Walt Johnson: Why North Alabama?


Walt JohnsonOxford High

What is your GPA and ACT score?

4.19 (as of last year) and 30 ACT

Describe why you choose the college you are going to attend and what you liked about the college.

I am choosing to attend the University of North Alabama (UNA). I am choosing this college because I have always wanted to run for an NCAA Division I school, my mom went there for college, and I really enjoy the campus and team.

What do you plan on majoring in at college?

Exercise Science / Kinesiology or Pre-Physical Therapy

Is there any other athlete that might have helped influenced you choosing that college? There was not an athlete that influenced me going to that particular college, however, some athletes have encouraged me to run in college.

Name a lesson that running and training as a runner has taught you.

Running has definitely taught me perseverance and patience. Without the right mindset, you will never succeed in running. Running is 90% mental.

Do you plan to continue competing in college? Yes

Did you sign to run track in college? If so was it a full or partial scholarship?

Yes. My academics was about half the scholarship and the other half was covered with running. Overall, I received a full scholarship.

What are you most looking forward to about your future career as an athlete in College? I am looking forward to getting to train with teammates who are equal or better than me.

Also, I am looking forward to competing in the next level and making new relationships with the athletes on the team.

What is your favorite workout your Coach has you do? My favorite workout is probably Mile Repeats.

What is your least favorite workout?

My least favorite workout is probably 200s or 100s because I am not a sprinter and I do not like to sprint ever.

What events do you think they'll have you run in track as a freshman?

UNA only competes in cross country (even though some runners will be allowed to enter individually into track meets) so I will run the 8K. If I am entered in a track event, I will probably run the 10K.

What motivates you to run?

My family, friends, and other supporters definitely push me to continue running. Also, I am extremely competitive and want to be the best in everything that I am passionate about.

What do you think about when you're running?

I usually try to relax my mind, but I like to think about my breathing patterns. Also, usually, I end up thinking about random things or singing random songs in my head.

Do you have any superstitions on race day or perhaps an odd pre-race routine?

I have worn the same neon green/yellow compression underwear since my first cross country race my 7th grade year.

Do you take ice baths? If yes, what do you think about during an ice bath?

I started taking ice baths the day before every meet this year. I think it helps a lot.  Usually, I take one with a friend, so I don't think about much, but rather talk to my friend.

Do you have a rival runner?

I have a couple of friendly rivals, but we are in different high school divisions, so I never actually get to race my rivals.

What do you do to recover after a race?

I try to cool down after a race. I used to take a break the day after a race, but this year I started to go on a nice, slow long run to recover and still get mileage in.

How do you intend to balance academics and athletics in college?

I need to work on efficiency and procrastination for sure. I will try to go to bed early in college so that I will be rested for morning practice every morning. I will try to get my schoolwork done during the day.

What is the strangest thing you've seen during a race? I saw a snake once while I was running.

Who is your biggest fan?

My grandfather is probably my biggest fan, and he is a big encouragement for me to continue running in college.

What advice would you like to share with younger runners just starting out their high school careers?

My best advice would be that if you truly enjoy running, then work really hard at it and your hard work will pay off. But, if you no longer enjoy it, don't allow it to consume your life and stress you out. You need to enjoy running if you are going to continue doing it after high school.

Is there anything else you want to share with the MileSplit Community?

To younger runners: Don't allow anyone to tell you that you can't do something. If you work hard enough, you will accomplish the goals that you set for yourself eventually.