• 45°

All-county boys track & field: Salisbury’s Johnson leads the way

All-County: The best in boys track and field

JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST … The 2019 All-Rowan County Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year is Salisbury’s Tyrone Johnson.

Second in a series on the seven All-Rowan County teams for the spring.

By David Shaw

sports@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Speedster Tyrone Johnson didn’t write the book on sprinting, but his name shows up on a lot of pages.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear the recent Salisbury graduate indicate he’ll try to walk on as a long jumper for St. Augustine’s in the coming months.

“Nobody really likes running,” said Johnson, the Rowan County Track & Field Athlete of the Year. “But it’s something I’ve gotten good at. Once you get good at something, you want to do it better and see how far you can take it.”

Johnson took running and long jumping pretty far this spring. He prevailed in both events in the April 17 county meet at East Rowan, winning the 200 meters in 22.25 seconds and the long jump with a rather ordinary leap of 21 feet, 2 inches. He also placed second in the 100 (11.19) and the triple jump (43-10), accumulating 36 team points for the Hornets.

“I was undefeated in the long jump and 200 all the way until the regionals,” Johnson said with that coltish smile of his. “No one could beat me. When you have speed, you have choices.”

He went on to qualify for the state meet at North Carolina A&T, where he placed third in the long jump (21-9) and drew interest from college recruiters. He chose St. Aug’s in Raleigh, a powerhouse Division II program that finished third in last month’s national championship meet in Texas.

“It’s a good environment with a great coaching staff,” said Johnson. “It’s in a city and I’ll be around a lot of people who support me and want me to succeed. But at this point, I’m just trying to walk on. Nothing is for sure.”

As a prep performer, Johnson was always in motion. He was an all-county and all-conference selection and named MVP of the Central Carolina Conference championship meet. Johnson also played wide receiver for Salisbury’s 2A state playoff football team last fall.

“Tyrone is just a special track athlete,” said SHS assistant coach Bryan Withers. “He may be a bit undersized for a lot of the events he participated in. He’s not your proto-type long jumper, triple jumper, 200 guy. But he makes up for that with natural talent and hard work.”

At 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, Johnson is small enough to jockey a quarter horse — and fast enough to challenge one. He realizes that if you’re any good at all, you can always be better.

“I was always fast,” he said. “My older brothers ran track, so I’d go to their meets and race them, just for fun. As I got older, I got better. I became third in the state.”

His future, Johnson insists, begins not at the starting line of a heated sprint, but in the long jump blocks.

“I’m trying to push myself, to see how far I can go,” he said. “I enjoy a challenge. If there’s not a challenge, I want to be pushed so I can get better.”

He’ll get that challenge if he makes the St. Aug’s team.

“He’s already overcome a lot of obstacles,” said Withers. “All the people who look at him and doubt him, that doesn’t matter to him. He’s got strong legs, works hard and the speed really helps. When he’s on the board, he just flies. Your mouth just drops. He’s a pleasure to watch.”

Johnson hopes he can continue to impress his circle of family, friends and long jump enthusiasts.

“Everybody I surround myself with wants me to do better,” he pointed out. “They want me to make good choices, get out of Salisbury and make something of myself.”

He’s off to a good start, but for him it’s always about the finish.

“I know,” he said. “It’s mind over matter.”

•••

THE SALISBURY POST’S ALL-ROWAN COUNTY BOYS TRACK & FIELD TEAM:

Carson — William Fuller, Ricky Musselwhite, Hunter Courtney, Christian Turner, Jaxon Wheeler, Teolyn Woodruff, Utah Brown, Zac Barbee.

East — Sam Wall, Jacob Downing, Christian Bennett, Vincent Jones, Caleb Jarvis, Jax Fitz, Cooper Wright.

North — Nautica Patterson, Adrian Rudisell.

Salisbury — Tyrone Johnson.

South — Noah Julian, Ari Moya, Nolan Miller, Trent Rivers, Brenden Finger, Terrence Fullard.

West — Jeriah Ford, Abu Dolley, Kayleb Brawley, Jeffery Steele, Elijah Graham, Jalen Houston, Thomas Waldo, Damien Phillippe.

Track & Field Athlete of the Year — Tyrone Johnson, Salisbury.

Coach of the Year  Ralph Ellis, West.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras