(Johnson City, TN) Throughout her career, Stephanie Johnston (JR/Brantford, ON) has proven her ability to consistently shed time off her personal records. Saturday was no different for the junior who, in the biggest race of the year, took another 20 seconds off her 5k to finish second in the NAIA Indoor National Championship.
The Brantford, Ontario native came out of the gates quick and led for much of the race. In the end, she crossed the line at 17:14.96, behind only Ellie Willging of St. Xavier (17:01.94). Next among Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference participants was Aquinas' Kathy Middaugh in fourth place with a 17:26.61 time.
The second place finish comes with All-American honors for Johnston. This was the second consecutive year she earned the status in the indoor 5k and her third time overall (Cross Country, 2016).
Johnston entered the events seeded with an 18:04 5k run back in January at the Private College Invite, but made quick work on Thursday in the prelims finishing in 17:35. The race won her heat and was the second fastest overall going into the finals.
"Thank you to everyone who has ever helped me along my running journey," Johnston humbly commented after the race. "I wouldn't be where I am without my amazing coaches and teammates who push me every day. I also need to thank my parents who support me in everything I do as I work to accomplish my dreams!"
The All-American and her team now look toward the rapidly approaching outdoor season. They officially get things started at the Indiana Wesleyan "Polar Bear" Classic Invite on March 25 in Marion, Indiana.