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Johnson’s efforts help team win district title

Lashawn Johnson has stepped outside her comfort zone in her senior season as a member of the Halifax County High School girls indoor track team, and in the process she has stepped up to help give her team a Western Valley District title.

Johnson and teammate Taiesha Logan collected valuable points for the Comets while running the 3,200-meter event for the first time Saturday during the district championship meet.

The efforts of Johnson and Logan, along with several others in stepping outside their comfort zones in several events, were crucial to Halifax coming away with the win.

It comes as no surprise that Johnson was ready, willing and able to help her team in any way possible.

“I describe myself as someone who’s always ready to achieve their goals, with high standards, an outgoing person,” said Johnson.

“Track has helped me mature as a person.  When you get to high school and do track, it’s a bigger challenge, you have to push harder and work harder.

“There’s a wider range of people who are working harder and setting goals.

“You always have to have the idea of push and get out of your comfort zone.”

Johnson, a track performer since her days at Halifax County Middle School, had competed in the 4x400 relay, 4x800 relay, 800 and 400 prior to Saturday, but stepped up to run the 3,200 and help her team hold off William Fleming High School.

Coach Mary Douglas noted the efforts of Johnson and her teammates in stepping up during the district meet.

“The thing about competition and teamwork, you do the things you don’t necessarily want to do, but think of the team and do them anyway,” Coach Mary Douglas said after the meet.

“We had some to step up and do events they haven’t done before.”

The focus and concentration involved in sports has helped Johnson in the classroom and beyond.

Johnson, who is planning to major in physical therapy, is involved in several school organizations, including the National Honor Society, Helping Hands and HOSA, and she also is involved in church-related activities outside of school.

Her experiences in track have been fulfilling, she noted.

“When it first started it wasn’t a big thing for me, but when I heard encouraging words I figured maybe it was for me,” said Johnson.

Douglas has been a big influence, both on and off the track, she noted.

“I love that woman, she’s always giving encouraging words and never stops,” said Johnson.

“She’s a very good person, and maybe there are things you’re doing wrong, but she points them out.”

Life lessons she’s learned while competing in track will be something she carries the rest of her life, according to Johnson.

“It’s shown me you always have to set yourself at a higher standard, because if you don’t work hard you’ll always be at the place where you started.”