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BY TERI R. WILLIAMS | PHOTOS BY DAWN MCDANIEL OWENS Team Asset A well-trained athlete with a history of competing, Mandy Godbee discovers the satisfaction of being on the coaching side of the track. The young woman running along the beach in Guam was an Olympic trial qualifier. She was visiting her brother Shawn, who was stationed at the Naval base before heading off to grad school. The man running with her was a Navy Seal she met at the gym on base. “My brother knew him,” which made it ‘cool,’” she explained. “Who was faster?” I asked. “I was, but he won’t admit it.” She smiled and added, “If we’re talking sprints, that is, but not in distance, no. Fred is tough.” Mandy had just finished her undergrad degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood. When she returned from Guam, she started working toward a master’s degree in Sports Administration at Wichita State. She was finally back on track with her training after 18 12 Toombs County Magazine months of rehab. Mandy had goals. She knew what she wanted, and she knew what it would take to get there. That is, until Guam—until a Navy Seal named Fred Godbee decided to join her run. As a child Mandy was an avid gymnast. But in the eighth grade, Social Science teacher and Varsity Coach Uwe Gordon (now Principal at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma) talked her into going out for track. “He’s a legend now in education and athletics,” said Mandy. Her first year on the track team, Mandy came in third at Nationals. She placed second in the 55m hurdles in the 10th and 11th grades. (Her school did not compete in the national meet her senior year). After high school, Mandy was recruited to run the 100-meter hurdles and high jump at Missouri State. “But when they asked me if I would be willing to do the heptathlon. I said,


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