Tammy Mutasa, Rowlett Reporter
Fans of Rowlett High School's Marquise Goodwin cheered him on as he began competition in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Rowlett's Marquise Goodwin advanced to the men's long jump finals, finishing first in the Group A qualifier and second overall, Friday in London.
Goodwin, who is also a sprinter on the University of Texas track team and a wide receiver on the Longhorns football team, qualified for the finals on his first and only jump of 8.11m. Jumpers are allowed up to three attempts to qualify, but competitors achieving the qualifying standard on their first or second attempts do not need to continue competing in the qualifying round.
The qualifying standard is a pre-set distance jumpers attempt to reach in order to reach the finals. If fewer than 12 athletes achieve the automatic qualifying distance -- and this is usually the case -- the 12 competitors with the longest jumps, plus any athletes tying for 12th, advance to the final.
Goodwin graduated from Rowlett High School.
"We have never had an athlete in Garland go this far in the Olympics so we're very, very proud of him," said Homer B. Johnson, Garland Independent School District athletic director.
David Nanez, Goodwin's Rowlett High track coach, said he was excited to see his former student in the Olympics.
"I’m just proud of just being a small part of one of the athletes that I think the state of Texas has ever produced in track and field," he said.
American Will Claye finished eighth in the qualifier and advances to the finals on his best jump of 7.99m. Claye faulted on his second jump and hit 7.86m on his third attempt.
Team USA's George Kitchens Jr. faulted on his first two jumps and reached a distance of 6.84m. He finished 19th in Group B, 39th overall, and didn't make the cut for the finals.
The men's long jump final is scheduled for Saturday at 1:55 p.m. CT. In the final, each competitor is given three jumps with the top eight (plus any ties) receiving three more jumps. The best leap of the six is counted and the athlete with the longest jump is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, the second best jump is consulted.
Americans have long dominated the discipline, winning gold in 22 of the 27 Olympics in which they've competed. In 1920 and 1964, Team USA took the silver. In 1980, 2000 and 2008 the American's did not medal. American male long jumpers have never competed in back-to-back Olympics without earning a gold medal.
American Mike Powell holds the world record in the event with a jump of 8.95m, set in 1991 in Tokyo.
You'll be able to see the Men's Long Jump final live online (click here) or the replay on NBC's primetime Olympics coverage tonight on NBC 5.
NBC 5's Tammy Mutasa contributed to this report.