Stevenson’s Johnson fourth in 100 – Monterey Herald

CLOVIS — Evan Johnson never looked back and wondered what this spring might have been like had he spent the year solely on the track.

Moonlighting as a left fielder for Stevenson’s baseball team, Johnson has slipped into enough practices to push the pendulum in a sport he hopes hasn’t closed a chapter on.

“Watching the crowd before the race, seeing them stand up to look at us runners, was surreal,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t tell you what was going through my mind. I just tried to absorb it all without losing my focus.

The four-sport all-league player had arguably his best run of his career on Saturday, finishing fourth in the 100 yards at the CIF State track and field final at Buchanan High in Clovis.

Johnson, who is heading to Brigham Young University on a football scholarship as a defensive back, clocked 10.48 seconds, the second fastest time of his career.

“After I finished, the person to my right started shouting back,” Johnson said. “When I saw my time and my finish, I thought back to last year when I was 13th and I didn’t think so highly of myself. It was such an accomplishment.

The 18-year-old is the first county sprinter to break into the top five in the 100 since Ronnie Drummer reached the feet for North Salinas in 2004. Ironically, Johnson broke Drummer County’s record in the 100 earlier this month.

“Talking to my dad and my brother, I have speed,” said Johnson, who graduated on Sunday. “When you run 10.48, that’s what some of the best rookies for the track run. I believe I’m going to run again. I can’t let that go.

The wind was slightly above the legal limit of 2.0 mph at 2.5. Johnson ran 10.54 in practice on Friday, the seventh fastest time of the night.

Seeded in lane 2, Johnson got off to a great start. Out of the corner of his eye, he didn’t see anyone in front of him after 40 meters of running.

“I just remembered some of the things that Nick (Cunningham) said to me and passed on to me,” Johnson said. “Knowing how fast these guys are and not seeing them in front of me felt good. I knew I was capable of that. But finishing fourth was a surprise.

Minutes before Johnson hit the podium with her finish, Juliette Kosmont drove in a point for Santa Catalina after placing eighth in the 100 in 11.95.

Johnson and Kosmont became the first county boys and girls to reach the 100 National Finals in the same season and score points for their teams.

“It was a fun experience,” Kosmont said. “It wasn’t as intimidating as I thought. The atmosphere is so crazy and huge. It was so cool to see a crowd of people watching us race.

Kosmont felt leg pain after running 11.92 in Friday practice. Rebounding 24 hours later, she didn’t feel like she had the explosiveness off the blocks.

“My hamstrings were sore,” Kosmont said. “I could feel that I wasn’t running as fast. I just didn’t feel strong. I need to get in the weight room in the fall and get a little stronger. It’s one of my regrets not to have done so much last year.

The Central Coast Section 100-meter champion reached state competition in the 100 and 200, running 24.56 in the 200 at Friday trials.

Kosmont’s season-best 11.91 in the 100 is the second-fastest time in county history behind Monterey’s Sani Roseby, who ran 11.42 in 1999.

While Michael Julian’s attempt to dive under nine minutes at 3200 m failed, the York School distance ace finished eighth overall, covering the eight-lap race in 9:03.22.

The mark is the second fastest time in county history behind James Welsh of Monterey, who ran 9:03.01 in 2014, and broke his own school record in the 3,200

Julian, who will race next year at the University of California, San Diego, ran 9:03.50 to win last week’s Central Coast section title, the school’s first section champion since Kim Stone won the women’s high jump in 1999.

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