Georgia sprinter Elija Godwin has been named the Southeastern Conference Co-Freshman Runner of the Year for the outdoor season, according to a league announcement on Tuesday.
Godwin, a native of Covington, Ga., becomes the first Bulldog in history outdoors to garner the honor, sharing the 2019 award with Kentucky’s Tai Brown and Ole Miss’ Dalton Hengst. The late, great Bulldog Torrin Lawrence was the 2009 SEC Freshman Runner of the Year indoors.
Godwin had the team’s fastest 100-meter dash (10.47), 200m (20.59) and 400m (45.92) times during his first outdoor season in red and black and registered seven overall victories during the regular season. In the 400m, Godwin completed his season 24th on the national performance list and was fifth out of the country’s freshman with the best time from the conference in the category. His top 200m finish gave him the nation’s 28th-fastet time in 2019, including the fastest time for a freshman in the SEC and fourth-fastest time for a freshman nationally.
On May 7 while training for the postseason at the Spec Towns Track, Godwin was injured when he backed into a stationary javelin that was resting implanted in the ground. He underwent successful surgery, was released and is recovering at his home. UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson has said a full recovery is expected.
While Godwin continues his recovery, 12 of his teammates will be competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, on June 5-8. The Bulldog men are the defending outdoor national champions.