Ballard High School grad takes on the Olympics

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville added more teeth to the 2020 Olympic games as track and field star Ronnie Baker, 27, will officially go for the gold. Baker is a Ballard High School graduate.

“First two years he was so, so,” former Ballard High School Track and Field Coach Don Goodwin said. “His junior year he just clicked into another gear.”

Now retired, Goodwin said he’s never stopped following Baker’s sports career because he knew he would do something great.

“It got to this point in his career, and I felt like it was going to happen,” he said. “It was just when.”

It came Sunday in Eugene, Oregon when Baker ran a personal best of 9.85 seconds to finish second in the 100-meter dash.

“Ronnie did what he needed to do,” Goodwin said, “and it’s probably one of the most exciting things I have ever had happen to me as a track coach.”

The coach has seen a lot of his former students hit the big leagues, including seven NCAA all-Americans, but not one Olympian until now.

“I’m proud of what he’s doing as far as track is concerned ... since I was his coach,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin added that Baker’s Olympic qualification is bringing excitement to the Ballard family and Louisville. If Baker is able to grab the gold at the games, he will be the second Olympic gold medalist for Ballard High School behind basketball star Allan Houston.

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