Student Athlete Spotlight: Alexis Gray and Alexis Johnson

The women’s track & field team has seen two Tigers ranked in the top five nationally. Alexis Gray (’20) is currently second in the Women’s 800-meter indoor rankings with a time of 2:12.69 and Alexis Johnson (’21) sits in third place on Women’s Indoor Long Jump performance list with a 5.81-meter leap.

Both Gray and Johnson’s performances qualified them for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship in March 2020.  In addition to qualifying for the National Championship, Gray shattered a Wittenberg record in the Women’s Indoor 800-meter.

“I just went out and raced the best I could and just thought about catching the person in front of me the whole time,” said Gray of her record time. In addition to shattering the school record, Gray also smashed her previous personal best time of 2:19.92, set in February of last year.

Gray aims to finish on the Dean’s list, which requires a 3.5 GPA and be an All-American in the 800-meter.

Meanwhile, Johnson has soared in the Women’s Indoor long jump. Johnson’s jump at the Joe Banks Invitational landed her at first in the nation. She has since been knocked down to third place in the weeks since the Feb. 1.

Johnson took care of her back by “cross training allowing [her] to still get hard work in, but not put all the stress on my back.”

Johnson was previously first on the performance list following Wittenberg’s first meet in The Steemer in December, where she jumped for 5.68-meters.

“Going into [the Joe Banks Invitational] I already knew I had business to take care of, so seeing that [mark of] 5.81-meters that day I got to cheer with my teammate more [than] ever before. But the first thing I did was walk back to [the] runway because I knew I could do more,” Johnson said of her performance.

Both Gray and Johnson credited their success to the rest of the track & field team.

“The support of the track team and friends helps me push to run faster because of everyone cheering and telling me I can do it,” said Gray.

“This year I can say that this is the best group of girls, and guys, on this team and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Johnson added. “We always have a huge crowd of people right there to help you get out of that slump and keep going. Or vice versa if we are killing it and being the team that you should be looking out for, I promise you will see a swarm of red making sure everyone around knows what you just did. I wish that everyone has this support that I have because I don’t think I could compete the same without it.”

According to Gray, the girls will be preparing for Track and Field Championships in March by, “doing what anyone else would do, we are going to classes and making sure we are getting it done in the classroom, going to track practice and making sure we are getting it done on the track and weight room.”

Gray and Johnson compete this weekend as the Track & Field team splits between The Steemer Showcase on Saturday.

About Trent Sprague 42 Articles
Trent Sprague is the sports editor and one of The Torch's photojournalists. He is a Communications major with a journalism/photography minor. He has been on staff since August 2018. He is on social media on Instagram: @trentspraguephoto and on Twitter: @tspraguephoto or at his website: www.trentspraguephotography.com

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