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Star runner sprints into Hall of Fame

Mike Goodfellow as he appeared in his 1989 OHS Yearbook photo. (click for larger version)
August 11, 2010 - Out of all the cross country and track and field stars that wore the blue and gold, Mike Goodfellow might be the most accomplished of them all.

Driven by his competitive spirit, he racked up numerous local, state and national awards as a long distance runner, thus earning him a spot in the inagural class of the Oxford High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

"It is an honor and I never really thought about it," said Goodfellow, a 1989 OHS graduate. "I am honored that someone still thinks of me."

Goodfellow had distance running in his blood; his father ran cross country for OHS and his uncle ran cross country and track for OHS as well. His brother also ran as well.

However, he used tenacity and training more than genetics to accomplish his feats.

Goodfellow recalls running a lot during his training periods. "One summer I put in nearly 1,000 miles going into my junior year," he said.

Even though his physical training helped, Goodfellow mentioned that the biggest reason for his success was the belief that Elmer Ball and Ray Sutherland had in him.

"You have to have people that believe in you, and having people like my parents, Elmer Ball and Ray Sutherland believe in you and have a good supporting structure, it makes it that much easier to work hard and do the things you have to do," he said.

Goodfellow started running competively in middle school, and quickly rose to stardom after being named to the second team all Flint Metro League (FML) as a freshman in cross country.

Goodfellow went on to become a three-time FML champion and was named to the all-Oakland county team his sophomore through senior seasons.

In 1987, he finished third at The Athletics Congress National Junior Olympic Championships with a five kilometer time of 15:37. He also won back-to-back Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) regional and Class 'B' state titles in 1987 and 1988, the only Oxford athlete in any sport to accomplish such a feat.

As a track standout, he won eight FML championships, including the 3200 meter run three years in a row (1987-89). Goodfellow also won the 1600 meter run in back-to-back years (1988-89) at the FML meet and the MHSAA regional.

He also captured the 3200 meter regional title all four years in high school.

Goodfellow claimed the mile and two-mile titles at the 1989 MHSAA Class 'B' finals and went on to compete in the 1600 meter at the 1989 Midwest Meet of Champions after setting the OHS record at 4:19.1.

He finished as one of the top two mile runners in school history with his time of 9:25.7.

"I always expected to be successful because I was a competitor," said Goodfellow. I knew it would be part luck and part skill, but I always had that expectation. I demanded that of myself."

Coming out of high school, Goodfellow was heavily recruited. He would accept an offer from Central Michigan University (CMU) to run on the cross country and track teams, turning down offers from University of Louisville, Western Michigan University and Bowling Green University among others.

He would make immediate dividends.

During his freshman season at CMU, he helped them win the 1989 Mid-American Conference and National Collegiate Athletic Association District IV Cross Country Championships and a national ranking of 19.

He spent four years as a member of the cross country team and three years as a steeplechase and 5k competitor on the CMU track team.

Goodfellow graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Health Administration from CMU in 1993. After graduating, he served as the OHS cross country coach, leading the team to an 8-1 record.

Currently Goodfellow lives in Pinckney with his wife Michelle and their three children. He works as a manager of an Aco Hardware store in South Lyon.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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