Joshua Johnson's time of 21.61 in the 200-meter dash is in the top ten in the NCAA DII national standings. | Courtesy of CPP Athletics

Joshua Johnson sprints to CCAA Track Athlete of the Week honors

By William Jack, March 26, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona sprinter Joshua Johnson was recognized as the California Collegiate Athletic Association Track Athlete of the Week for his conference-leading performance during the week of March 4 to 10.

Johnson’s achievement comes on the heels of his stellar performance at the Ben Brown Invitational, where he showcased his exceptional speed on the track.

Johnson’s standout moment came in the 200-meter race, where he ran a remarkable time of 21.61 seconds. This time not only secured him the top spot in the CCAA this season but also earned him the eighth-best time in the NCAA Division II rankings.

Reflecting on his success, Johnson, a fifth-year senior set to graduate this spring, expressed gratitude for the recognition.

“It’s truly an honor to be selected as the CCAA Track Athlete of the Week,” said Johnson. “I’ve worked hard to excel in both academics and athletics, and it’s rewarding to see that effort recognized.”

Johnson’s journey to success in track and field has been marked by determination and willingness to reinvent himself. Initially drawn to the sport during his middle school years, Johnson acknowledged that it wasn’t until high school that he fully embraced track and field.

Johnson was primarily focused on football during his early years at Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, but after a significant injury rendered him unable to play, Johnson moved to track where he could showcase his speed.

As Johnson’s passion for track grew, so did his dedication to the sport.

“Track became more than just a pastime for me; it became a focus,” Johnson explained. “It not only helped me pay for school but also served as a means of managing stress and staying grounded.”

Throughout his journey, Johnson has looked up to athletes who have inspired him both on and off the track.

“Usain Bolt has always been a role model for me,” said Johnson, “But I also draw inspiration from athletes like Trayvon Bromell, whose Christian faith aligns with my own.”

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Johnson’s path led him to California, where he attended. During his time at Harvard-Westlake, Johnson helped break school records in both the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays.

During this time, that Johnson’s faith journey took a significant turn.

“Growing up in the church, I found myself reconnecting with my faith after joining the football team,” Johnson said. “Being baptized in high school was a pivotal moment for me, providing me with strength and humility in both sports and life.”

Looking ahead, Johnson remains focused on his academic and professional pursuits in electro-mechanical systems.

Johnson aspires to pursue a career in engineering, with dreams of becoming a senior engineer leading a team within a company. While Johnson is open to continue competing in track, his primary focus remains on his studies.

In preparation for upcoming meets, Johnson continues to refine his skills on the track.

Beyond track and academics, Johnson enjoys exploring his interests outside of the track. A self-proclaimed foodie, Johnson delights in cooking and trying new foods. Johnson also finds solace in watching anime including Hunter X Hunter, and Bleach to take a mental break from all the outside noise.

In his free time Johnson loves to work on his car, but as a college athlete finding the time and money to do so can be difficult.

“I’m into cars too,” said Johnson. “So, when I have time, I typically work on my car. I am also looking into building a project car. Whenever I have the funds, I will eventually do that.”

As Joshua Johnson continues to excel both on and off the track, his dedication and passion serve as an inspiration to his teammates and peers. With his sights set on a bright future, Johnson’s is always trying to get better and finding ways to improve.

“I should have run faster that day,” said Johnson, referring to his award-winning performance at the Ben Brown Invitational. “But my mind just wasn’t where it needed to be, I should have focused more on driving out and executing my form rather than just trying to beat the competition. So, I think this week at our meet in San Diego, I should be able to prove them upon that.”

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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