By: Simone Dunbar (Correspondent)
Jada Johnson, Sharon High School junior and current holder of a total 15 Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field school records, has astounded people across the country with her remarkable athletic prowess.
Johnson started running when she was in seventh grade and has risen to the level of a champion in a short five years. Competing in the pentathlon, long jump, high jump, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, and relays, Johnson impresses the crowds. In dual meets, invitationals, and national competitions she usually places as one of the top three competitors in every event. She trains 6 times a week during the school year, even after the most exhausting of days, to keep herself in impeccable physical shape.
Although ranked seventh best public high school in Massachusetts based on test scores, graduation rates, and other academic statistics, Sharon High School is not known for athletic success.
Johnson says that her coaches are amazing, but if she were to go to a school that prioritized sports more than Sharon, she might do better during competitions. “If I were to go to another school that has a better track and field program, I could be challenged more against my teammates during practice,” Johnson said.
However, Johnson has succeeded while running for Sharon. She won third place in the country for the pentathlon and is now an All American. During this meet, Johnson set the state record for the pentathlon with a total of 3,288 points.
“I don’t think being 3rd in the nation makes other achievements seem small because in track it’s different. Although you get first, your specific times and marks tell it all so I don’t worry about the place I get usually. I look at my times and distances to see if there is an improvement,” Johnson said.
She says that she never thought that people would know her name. “It feels amazing to be known across this country and other countries because I usually don’t think anyone knows who I am,” Johnson said.
In addition to her domination on the track, Johnson says she also performs well academically. “I am a very good student and I like to participate in clubs.”
“I have won multiple scholastic photography gold and silver,” said Johnson. She adds that although she has been awarded regarding her academic performance, her athletic achievements top them.
After high school, Johnson says that she wants to continue running. “I want to go to college to study sports medicine and run track and field at a Division I school,” said Johnson.
“I would one day like to go to the Olympics, and I think that if I focus enough I could make it. However, there are still other people who live in warmer climates that have been running longer than I have and they are able to practice more than I would be able to, due to the climate here,” Johnson said. She says that she has to work very hard to succeed.
Track and Field Coach Tim Cimeno says that Jada gets better every time she competes. “It’s an incredible ride, because Jada grows each time she gets out on the track,” Cimeno said.
Cimeno says he feels immense pride when he witnesses Johnson taking the gold. “I think it’s more of Sharon pride. Jada represents the whole town when she competes,” Cimeno said.
Cimeno says that he enjoys coaching Johnson, and he has a lot of fun when doing it. “She has a great sense of humor. She approaches everything pretty relaxed until it’s time to get down to business,” Cimeno said.
Cimeno says that Jada has the talent and ability to compete at the next level. “She will be a great college track athlete and If she wants to be a professional one day that’s her choice.”
“She definitely has a gift. It’s all up to her. I just want her to compete for as long as she wants, but I am hoping she always enjoys it,” Cimeno said.
Make sure to look out for Jada Johnson in the years to come, as she sprints her way into the spotlight.