Salute to Seniors: Lonnell Johnson

Before the class of 2020 makes their final farewells to high school cross country and track and field, we want to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time! FLRunners invites all seniors to tell their stories from the past four years.

Today we salute Fort Lauderdale senior, Lonnell Johnson

    What was your most memorable moment race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

      My most memorable jump was when I jumped my first personal jump in the triple jump event. It was my first ever year for jumping and I did not think I would be such a high competitor in it lol. I made this jump at districts during my junior year with a 13.06 and then I went to turn it around with another pr which was a 13.13. It was the first time I felt my hard work payed off and a moment I will never forget.

        Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

        In the span of four years I've had many competitors who I have admired and look up to but I also had the mindset to surpass them. Although it may not seem common, my biggest competition was my former teammate Sukiel Foucha who was my former teammate. We both ran for Piper High School and at the time I didn't know who he actually was because I was just coming back to track during my sophomore year but once I saw the man ran at the first meet, I knew he was going to be someone I have to I have to face multiple times. The man is just a different breed from the others, he doesn't like to lose he would give it his all until the very end. He was the reason my mentality changed so sudden and I thank him for that truly he made me the high competitor on who I am today.

          Who would you consider your biggest role model over your four years competing?

            The man who I've looked up to and still to this day is Malik Beaufort, He was a former track and field athlete at Piper High school and he taught me everything he knew from running to real life lessons for the adult world. I can even say he made me more better in track due to me always watching clips of him and learning from his mistakes so I can better myself. I'm happy to be apart of his journey and life.

              What was your greatest accomplishment?

                Winning a state Medal is the greatest I can ever be awarded for me. I've been trying years to get to that stage and I finally did and I'm grateful for it. At the end of the day my goal was to be like my brother from another mother, Malik Beaufort and get a state medal which I did for the 4x8 and now I can say I brought home at least one of those medals.

                  If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?

                  If I could do it all over again, I would have started jumping from the start to have way more experience for the future.

                    What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?

                    It may sound kind of weird but my most difficult obstacle was I calculated too much when running. If a coach tells me the workout, I would not give it my all. Instead, I would have a strategy to do this and that and wait until the last minute to start doing some damage. I've had that problem for years and I finally overcame it by finding my old self again where the Lonnell who never use to think so much while running, the Lonnell who just runs with a clear mind and knows what to do when and how. Believe me if it didn't happen then I would not have been on a team during my junior year due to coaches frustration with my performance. I broke out of that state during the last day of try outs when it was a go big or go home situation. The coaches told me upfront that if I don't do something on tryouts then I'm getting cut and that's when my mindset changed and I started to wake up. It was a blessing for me to turn my career around from "verge of getting cut" to " state qualifier".

                      What will you miss the most?

                        I know I'm going to miss certain people who made me into the man I am today. Most of my friends look up to me as a success and I will miss them for it. But more importantly I will miss my teachers.

                          What advice would you give to younger athletes?

                          Do not let anyone shrink your confidence in any kind of situation. Anything is possible, it's just whether or not if your willing to go countless days of working your muscles off. And more importantly, do not take any opportunities given to you for granted. Covid-19 took away my senior year but that's the past but you still have a chance to do something great out there, so why stop now?

                            What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

                            I have had multiples coaches but what I can say is each of them taught me something that made me a better person and athlete I am today.

                              What are your post-high school or college plans?

                              After high school I plan on running summertrack if there is. After that I will be going off to college to major in computer science to become an IT. There is no doubt that I will be running in college also.

                                Who would you like to say thank you to?

                                I would like to say thank you God for blessing me with gifts and giving me the chance to evolve on each of them and become better. But more than importantly I would like to say thank you to Joshua Fulton my High School track and field coach. You saw something in me and gave me dreams that I can accomplish if I'm willing to put the work and dedication into it. Man you are one funny and cool person to hangout with. This is not a goodbye we will be in touch but you sir deserve all the blesses that are coming to you. He is the hero we need but don't deserve.

                                  Is there anything else you'd like to add?

                                    I've been quiet lately for a reason and just doing my thing in the shadows but I can assure you that this is not the end of my running and I promise you, I will go down as one of the greats to ever touch that track and become a successful man in my IT job. Watch me thrive. This is not the end, this is only the beginning...