The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior tripled at the Class 7A state meet this past season, winning the 200-meter dash with a wind-aided time of 21.01 seconds and breaking the tape in the 400-meter dash (46.40) before capturing gold in the triple jump with a career-best leap of 47-feet, nine inches. Those 30 individual points by Godwin helped the Rams finish fifth as a team. He earned silver at this month's Brooks PR Invitational with a season-best clocking of 46.23 in the 400, which ranked as the nation's No. 10 time among prep competitors this season at the time of his selection. His career-best 20.71 in the 200 at last month's Prefontaine Classic, where he took third, along with his career-best triple jump effort at the state meet ranked No. 5 and No. 42 in the nation, respectively, in 2017.
Godwin has maintained an 85.7 average in the classroom and will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
A dedicated youth track volunteer every summer, Godwin is deeply involved in the community service efforts of his church parish throughout the year. "Elija is the epitome of a student-athlete," said Newton head coach Kevin Barnes. "He's completely dedicated to his team and teammates, and his work ethic and attitude are outstanding. Any track coach would love to have a team full of competitors like this guy." "His range as a sprinter and prowess in the triple jump make Godwin not only one of the most versatile high school athletes in the country, but also one of the most dynamic," said Erik Boal, editor for Dyestat.com. "He excels in the most competitive settings, as evidenced by his efforts at the Georgia state meet, and his desire to improve indicates his senior year has the potential to be one of the best for any prep athlete in 2017."