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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Johnson vaults to school record in back-to-back weeks

    It seems senior track star Lacey Johnson is reaching new heights every week.
    On Jan. 28 in Baton Rouge, La., at the Bayou Bengal Invitational, Johnson cleared a school record 11-3 1/2 in the pole vault, shattering the old mark of 10-6.
    But “old” is poor word choice, considering that Johnson only set that record the previous week at the Clemson Invitational.
    That’s right. In the span of seven days, Johnson has broken the school record in the pole vault twice in the first two meets of the season.
    “It’s a really good feeling,” Johnson said. “I’m surprised to be doing as well as I am this early in the season.”
    Johnson’s accomplishments, however, are not unexpected of those who followed her high school career, where she enjoyed success as a three-time all-state pole vaulter for Port St. Joe (Fla.) High School. Her school-record 10-6 mark, set in 2001, still stands.
    Even with her high school accolades, Johnson has come a long way in the past four years. Despite setting a former school record of 10-2 in 2002, Johnson felt a lack of improvement.
    “My first three years were a bit discouraging,” Johnson said. “It took awhile to get used to the training. I didn’t improve too much.”
    The training involves jump exercises, along with plenty of accelerated development and weight-lifting, several times per week.
    “It’s a pretty intense workout,” Johnson said.
    Mississippi State head track and field coach Al Schmidt expressed his appreciation for Johnson’s accomplishments.
    “She’s done a good job,” Schmidt said. “She has a ways to go as far as what she wants to accomplish, but this is a good start. She’s on her way to achieving things that can help this team.”
    As for her goals this season, Johnson aims to score at conference, placing in the top eight in the SEC for her event.
    She estimates that she’ll have to best her school record by six inches or more in order to place.
    “I’m doing well against myself,” Johnson said, “but I need to come up (to 11-9 or 12-0) to score in the SEC.
    “My goal is to stay focused and keep working hard. It’s paid off this season. You learn a lot about yourself when you stay dedicated and continue to work hard. I just have to continue getting better.”
    For Johnson, the sky is the limit.

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    Johnson vaults to school record in back-to-back weeks