A Race to National Victory!


Goodman Family

National Champion

Annabelle Anchondo, Writer

Being a state champion is a title most people aim to receive, but for Taytum Goodman, her goals were set much higher. After becoming state champion in cross country the past two years and breaking the state record both times, including her own, she set out to show the entire nation who she was! 

On the morning of November 20th, Taytum was gearing up to take on some of the fastest high school competitors across the United States, including ones from Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, California, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. Despite her fast competition, Taytum was the first to cross the finish line becoming the Small School Cross Country National Champion with an impressive time of 17:33.61! 

“When I crossed the finish line, it went through my head, ‘I’m a national champion.’ That was real. It was really a cool thought to have,” Taytum said. “Now that I actually am, it is really an amazing thing. It feels so good knowing that I am a National Champion and getting that time!” 

Being that the Small School Cross Country Nationals was held at LCU, competitors ran a 5k course instead of the two miles that Taytum usually trains for, making her time and title even more honorable. 

“Since it was Taytum’s first-ever 5k, to win it by over a minute against girls from other states was very special,” Taytum’s mom and coach Jeri Been Goodman said.  

What made it even more special for Taytum was having people she didn’t know from other states be impressed and astonished at her great accomplishment. 

“Afterwards, everyone was coming up to me and congratulating me in amazement that it was my first 5k. That was really cool having all those different people that I’ve never seen before come up to me and congratulate me,” Taytum said. “They were amazed at what I did, but now it is just kinda cool knowing that all those different people were there and they know about me.” 

Coach Been is beyond proud of her daughter and respects the level of dedication and heart Taytum puts into every race, especially nationals. 

“Taytum goes out and gives her all no matter what. She just went out there and ran her race, not worrying about anything or anyone else,” Coach Been said. “I’m proud of her no matter what. Her dedication is just something else.” 

Winning state was something I’ve always wanted to do, and then going into nationals and winning that was just beyond exciting for me!

— National Champion, Taytum Goodman

Trace Goodman, Taytum’s older brother, was also blown away by her becoming the national champion, and he would have missed his own chapter conducting competition and basketball game that day if he had to in order to watch her achieve so much.  

“I always try to make everything work, but if it really did come down to it, I would probably have to skip to watch Taytum,” Trace said. “I mean family first. It’s crazy being there for her and having that experience.” 

Taytum and Trace share a special bond between the two of them and being able to support his little sister meant the world to him. 

“Me and her have a really good relationship between each other with athletics and everything,” Trace said. “If I wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be the same. And the same thing for me. If I was running, and she wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be the same either.” 

With the support of her family, Taytum continues to set high goals for herself in future races.

“Winning state was something I’ve always wanted to do, and then going into nationals and winning that was just beyond exciting for me!” Taytum said. “I can’t wait to take it on again hopefully next year.”