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01s5malcom-2 Malcolm Johnson wins the 100-meter dash in a meet-record time of 10.71 at the Eastwood Relays. The senior owns Southview records in the 100 (10.67) and 200 (21.7). He was sixth at state in both events last year.
Malcolm Johnson wins the 100-meter dash in a meet-record time of 10.71 at the Eastwood Relays. The senior owns Southview records in the 100 (10.67) and 200 (21.7). He was sixth at state in both events last year. Enlarge
Published: Thursday, 5/1/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

Southview's Johnson quick on his feet and in classroom

Harvard-bound Southview senior carries4.3 grade-point average; eyes state sprint titles

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Indoors or out, Malcolm Johnson is fast.

The Southview senior hasn't lost a race this spring.

And if his record-setting exploits during the winter indoor track season are an indication of what's ahead, Johnson could be headed toward a state championship ... or two.

"My goal is to run as fast as I can at the end of the season and win state in the 100 and 200," Johnson said.

Malcolm Johnson Malcolm Johnson
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He already owned the school records for the 100 meters (10.67) and 200 (21.7) entering this season.

Johnson won a state indoor title in the 60-meter dash with a meet-record time of 6.76 seconds in January, breaking the mark of 6.82 set by Solon's Khoury Crenshaw in 2013. (The Ohio indoor season is not sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, but by the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches.)

Winning the indoor state title has provided Johnson with even more momentum this spring.

"I think I gained a lot because I was allowed to see more of the better competition around the state and I pretty much know what I have to worry about at the state level," said Johnson, who last week posted an Eastwood Relays record time of 10.71 in the 100.

"Granted, yes, people might pop out that didn't run indoor track, but I have a pretty good sense of who is out there in the state and I think that is beneficial," he said.

A Division I state finalist in both sprint events as a junior, Johnson is aiming to improve upon finishing sixth in the 100 (10.96) and 200 (22.06).

Johnson gave up football in his senior season to get stronger for track. He broke his arm during the second game of the 2012 season.

Johnson worked with a personal trainer, spent time in the weight room, and worked on his running form. He did whatever he thought necessary to make himself the best sprinter he could possibly be this spring.

Southview boys track coach Lee Boyer believes his top sprinter has put himself in position to end his high school career on top.

"He's the kind of kid that is determined and will outwork the competition," Boyer said. "The goal is to be a state champion in the 100. It's our goal that he gets to Columbus in the 100, 200, and a couple of relays. It's all definitely within his reach."

The Northern Lakes League's three-time 100 and 200 champion also entered this season without concerns about his college plans after signing a national letter of intent to attend Harvard.

Johnson, who plans to study economics, passed on offers from Michigan, Ohio State and UCLA for the chance to study and compete at the Ivy League institution known more for its academic excellence than producing world-class athletes.

It was clear to him that Harvard was his top choice after visiting Michigan, Brown and Harvard earlier this school year. He felt at home on the campus located in Cambridge, Mass.

"I just really love the people there," Johnson said. "They were really good people, great personalities, and I really enjoyed the campus. I loved the building structures and everything. I just really fell in love with the campus."

Johnson, who has a 4.3 grade-point average ranks among the top 15 of his class.

"It says a lot about Malcolm," Boyer said. "You look at his grade-point average. You look at his resume academically, plus his resume athletically and you realize you're dealing with a special kid.

"Most kids when the Michigans are calling and some of these bigger schools are calling, they would perk up right away. With Malcolm, Harvard has been a goal of his and he achieved that goal."

Winning an outdoor state individual title is the goal this spring. Helping Harvard raise the stature of its track program is a goal he plans to begin working later.

"Most people don't think about their track program, but it is on the up and up," Johnson said. "Hopefully in the future when I get there, maybe in my later years, we can have a relay that can make nationals. We're definitely on the up and up. We have a great recruiting class."

It's a class that at least has one recruit that fits the bill.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.



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