for himself but also for his school pride.
“We have a real strong tradition of good throwers here at CSU, so I’m just trying to keep the legacy going and not let that slack off too much,” Godell said with a big smile.
The 2009 NCAA national championships will start today and continue on Saturday at Texas A&M in a brand new facility, the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center.
Track and field beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.