WAUNAKEE – After finishing 4th in the 100m state finals the last two years, Waunakee’s L.O. Johnson achieved one of his biggest goals for his high school athletic career last weekend, becoming the state champion in the 100m final with a time of 10.99 seconds. The 2017 National indoor champion has been making waves in the Wisconsin sports world for years, including receiving nine offers to play Division 1 college football as well. I had a chance to catch up with the young star after his big weekend.
What does it truly feel like to have achieved this goal for yourself?
“It feels good, I mean, it’s always a blessing to be able to compete at the highest level. It’s a blessing to have that title…as a junior, you know that everybody is going to be gunning for you next year. You’re going to be on every sprinter’s wall in the state of Wisconsin. You’re the household name, so it just makes you want to work a little bit harder.”
What exactly was going through your mind heading into the race?
“On Friday, I didn’t have the best race. I came in as the seventh seed, came into the whole meet as the third seed, but moved down to seventh, so it was pretty bumming. I was really just focused on getting a good start, because Friday I didn’t get the best start. Took the whole week off because of my hip flexor, so I guess you could say I wasn’t the most seasoned for that race. Get a good start, and then relax through the finish, and I feel like I did that.”
What were your biggest goals coming into the season?
“Win state. I’ve been saying that to my friends since November, so it’s hard to say something like that, and not have the work ethic to do it. My goal from the beginning was to win state, and the hardest thing I had to go through this year was easily the hip flexor injury. I really felt it at regional, so I had to deal with it through the whole playoff season for track.”
What is something most people don’t know about you off the field or track?
“In my basement, I have several fish tanks. I breed my feeder fish because I have a Red Sun Devil, and I have an African Cichlid tank. I also have a community tropical fish tank. I have a very big fish set-up downstairs, and I’m in the process of getting a Flowerhorn and a Florida Gar, so I would say that.”
What is your most consistent pre game meal?
“Always steak. It can be steak and potatoes, Chipotle, all of that. As long as I have steak on a platter, I’ll be alright.”
What is your go-to song, pre-competition?
“Facts, by Kanye West. But I really have like three songs on repeat…Facts, Blood on the Leaves, and Black Skinhead, all obviously by Kanye.”
“Favorite movie…it has to be John Wick. He’s just a cold-killer. He’s a man of focus, they call him. He doesn’t stop until what he wants is accomplished.”
What would be your perfect day?
“I wake up in the morning…*pauses*…not feeling tired. I would get a good lift in, get to at least round 50 on my zombies game, eat a fat steak, get all my schoolwork done, and then probably watch a movie that night to top it off.”
How has growing up in an athletic family influenced your mindset?
“Most people know that my dad played for the Badgers, and played in the NFL for 7-8 years. Most people don’t know that my mom also ran track in college, so when I think of that, it’s just crazy. I want to follow in their footsteps a little bit, and I feel like I’m on the way.”
Biggest goals for post high school?
“Yeah, I want to play football and run track at a Division 1 college.”
Simple as that.