Some of the most talented athletes in the collegiate ranks compete annually in the Penn Relays, but rarely does someone like Marquise Goodwin of Texas come to town.
Goodwin, a junior, can be found on the Longhorns' 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay teams this week at Franklin Field and in the long jump, an event in which he won both the 2010 NCAA outdoor championship and the 2011 U.S. championship.
Goodwin also stars as a wide receiver on the Texas football team. After initially telling coach Mack Brown that he wanted to sit out last season so he could concentrate on track with an eye to the 2012 London Olympics, he asked Brown after the first game whether he could come back, and the coach approved.
The 5-foot-9, 177-pound wide receiver caught 33 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 10.0 yards on 22 carries. He ran back 11 kickoffs and gained 22.5 yards per return.
Now he's back on the track, having jumped 26 feet, 1/4 inch in his only competition to date.
"I don't think I can say enough about Marquise," Texas track and field coach Bubba Thornton said Monday. "He has really been focused and committed. He took one jump last week and qualified [for the NCAA regionals]. But it's there. We feel his speed is back.
"Everybody looks at Marquise, and you just expect it. But he has to work very hard for it to all come his way, and it's not just expected. I've watched him put in a lot of time as a dual-sport athlete."
Goodwin is one of a host of current and former NCAA champions who will compete at this week's carnival.
Like Goodwin, senior Barrett Nugent of Louisiana State will run a relay for his team - leading off the 4x100 - and attempt to win a watch in his specialty, the 110-meter hurdles, the event in which he captured the 2011 NCAA outdoor title.
"He's a great big-meet competitor and performer, and he's proven it time and again," LSU coach Dennis Shaver said. "This year, he's really picked up where he left off last year as far as his performances. There's always a strong hurdles field at Penn, so I know he's looking forward to trying to make a good run."
Nugent will face an old rival in Andrew Riley of Illinois, the 2010 NCAA champion and runner-up to Nugent last season. They ran against each other last month in the "Battle of the Bayou" at LSU, with Nugent clocking 13.49 seconds to 13.52 for Riley.
"There's just a tremendous respect between those two guys," Shaver said. "There's always a lean at the line as to who's going to win."
Shaver has a multiple NCAA champion on the women's side. Kimberlyn Duncan won the outdoor 200 meters in 2011 and the indoor 200 last month, and also was a part of the Tigers' winning 4x100 team outdoors.
"She's continued to amaze us with the progress that she has made," Shaver said. "She'll be fairly busy this week, but I know that she's looking forward to it."
Duncan will run on the Tigers' 4x100, 4x200, and sprint medley relay teams.
Notes. Former Methacton High School star Ryann Krais, a senior at Kansas State, is entered in the college women's 400-meter hurdles, the first event of Thursday's competition. . . . NBC10 will carry two hours of Penn Relays competition, including all six USA vs. the World races, on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. USA Track and Field is expected Tuesday to release the names of some of the competitors for the relays.