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THE TIMES’ BOYS’ TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR : Johnson Is Not Satisfied, Even After Record Career

Times Staff Writer

A record board hanging in the Katella High School boys’ locker room tells the tale of Terry Johnson’s successful track career.

Johnson will graduate Friday with school records in the 100- and 220-yard dash, 120-yard high hurdles, 330-yard intermediate hurdles and as the anchor of the 440-yard relay team.

The Times boys’ track Athlete of the Year, he won the 110-meter high hurdles event at the State meet and finished second in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.

Despite his fine showing at the State meet, Johnson said he was disappointed with his marks, especially in the intermediate hurdles.

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“I didn’t have a chance to practice all week,” he said. “I pulled a groin muscle in the Masters meet, and I couldn’t practice until Thursday. My start in the 110s wasn’t fast, and midway through the race, my arm started hurting.”

Johnson’s arm injury was the result of being tackled under his shoulder pads during football season. Johnson rushed for 833 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry for the Knights.

“I thought the injury had gone away, but then it came back,” he said. “I couldn’t lift my arm properly while going over the hurdles. Then, I stutter-stepped through the intermediates and plowed through the last three hurdles.”

Johnson has been receiving treatment for his injuries at Fullerton College this week so he can compete in the 110-meter high hurdles Saturday night in the Golden West Invitational in Sacramento.

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He also is scheduled to run the event in the Kibbler Invitational in Elmhurst, Ill., June 21 against some of the nation’s top prep track athletes.

“Both meets are paying the expenses for myself and my coach,” Johnson said. “I plan on visiting the University of Nebraska while I’m back there.”

Johnson has received scholarship offers from Nebraska, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge. But he has not scored high enough on his SAT test to qualify for a scholarship. Under an NCAA rule that will go into effect this fall, a student-athlete must score a minimum of 700 on the SAT and maintain a 2.0 grade-point average in required core courses.

“I took the test again on the Saturday before the State meet, and I think I scored a lot better this time,” Johnson said.

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A college scholarship always has been one of Johnson’s goals since he started running in meets as a first-grader in Kilgore, Tex.

“I was always the fastest kid in school,” he said. “I used to walk on my tiptoes like a cat. I won over 100 ribbons in grammar school and they were all blue.”

Johnson lost only one race this season in the high hurdles, losing to Dana Hall of Ganesha in the Southern Section’s 3-A division meet. But he came back to beat Hall in both the Masters meet and the State meet.

“I thought I had an excellent season,” he said. “Last year, I think I ran faster. But this year, I got the gold.”

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