WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA--Alysia Johnson was a star for Hillside as a freshman. She earned two runner-up finishes outdoors in the 200m and 400m and earned PRs of 23.98 and 53.86 over the summer season with Bull City Express. Indoors she placed 3rd in both the 55m Dash and 300m Dash running 7.16 and 40.01 at the 4A State Championships.
Heading into her sophomore season Johnson was the top returner in most of her events. She looked to be the favorite for the 3A 300m and 500m heading into the state meet with seasons best of 39.33 and 1:17.22.
The week before indoor states she pulled her hamstring causing her to miss racing on the big stage at the end of the indoor season.
After some time off and a handful of races under her belt working her way back into top form, she pulls her hamstring again in the 200m at the Durham County Championships. This would end her sophomore season where she certainly had huge expectations for herself.
As an athlete having to miss significant time due to injuries is incredibly frustrating, especially watching your team having a lot of success.
Johnson believed in herself that after ample time off and a lot of patience she would be back and better than ever. She raced a handful of times this season running at four meets coming in with PRs of 39.92, 56.72 and 1:17.81.
She hadn't doubled individually this season, and leading up to the meet decided with her coaches that she'd be going for the double as well as the 4x400m at states.
First up was the 500m where she came in as the second seed to Alyssa Hernandez (Northern Guilford) who had run 1:15.91 this season. That certainly didn't phase Johnson as she went out hard putting some distance on Hernandez early on. It looked like she was going to run away with things from the gun.
Through the 300m she had distance on Hernandez and the gap was closing. Johnson was able to hold on through the line and Hernandez was not able to make up the ground. Her time of 1:14.05 was good for a new 3A State Meet Record, NC#2, US#3 and NC#6 All-Time Indoor Performance.
Hernandez would run a PR of 1:14.30, but was DQed in the event.
Johnson had to bounce back quickly for the 300m where she was the top seed, but had Alexis Patterson (Parkland) right on her heels.
Similar to the 500m Johnson went out hard from lane 6 and would not be challenged throughout the race. She clocked a new PR of 39.32 good for US#14 also breaking the 3A State Meet record.
She would go on to anchor her Hillside teammates to her third 3A State Meet record of the day in 4:00.08, good for NC#1, US#21 on the year.
Hillside girls after their 4:00.08 4x400m
It's been a tough road back for the Hillside standout. But over the last year she believed in herself and knew she was a fighter and would continue to crush it on the track once she was healthy.
We're happy to have you back, Alysia.