Kevina Godfrey is somewhat of a hidden gem.
The Mountain Pointe senior is well known and respected within track circles, but because the elite runners in Arizona are so good nationally she seemingly gets lost in the finals of most big events.
Godfrey is one of the best all-around athletes out there, but it is hard to win sprints in this state unless a record is breaking.
“It can be tough, but it is also a motivator,” Godfrey said. “I don’t want to be lined up directly next to (someone like Chandler’s Ky Westbrook) but I want to be able see them the whole time because that’s where I need be.”
With the effort Godfrey put forth at the Buffalo Stampede on April 20, it is clear she’s finding out just how good she is with the state meet about 10 days away.
She was named the female athlete of the event after winning the 100 (11.98), 200 (25.21) and long jump (18 feet and 3.5 inches) while setting personal records in all three. The 100 was a school record and ranks third in the state this year.
“She works hard at practice,” Pride coach Jeff Griffin said. “She might frown or complain around the 4x400 time about how tired she is or she really doesn’t want to do this. Then she takes the stick and runs a 58 split. She has a job, makes very good grades, and turns in outstanding performances on the track.
“She can do so many things well both on and off the track.”
The intriguing part is the fact that she’s just now starting to reach her potential in the long jump.
She has the second best jump in the state — almost a full foot behind Chandler’s Makaila Flannigan’s 19-3 — and horizontal jump coach Larry Todd only sees improvement ahead once she reaches the college level.
“She’s made great gains in the running position after a long process of getting her where she needs to be,” said Todd, who has known Godfrey since the sixth grade when she competed with his daughter, Jasmine. “It all started to come together a couple of weeks ago.
“Over the next couple of years she should really blossom. Right now, it is getting to be muscle memory. Now that her running form has gotten much cleaner she is able to pop 18-foot jumps.”
Godfrey has been rejuvenated by her recent performance.
“I want to finish strong with my grades, too, because my GPA has to be there first,” she said. “I have been working for these next few weeks for four years. It comes down to this and I feel like I am ready to get to a new level.”
Godfrey has heard from Northern Arizona, Grand Canyon and Arizona, and others will come calling if she continues to push her PRs every time out.
“It just shows me what hard work leads to,” said Godfrey, who is originally from Georgia. “It only makes me want to come to practice that much more.”
It puts her goals at 11.7 for 100, 24.8 for the 200, and at least 18-5 in the long jump while helping out on the relay teams as much as she can.
“She is just bubbly and she has always been one I treat like my own and comes from a great family,” Todd said. “She is one of the ones you enjoy seeing at the track every day. She will be ready to make that push at state when it matters most.
“Kevina has been just behind some of the best there is, but she has shown she is ready to close that gap.”
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