Athlete of the Month: Jalen Goines

By Rick Hinton

Jalen Goines is straightforward about himself. “I’m a typical 18-year-old student athlete,” he said matter-of-factually. “Honestly … I’m just an athlete who’s gotten to where he’s at through hard work and dedication.”

Goines, a recent Center Grove High School graduate, kept a busy agenda with track and field. The majority of athletes in this sport tend to specialize in just one event (or event type) among the choices for participation: running, jumping and throwing. Goines’ areas of expertise is the 110-meter hurdles (races with hurdles as obstacles) and the traditional long jump (a short run up and jump into a soft-landing area. Whoever jumps the farthest is the winner). Does he have a favorite of the two? “I definitely favor hurdles because I’ve had a lot more time with it over these past few seasons,” he said.

“I’m definitely one of those people who comes out of the womb a competitor … everything is a competition,” he stated. His father Monty is currently an assistant coach for track and field at CGHS and certified by the IHSAA. As a father and coach, he brings a unique perspective to the table regarding his son Jalen. “I could always see tremendous ability, but he’s the one that made it happen. His older siblings were his competition.”

Goines would agree. His brother Christian and sister Haley both run track at Indiana University. “Growing up, we spent every waking moment together and we always pushed each other,” he offered. “We would compete running up the stairs, finishing meals, staying up the latest, seeing who could take the fastest shower.”

It’s been a diverse journey as Goines explored samplings of different sports before settling on track. “Track was actually the last sport I picked up,” he claimed. “I used to play soccer (age 4), flag football (age 6), baseball and basketball. I’ve also played football (running back) all the way through this year.  I’ve done football and track in tandem since freshman year.” Father Monty echoes his son’s full journey.

Jalen Goines. (Submitted photo)

“He’s a Center Grove Trojan varsity football starter at the age of 18. We are so proud of him!”

Any journey brings memories. Some grow fonder as the years roll by. Goines remembers a trip to Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 9 for a track meet. He felt terrible the entire drive there. It wasn’t any better when they pulled into the parking lot. He told Monty he couldn’t proceed with the meet. “In his panic he decided it would be a great idea to ignore me,” Goines explained. “We are getting ready to leave the car to walk into the stadium and I brutally projectile vomited all over his freshly cleaned car!”

For Monty, his memory is simpler: “Taking the picture with his mother while Jalen received the Phil N Eskew Mental Attitude Award after the IHSAA 6A state football game.” He summed up his son’s career. “Team sports helped Jalen to understand the dynamics of being a good team player and teammate. He leads by example, works hard to improve, has a willingness to play any role and always has a positive attitude. To do your job with passion. These attributes will carry him far in life!”


NAME: Jalen Goines

SPORT:  Track and field; football

POSITION:  Track – 110-meter hurdles, long jump; football – running back

YEAR: Senior

HEIGHT: 6 feet

AGE: 18

FAVORITE MOVIE: Superhero movies and Star Wars


FAVORITE TV SHOW: Doctor Strange and Game of Thrones

COLLEGE PLANS: Indiana University to study neurological science

PARENTS: Monty and Beth Goines