Patrick Henry’s Johnson is rolling at regionals

PATRICK HENRY’S DONNY JOHNSON, middle, is full go during Wednesday’s boys 100-meter dash semifinals at the Division III regional track meet at Tiffin. Johnson, beset by injuries the last two years, is healthy and rolling. He has qualified for today’s finals in the 100 and 200 as well as in a pair of Patriot relays. (Photo by Jamie Baker)

By TED RADICK
Staff Writer
Patrick Henry sprinter Donny Johnson lit up the track Wednesday during the first day of competition at the Division III regional track and field meet at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
It brought a big sigh of relief from the Patriot senior.
Johnson, who qualified for today’s finals in four events, has had an injury-plagued career. He missed the regional meet in both his sophomore and junior years with hamstring injuries.
“This year, I’m just going strong,” Johnson said.
Today’s final day of the meet begins at 5 p.m. with field events. Running finals begin at 6 p.m. The top four finishers in each event advance to next week’s OHSAA championships at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Johnson started his day Wednesday by finishing second in his heat to Cory-Rawson’s Mason Warnimont in the 100-meter dash. He qualified to tonight’s final with the fourth-fastest time in 11.22 seconds.
Johnson anchored PH’s 400 relay to a victory in its heat in 44.29. Johnson, Mitchell Bonner, Sean Norden and Alex VanDeBussche ran the second-best qualifying time behind Eastwood (43.68).
Johnson won his heat in the 200 in 22.79, and qualified second behind defending state champion Warnimont (22.65). He capped his day with a bang, joining Bonner, Norden and Xavier Wensink by winning heat 2 in the 1,600 relay with the fastest qualifying time of 3:28.56.
Johnson was especially pleased about the Patrick Henry relays getting through to the finals.
“It’s not just me,” he said. “It’s every step of the race, from the first to the last. I love that my guys are getting a lead and giving me an…

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