Good In And Out

Thrower Tries To Excel Again For Streaks

Posted: December 13, 2013

Spotswood senior Logan Phelps clears the bar in the high jump during Thursday’s indoor track meet at Eastern Mennonite University. (Photos by Jason Lenhart / DN-R)
Harrisonburg’s Rebekah Good prepares for a throw in the shot put Thursday at EMU.
Turner Ashby junior Philip Rainard competes in the pole vault at a high school meet Thursday at EMU.
HARRISONBURG — When Rebekah Good’s fifth-grade physical education teacher at Thomas Harrison Middle School first put a shot put in her right hand, the result was nothing spectacular.

Good did not even want to throw shot put her sixth-grade year, instead opting for the jumping events during track-and-field season. But because of her family’s tradition throwing shot put (her father and brother both threw in high school), the natural ability appeared to be there.

All she needed was a little push.

“I broke the school record my first throw,” Good said Thursday at an indoor track and field meet at Eastern Mennonite University. “[Coach] said, ‘You’re staying here.’”

Good kept doing the shot put, and she has carried the event for Harrisonburg High School through her last three seasons. She finished fifth at the Group AA state meet during last year’s indoor season and seventh at the outdoor meet.

Both results, Good insists, were disappointments.

“It was a really off day,” Good said of her 35-foot throw at the outdoor meet. “The day before that, I threw 40 feet, so that was a really bad day.”

Her 40-foot throw would have won states, but HHS coach David Loughran thinks dealing with failure of that magnitude is one area Good still has to work on.

“[She’s] just managing when things aren’t going perfect,” Loughran said. “The elite athletes are going to see their performances through a different filter than the rest of us do.”

The HHS senior, who said she set a countdown clock on her iPhone three months ago for the start of indoor track season, is committed to improving on last year. Alongside trainer Durmount Perry (who is also the boys’ junior-varsity basketball coach), Good stepped up her offseason training.

Although she has been seriously weight training since her sophomore year, Good’s routine continues to evolve under Perry, who she said is “pretty much like a dad to me.”

“He keeps me updated with everything constantly, from workouts to a protein diet plan,” Good said. “It’s constant military-style workouts, everything. Everything that I get put through involves the whole entire body. It’s constant soreness.”

One of Good’s tasks this season is finding the right college. She said she is interested in Concord University in Athens, W.Va., and Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C.

Before she goes to college, though, Good wants to leave HHS a state champion. She was asked to participate next summer in the Down Under International Games in Australia, an Olympic-style event for youth athletes. Good was one of six track-and-field athletes in Virginia to be invited.

“I cried when I got that letter,” said Good, who will try to raise the money herself to pay for her trip there.

Good could impact the program even after she leaves if she mentors two promising HHS freshmen throwers – Urita Garcia and Ore Funmilayo.

“That’s where I really want to see what she can do,” Loughran said. “It’s great what she can do, but we can’t leave that cupboard bare. She’s going to have to bring some young kids into the fold before she graduates, and that’ll be where she cements her legend.”

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