Athlete Feature: Pinkerton’s Britney Johnson

Name: Britney Johnson

Events: 800m, 1600m for outdoor

PR’s: 800m- 2:18, 1600m: 5:02

When did you start competing in track and field ?

I started running track when I was in fourth grade and the Greater Derry Track Club Fun Runs. I competed in a one mile cross country loop once every week during the summer at this event.

What is your favorite track and field event? What are your personal bests?

My favorite track and field event would have to be either the 1600m or the 2000m steeplechase. My best time in the 1600m is a 5:02 and my best time for the 2000m steeplechase is 7:03.

What is your favorite competition memory?

My favorite memory from competition would probably be at last year’s outdoor championship. I was the leading leg in the 4×400 and after I had finished I just got to watch the rest of my teammates run. I remember screaming and yelling for them and we ended up winning that 4×400. The joy that we felt in that moment was unreal because even though our team was second place overall in the meet, that night we all felt like winners anyway!  Everyone gave 100% and it was just a really happy memory that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

If you could do any event in track and field, which one would it be and why?

If I could do any event, I would want to try the heptathlon as a whole. I would want to try this because it is a compilation of so many events that I have never been able to compete in throughout my high school career. Also because I have never done one before and I love trying new things especially when it comes to track.

Describe your favorite workout:

Favorite workout? Who has those? Just kidding :). My favorite workout would have to be fast 400m repeats. I love this workout because I like the fast pace.  I love feeling my legs turn over, but I also love how fatigued your body gets during the process. This workout is one of the ones you have to grind out because of how tired you feel when you still have 2 or 3 intervals left. These kinds of workouts take toughness and I love pushing myself to see what I can accomplish.

How does your coach motivate you?

I have worked with Coach Karthas since the sixth grade for a total of seven years now including summer training for Junior Olympics and regular training in the off seasons. Karthas just knows exactly the kind of runner I am and he is always pushing me to be better and work harder. I trust him with everything and he is always looking out for me on the track and in my life. I would not be the person I am today without him being such an influential person in my life. Honestly, he’s like family and I don’t know what I would do without his snarky comments or constant support throughout these past seven years.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to the Salt Flats in Bolivia. This is where the ground looks like glass and the sky with all of the clouds in it. The mountains are perfectly reflected upon the ground. It is so beautiful and I would love to go there to take pictures and try to find the line where the sky and the earth separate.

What is your go to pre-meet meal?

The night before is always pasta, but during the day before the meet I stick to my trusted saltine crackers and occasionally a clementine.

Do you have a favorite pre race song?

The one song that will always get me pumped up no matter what is a remix of the song “OG Bobby Johnson” by Que. One time before a workout Coach Karthas told us to watch a training montage of Tyson Gay running to show us what really good form looks like and the remix in it is amazing.

What motivates you to do well?

Track in itself, is motivating for me. Simply because I love the sport so much, I work extremely hard to get the times I want and achieve the goals that I set for myself. Everything about track helps me in my regular life.  It can calm me down, pump me up, and make me happy all in one and since running makes my life so much better overall, I am motivated to be the best runner I can be. What also motivates me to do well is the fact that I run for my team. I represent Pinkerton Academy every time I step on the line and I represent my girls on the team. When it comes time for states, I do it for my team and our coaches.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

If I knew I could not fail I would continue to set goals for myself and achieve them.  Honestly, running for a career sounds like the best job in the world, so if I knew I wouldn’t fail I would love to go to the Olympics someday.

What is the best advice or quote ever given to you?

The best quote I have ever heard is “Deserve nothing, earn everything.” This quote was said to me by an old soccer coach years ago and I never forgot it. Success isn’t something you deserve or something you receive. Success comes from within and it is something you have to earn by pushing yourself and never giving up.

If you go to college, do you plan to compete in track and field? And where?

I am already committed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to run track and field and cross country! Go Blazers!

What is your favorite thing about track and field?

My favorite part about track and field are the memories with friends that you make while doing and competing in something you love. I love remembering the early Saturday morning workouts and the team dinners because by doing track, I am surrounded by some of the best people out there who care and are passionate about the same things I am passionate about.

What is your favorite track facility?

The track at University of Pennsylvania that we ran on for Penn Relays is amazing.  It is super bouncy and a really nice stadium.