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Girls Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year: Manchester Valley’s Rubie Goffena runs past competition to achieve goals

Manchester Valley junior Rubie Goffena, who swept her way to postseason victories in the 1,600 at counties, regionals and states, is the 2021 Carroll County Times Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Manchester Valley junior Rubie Goffena, who swept her way to postseason victories in the 1,600 at counties, regionals and states, is the 2021 Carroll County Times Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

When Manchester Valley junior Rubie Goffena has a goal in her sights, she doesn’t stop until she chases it down.

The 2021 Times Girls Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year headed into the season looking for glory on the state’s biggest stage.

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“My main goal was to win a state title,” Goffena said. “[At first], I wasn’t sure what event I wanted to focus on but after a few time trials, my coach and I decided on the 1,600.”

That decision paid off big time. Goffena dominated the event at county meet, becoming the first female runner to finish the 1,600-meter run in under 5 minutes. She crossed the finish line in 4:59.83, besting the previous best county meet time of 5:01.62 set by Century’s Maura Linde in 2011.

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Goffena also picked up a victory in the 800-meter run at counties with a time of 2:20.96. A few weeks later, she picked up two more titles at the 3A East Regional meet. Goffena won the 1,600 with a time of 5:09.67, finishing nearly 3 seconds ahead of River Hill’s Faith Meininger.

She added a regional title in the 3,200, blowing away the field and finishing a full 7 seconds ahead of the next closest runner with a time of 11:12.79.

That might be a successful season for some athletes, but Goffena was eyeing that state title. It was something she was training for all season.

“Coach [Nancy Hayes] and I designed track workouts to help me achieve that goal of a state title and breaking the 5-minute mark in the 1,600.”

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All the preparation paid off, as not only did Goffena take home the title in the 1,600, but she also narrowly bested her county meet time by finishing in 4:59.63. She was the only runner to cross the tape in under 5 minutes with Linganore’s Mikayla Moxley taking second in 5:03.46.

“I was excited and relieved all at the same time,” Goffena said of her victory. “All of the hard work I put into this goal was finally paying off.”

With one state title under her belt, Goffena heads into the offseason looking to get even better and expand her focus to dominating other events.

“She sets a high bar,” Hayes said of Goffena, who was named the Cross Country Athlete of the Year earlier this spring. “Seeing her compete and train, she is an exemplary role model. She raises the intensity of each workout and race. She is inspiring.”

Manchester Valley's Rubie Goffena, left, and Winters Mill's Kathryn Hopkins lead the Carroll County Cross Country Championships at Carroll Community College in Westminster Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Goffena won the girls race with a time of 20:56.70 and Hopkins finished 2nd with a time of 21:13.13.
Manchester Valley's Rubie Goffena, left, and Winters Mill's Kathryn Hopkins lead the Carroll County Cross Country Championships at Carroll Community College in Westminster Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Goffena won the girls race with a time of 20:56.70 and Hopkins finished 2nd with a time of 21:13.13. (Dylan Slagle)

After taking a quick break from the track, the junior said she is back to her daily workout routine that includes more than just running.

She is incorporating strength training and bike riding into her daily regimen with a focus on building a strong base for her body to increase her ability to cover distance. Her goal next season is to add a title in the 3,200-meter run to go along with her collection of gold in the 1,600.

One thing that she will be doing in between her training is tuning into the Summer Olympics, which start this week. That is where she got her first taste of track, and watching those athletes gave her dreams of one day perhaps competing on that stage.

“It is fun watching some of the fastest people in the world compete for a gold medal,” Goffena said. “When I was younger, it was always a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics. Realistically, it all depends on where my college running experience goes in the future and then go from there.”

FIRST TEAM ALL-COUNTY*

Sprints

Laura Gilford, Francis Scott Key, senior

Isabella Mastria, Century, sophomore

Jasmine Stanton, Century, sophomore

Middle distance

Madelyn Boyce, South Carroll, junior

Lydia Houle, Westminster, senior

Taylor Shank, Manchester Valley, junior

Distance

Hannah Bauer, Century, senior

Rubie Goffena, Manchester Valley, junior

Kathryn Hopkins, Winters Mill, senior

Hurdles

Lauren Francino, Manchester Valley, junior

Zelda Hirsch, South Carroll, senior

Sophia Taylor, Century, freshman

Field

Ryehn Byrnes, Westminster, sophomore

Charlotte Houle, Westminster, sophomore

Elizabeth Mahoney, Francis Scott Key, senior

Rileigh Mansfield, Century, sophomore

Carrie Moore, Manchester Valley, junior

SECOND TEAM ALL-COUNTY*

Century: Jenna Callan, Sarah Simon, Kara Stach. Francis Scott Key: Adeline Kraics, Ashleigh Porter. Liberty: Sophia Echevarria. Man Valley: Grace Buttiglieri. South Carroll: Lauren Chesney, Sophia Smithson. Westminster: Ella Boussy, Jillian Hawkins, Lydia Houle, Delaney O’Brien, Hannah Toth. Winters Mill: Makenzie Hopkins.

*The teams combine indoor and outdoor track, as the Times did not put together an indoor all-county team in the winter.

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