Olympics

Davis natives make history during Olympic Trials Marathon

Kaitlin Gregg Goodman runs the Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. The Davis natives made history as the first brother and sister to run the USA Olympic Trials Marathon on the same day.
Kaitlin Gregg Goodman runs the Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. The Davis natives made history as the first brother and sister to run the USA Olympic Trials Marathon on the same day. Courtesy of Kaitlin Gregg Goodman

Davis natives Brendan Gregg and Kaitlin Gregg Goodman made history Saturday in Los Angeles as the first brother and sister to run the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on the same day.

The last – and only other – time a brother and sister duo ran the Olympic Trials marathon the same year was in 1984, when Tom and Debbie Raunig competed. At that time, the men and women raced on different days.

After a punishing race in 80-degree conditions, Goodman, 29, finished in 54th place in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 16 seconds. Gregg, 26, dropped out as planned in the ninth mile of the 26.2-mile race, due to a previous injury.

“I was really proud to finish on a day when a lot of people ended up dropping out,” Goodman said. “It was really challenging.”

Goodman gave Gregg a cheer when the men started out, 16 minutes before the women. Then, as they were rounding the course, she spotted her brother going up one side while she was going down the other and they gave each other a wave.

“That’s the part that will stick out as my favorite,” she said. “It was a sign of encouragement to each other.”

Gregg and Goodman attended Davis High School, where their father, Bill, is the cross country and distance track coach. Goodman said it was a natural progression for her and her brother to compete on his teams.

Bill Gregg said it was surreal to see two of his kids run in the Trials. It was nothing he would have imagined a few years ago, he said.

Now the siblings both compete professionally. They live on opposite sides of the country – Goodman in Providence, R.I., and Gregg in Davis – so traveling on the professional running circuit gives them a chance to see each other more frequently than they otherwise would, Goodman said.

Bill Gregg said he thinks Brendan and Kaitlin are a mutual support system for each other as they pursue their racing goals. He said the dinner table conversation in high school revolved around running.

“At times one might have said we were a little too one-dimensional,” he said. “But (my wife) and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Goodman said rising in rankings was good for dinner table bragging rights during those conversations, but she and her brother aren’t competitive otherwise. They have two younger siblings who are also athletic.

Family, friends and old teammates came to cheer for her and Gregg in Los Angeles, she said. She achieved her qualifying time for the Trials in Sacramento during the California International Marathon in 2014, so she feels an extra bond to the Sacramento running community.

“It was really special to feel the support of the hometown crowd,” she said.

Several other runners with Sacramento ties competed on Saturday. Allison Maxson, 29, of Folsom finished in 114th place in 2:57:49. Olivia Mickle, 24, a 2009 Loretto High School graduate who grew up in Sacramento, finished in 93rd place in 2:53:49.

Tim Tollefson and Lindsay Tollefson, former Placer County residents who train in Mammoth Lakes, competed as a husband-wife duo. Lindsay Tollefson lasted 20 miles, while Tim Tollefson stopped in the ninth mile, according to detailed results provided by USA Track and Field.

Gregg and Goodman will be competing in the 10,000-meter Olympic Trials in July.

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison

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