"She's an extremely special young lady," Zuliani said. "Not only as a track athlete but she's a great kid. She's a great student, just an overall role model to young people and a great member of our community. It's really special for me because I've known her since she was little, and then being able to coach and to see her go on to Division I."
Other than Godwin, the Bucs also returned a few others that scored points at the state meet last season.
That list includes senior Lauren Cvechko (fifth place in high jump and 100 hurdles) and a pair of field athletes in junior Mackenzie Leigh and senior Mercedes Dowell. Leigh finished second at the state meet in shot put and fourth in discus while Dowell finished second in the discus and sixth in the shot.
Buckhannon-Upshur also won the shuttle-hurdles relay with Cvechko anchoring.
Godwin said the team's goal of a state championship at the end of the season is attainable but, like her coach, wants to take everything one meet at a time.
"I really want to beat all of my personal records and to help out the team," Godwin said. "I think it will be close this year and it will be whoever has a good day [will win the state meet]. I think we [have a shot], we've been working really hard. The weather has been different this year but I think we have a shot and we'll just have to see."
"[Today] I'm just trying to have a good second meet and do better than the first meet."
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com.