Johnson chasing state sprint record – and dad’s record

Warrior Stadium is the home of the Waunakee football team and the Waunakee track team – both the sports L.O. Johnson has been starring in over the last few years.  This year – L.O.’s senior season, he’s hoping to make history.

"My goal this year is to win the 100, win the 200 and break the 100 meter dash record," said Johnson.

That record of 10.33 is held by former Wisconsin and NFL running back Michael Bennett. Johnson’s time last year when he won state was a 10.99, but says he can run about 10.5 or 10.6.  This last fall, Johnson also helped the Warriors win state in football.

"The two feelings are unmatched," said Johnson.  "Being a state champion in football – that’s something that you worked for since 4th grade with the guys you’ve grown up with, since the beginning of time.  Track was a different story.  It was something, you know, it felt more for me and my family.  It’s something that, I know my family loves track and I know it meant a lot to them to be able to [win that state title]."

Both of L.O.’s parents ran track at UW-Madison – and both help out at track practice. In addition to being a Badger and NFL cornerback, Lawrence Johnson also competed in the 100 and 200 meter dash – where he still holds top ten Badger records.

"[L.O. is] constantly chasing some of the things, some of the numbers that I’ve had," said Lawrence Johnson.  "So I give him a target to go after.  And I’m proud of him.  But, I kind of have to let that [pride] stay a little low.  Because he wants to claim to be the best in the state and I’m like, "you not the best in the house, son!"

L.O. still has yet to surpass dad’s times, but he will take after his father in being a dual-sport athlete in college.  He is committed to New Mexico on a football scholarship, where he will also run track.

"A lot of schools actually didn’t allow their football athletes to run track because of the play books and all the other situations of spring ball," said L.O.  "But when I went to New Mexico they actually encouraged their football players to run track because they’re more of a speed offense. They want me to get the ball down the field as fast as I can.  So that was a really big joy for me, being able to run track at New Mexico and play football."

We’ll find out very soon just what Johnson can accomplish this season.  The WIAA track meet is less than 8 weeks away, June 1-2.



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