Juanita’s Adrian Goodwin rolls through the 3,200-meter run on April 13. He won the race in 9:38.62. Andy Nystrom, Reporter Newspapers

Juanita’s Goodwin running strong in the distance races

As he began the final lap of his first 3,200-meter race of the season, Juanita High senior Adrian Goodwin clenched his teeth and then seemed to form a half smile as he moved swiftly along the track.

The Rebel was feeling some of the pain that runners experience, especially those in the grueling long-distance races. It comes with the territory, he said.

“There’s nothing like it, the pain that you feel. You’ve just gotta embrace the pain, that’s what I’m all about and I’ve gotta throw down some good times,” Goodwin said. “Running is a passion of mine.”

Goodwin led from start to finish at the meet versus Lake Washington and Redmond, notching a time of 9-minutes, 38.62-seconds during the eight-lap race on April 13 at Juanita High. Overall, Juanita’s boys finished 2-0 and the girls were 0-2; for LW, the girls were 2-0 and the boys were 1-1.

The four-year Juanita trackster, who also runs the 1,600 meters, has a personal record (PR) of 9:36 in the 3,200 and aims to hit 9:20 by the end of the season. His PR in the 1,600 is 4:23 — which he notched at the end of last year — and he’s shooting for under 4:20 this season.

He earned a trip to the 3A state meet last year in the 3,200 along with then-senior teammate Tom Mikkelson, who now runs at Stanford. Goodwin, who also reached state the last two years on the Rebel cross-country team, hopes to qualify for state in both his distance races this season. The state track meet will take place May 25-27 at Mount Tahoma High.

Goodwin started running track as a seventh-grader at Kamiakin Middle School and then added cross country to his arsenal in high school. He played select basketball in grades 5-8, but bounced that sport off his docket when running entered the picture.

Goodwin felt he had the potential to be a solid runner and he put maximum focus into his new craft.

“If you put the work in and put the miles in, the results will come. If you have a passion for running, and you wanna work hard, running is the thing for you,” Goodwin said, using those words as advice to young runners on the rise. “Get a core group of people that you like to run with, just do what you do and you’ll get results.”

The Rebel cross-country program provided invaluable motivation for Goodwin. The teams bonded, the runners pushed each other to succeed and the 2015 squad took ninth at state and was the first Juanita team to qualify for the premiere meet since 2001.

Goodwin also looks up to Izaic Yorks, a former Lakes High star who set the collegiate record in the mile, 3:53.89, for the University of Washington. He was glad to meet Yorks at a cross-country meet last fall.

So what’s Goodwin pondering while he’s running the long races?

“If I’m running with other people, I’m trying to match the intensity that they’re bringing,” he said. “If I’m running by myself, I have to try and stay focused and think about what’s ahead, not the pain that I’m having.”

He said there’s not a greater feeling than finishing a race and notching a PR. He hopes there’s more of those on the horizon this season.