By Jean DePlacido
---- — Former Salem State and Peabody High star athlete Julie Goodwin got the urge to compete again and showed she still has what it takes to be a winner, not only on the national but international stage.
The two-time All-American long jumper for the Vikings is now a secret service agent in Washington, D.C. She won the United States Police and Fire national championship in the long jump at San Diego two months ago, setting a new record (15-7 ¾) in the women’s 40-to-44 age division.
She went on to compete in the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Northern Ireland earlier this month and once again was unbeatable.
“I was looking to compete again and a co-worker told me about the Games,” said Goodwin, who was inducted into the Salem State Hall of Fame in 2000. “I thought this would be a great way to compete on a global level and to represent the secret service. With my work schedule it wasn’t easy to find time to train, but (my routine) consisted of an hour or longer of track jumping work and at least an hour in the gym 5-6 days a week.
“Breaking the record in San Diego at the US championships was an honor and very exciting. But winning the gold in Belfast was a greater accomplishment, competing against athletes from all over the word and so many different agencies. It was an amazing event.”
The Police and Fire Games began in 1967 in California and now include all 50 states, with many different sports and events for all full-time law enforcement officers and firefighters. The World Games, which are similar to the Olympics and attract around 10,000 entrants, started 28 years ago and are held biennially.
“I’m hoping to compete again in the next World Games in Fairfax, Virginia in 2015,” said Goodwin, who has been in Washington for the past three years.
Goodwin played basketball and track both at Peabody High and in college. Her first All-American honor came her freshman year at Salem State when she finished 5th at the 1991 NCAA Track and Field championships. She set a school record at the 1994 ECAC championship (19-11 1/2), won the New England long jump title two consecutive years, and was a member of the women’s outdoor record-setting 400 meter relay team.
She was a four-time All-New England and three-time ECAC competitor as well as being basketball captain and MASCAC All Academic.
Goodwin said what makes her proudest and gives her the most enjoyment is not her own accomplishments, but watching her nieces Lauren Barrett (a junior on the Peabody High track team and member of the cross country state champions a year ago) and Alexandra Barrett (who came in first in the state meet for fifth and sixth graders).
Alex Greco has transferred to Peabody High and will be one of the runners to watch in the Northeastern Conference this fall. The junior was one of the top distance runners at Beverly High the past two years. Another talented runner to keep an eye on for the Tanners is coach Joe Rocha’s son, freshman Marcelo Rocha, who was outstanding in middle school meets.
Night football at Pingree will take place November 2 when the Highlanders host rival Holderness.
“We’re going to bring in lights and hope to get a good crowd,” said Pingree football coach Chris Powers. “We’re inviting all the alumni and parents back and will have a bunch of different events going on. Holderness is always a big rival in all sports, and this is a great way to get people interested in the school and let them see our athletic programs in action.”
Catarina Rocha will be in action tomorrow for the first time as a collegian when the Providence College women’s cross country team opens its eason at UNH. Providence is ranked No. 1 in the country after placing second at the NCAA cross country championships a year ago. It is the first time since 1996 that the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association picked the Friars as the top team in the country in preseason polls. The Friars return three of their five top runners from last year’s team, and all three are All-Americans.
Jean DePlacido is a part-time writer and columnist for The Salem News. She can be reached at email@example.com.