Athlete of the issue: Senior Jenna Goldberg sprints to state victory

Ethan Oyeniyi

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Photo courtesy of Jenna Goldberg

Senior Jenna Goldberg wins first place at the 2019 Great American XC Festival. Goldberg beat the course record with a time of 17 minutes and 28 seconds.

Jenna Goldberg is a name that opponents fear as they compete against WJ. She is a senior cross-country runner who has shown her worth through her high school running career. After not making the soccer team freshman year, Goldberg thought it was best to stay in shape by running track. A couple years went by and she is now running record breaking times.

“Not making the soccer team is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I think about my life if I did make the team and I’m just so happy I didn’t,” Goldberg said.

At the county championship, not only did she come in first place, but she also crushed the record for the five kilometer course with a record time of 17 minutes and 28 seconds.

“I broke the county course record and I ran the fastest MoCo time for that course, and less than a second off the state’s record,” Goldberg said.

Because it is her senior year, Goldberg has been running with more determination than ever. Every day, she runs either on the track or on her own time, and her constant hours of hard work and dedication have paid off. Not only does she focus on the hard work she tries to emit, but she makes sure her teammates put forth effort as well.

“She provides an example of dedication and hard work and encouragement to her teammates,” said track coach Tom Martin.

Goldberg realizes that track is not a solo sport. It requires every runner to put in their best in order for the team to move forward together.

As the 2020 fall season starts, Goldberg will attend Wake Forest University, where she will continue her academics and her athletics at the Division I level. Wake Forest is considered a leader in both academics and athletics.

“I’m not nervous at all about running in college. I’m so excited because Wake Forest was my top choice – I was even planning on applying ED (Early Decision). At first, I didn’t even know I wanted to run in college, but when I was going through the recruitment process I realized that I want to take Wake Forest,” Goldberg said.

This is only the beginning of Goldberg’s future success. She will have to dedicate more than her usual 14 hours every week to run since she will be running against top opponents at prestigious schools, but through her previous successes she should have no problem with the intensity that comes with running at the collegiate level.

“Jenna is one of the fastest long distance runners I ever met. She’s always grinding even when we don’t even have practice. If she keeps this up, she should have no problem against top competitors,” sophomore cross-country runner Graham Rogers said.