Former Stivers High School flash Tyler Johnson concluded a spectacular debut with the Ohio State University men’s track and field team at the recent NCAA Division I outdoor national championships at Austin, Texas.
The redshirt sophomore transferred to OSU from Eastern Michigan and became eligible to run for the Buckeyes in January. Johnson failed to advance to the finals of the 400 meters despite burning a personal-best 45.70 in the prelims. That was good for 12th overall. He also ran on OSU’s 1,600 relay that was 11th (3:06.59).
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Johnson ran a wind-aided 20.77 in the 200 in April and was a regular on the Buckeyes’ 400 relay that posted a season-best 39.16.
As a senior at Stivers in 2016, Johnson missed out on a rare state sprint sweep by just .01. That’s how much he trailed in the D-II 100 to place second (10.78). He followed by setting an all-time D-II state record in the 400 (46.57) that still stands and ended his Tigers’ career by winning the 200 (21.55).
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Johnson ranks among the best all-time sprinters the area has produced. In comparison, the great Chris Nelloms of Dunbar set an all-time Ohio best of 45.59 in the D-I 400 as a senior in 1990. Andrew Pierce of Yellow Springs still holds the D-III state 400 record (47.36) he set in 1997. That makes it a sweep by area sprinters for Ohio’s all-time boys 400 bests.
Johnson was joined at the NCAA national championships by OSU teammate Abby Nichols, a sophomore and Alter grad. She placed 17th in the women’s 5,000 (16:37.45).
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Xenia grad and Indiana senior Daniel Michalski was leading the men’s 3,000 steeplechase during the final lap of the national championship, but was overtaken after a spill in the water pit. He recovered to finish seventh (8:43.48).
Michalski was a multiple cross country and track record-setter at Cedarville University and concluded his collegiate career at IU as a graduate transfer.
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Another area product, Wayne grad and Akron senior Jordan Latimer, concluded his outstanding Zips career by placing eighth in the long jump (25-8.25) at the NCAA national championships. Christian Champen, a Northmont grad and junior at Kent State, tied for 15th in the pole vault (17 feet, 6.50 inches).
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