On May 16, 2015, Kortnei Johnson made the Gladiator Nation proud by dominating at the 2015 Track and Field State Championship in Austin. In order to fully appreciate her road to success, however, one must trace her journey back.
In 2012, freshman Johnson won 1st in the 100 meters and 2nd in the 200 meters at the state meet. Silver medals did not fit into her vision of success, so as a sophomore in 2013, she blew Austin away winning gold medals and breaking the state records in both events: the 100 meters with a time of 11:52 and the 200 meters at 23.93.
Her junior year, she again brought home gold in both races and broke her previous record in the 100 meters with a time of 11:51. Kortnei also anchored the 4 X 100M relay. She and her teammates April Lusk, Janae Robertson, and Kendra Copeland scored a silver medal in that event.
As a senior this year, she and her team again brought home silver in the 4 X 100M relay. Those members included April Lusk, Janae Robertson, T’Keyah Pace, and KJ as anchor.
Her crowning achievement this year, however, was in her individual events: she not only broke her own state record in the 100 meters and 200 meters, she also crushed the conference records with a phenomenal 11:26 in the 100 meters and 23.39 in the 200 meters.
Coach Bobby Campbell cannot recall a time when KJ was not passionate about her talent. “She is by far the easiest person I have ever coached, the hardest worker I have ever coached, and the most dedicated athlete I’ve ever coached in track and field.”
When Kortnei was asked for a quote, the soft-spoken senior replied, “Follow your dreams,” and she has done just that. She has already committed to compete collegiately as an LSU Tiger in the quest for her definitive goal—The Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Knowing what she has accomplished thus far, KJ will soon be trading her old gold and white for purple and gold, then ultimately for red, white, and blue. Congratulations, Kortnei. You have certainly made your hometown proud.
The City of Italy would like to honor the Lady Gladiator Track Team Friday with a parade.
Line Up at High School @ 1:00
Parade starts at 1:30