Senior scores high at indoor meet, working for success this spring
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By Cam Francis ‘17 | Staff Writer
South’s Kayli Johnson ’16 placed second in the women’s shot put at the Michigan Indoor Track Series (MITS) State Meet at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.
The shot put was Johnson’s only event, finishing with a throw of 45 feet, girls track and field coach Stephen Zaranek said.
“This (second place finish) is coming off of last year’s first place finish,” Zaranek said.
The inability to repeat as champion was a bit disappointing, but justifiable, Johnson said.
“I had kind of a rocky indoor season,” Johnson said. “I wanted to get first, but I was happy with it.”
Zaranek believes Johnson’s indoor success will carry over into the outdoor season.
“Kayli has been training very hard year round,” Zaranek said. “I know she’d love to be the state outdoor champion.”
Zaranek also added that Johnson’s contributions to the team aren’t limited to just the shot put.
“Kayli is also an excellent sprinter,” Zaranek said. “For the last few years she’s given us a lot of added depth by being not just an outstanding thrower, but also an outstanding sprinter.”
Johnson’s efforts have earned her school records, all-state honors, and even a scholarship.
“(Kayli) has a scholarship in the throwing events to Michigan State,” Zaranek said. “She’s very interested in pursuing the throwing events at the collegiate level.”
Both Johnson and Zaranek have high expectations for the upcoming outdoor season.
“The competition is a little bit more intense in the outdoor season,” Zaranek said. “We are hopeful that she has that opportunity. We’re going to train as hard as we can to get her ready for the state meet, not just in the shot (put), but in the discus throwing and also in our sprints.”
Johnson is eager and ambitious.
“I want to hit 50 feet in the shot put,” Johnson said. “I want to win.”