GIRLS TRACK

South Central's Johnson excels in track and field despite hectic schedule

2013-04-15T17:00:00Z 2013-05-13T15:41:05Z South Central's Johnson excels in track and field despite hectic scheduleJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
April 15, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

It's not easy being Taylor Johnson.

Competing in four sports while maintaining straight As and participating in several school clubs makes a day in the life of the South Central junior worthy of a 5-hour Energy commercial.

"I do love to be active," Johnson said. "I've got a lot of (sports) patches, I don't know where I'm going to put all of them. I try to balance it all. If it's late when I get home and I have to do homework, I try not to think about how tired I'm going to be in the morning."

The spring is especially hectic for Johnson, who is involved in both track and softball. A regional qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump, she realizes her track success would be enhanced by focusing solely on the sport, but the thought of not playing softball isn't even a consideration.

"I really enjoy both," Johnson said. "My favorite actually changes every season. I've played softball all my life. It would be a really tough decision. I don't know what I'd do."

Track didn't enter the sports equation for Johnson until middle school. She started hurdling and long jumping right off the bat and has developed in both with little specific training. She won both events in the Porter County Conference meet last spring and holds the school record in the 100 hurdles.

"She's a natural in about anything she does," track coach Rachel Werner said. "She does four sports and she's good in all of them."

When there is an overlap, Johnson defers to PCC events. If that doesn't apply, she decides based on which team needs her more that day.

"If I happen to miss a couple softball games, I try to even it out," she said. "The coaches are really nice about it. If I have a softball game, Rachel will always ask how it went."

At a Class A school like South Central, athletes, especially ones like Johnson, are at a premium, so coaches understand the necessity of sharing talent. One day last week, with home contests scheduled in both sports, Johnson was going to try to do a little of both, but the weather got in the way.

"She could definitely handle it," Werner said. "She's willing to do what she needs to do to help either team. She's a workhorse. I wish I had a copy machine to make 21 of her. She's a coach's dream."

Werner has known Johnson since she was 5 or 6. Her daughter, Kyleigh, S.C.'s distance star, is four days apart in age from Johnson and has played sports with her for a decade. When Kyleigh qualified for state last spring, Johnson was among the girls who made the trip to Bloomington to watch the meet.

"As we were leaving, she came up to me and said, 'I'm going to be here next year,'" Coach Werner said. "She's got a lot of determination. She's a hard-working, self-motivated kid."

Johnson credits that to her parents, Dave and Julie, both former Satellites athletes. She hopes the experience of watching the finals will serve her well.

"It made me really excited for this season," she said. "The season was over and I was ready to start the next season. If (I make it to state), it will be a heads up for what it will be like."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News