AJ Traub: You set a pair of personal bests against Lehigh. What went well for you that day that led to your strong performance?
Justin Johnson: The wind was definitely on my side. That was definitely a big factor. The level of confidence we had as a team going into the meet and the determination based on the fact that it was Lehigh we were competing against. Obviously, we always want to win, but the fact that it’s Lehigh makes you want to win even more, so I wanted to score as many points as possible for the team.
AT: You were a first place finisher in four events in the standout performance. Besides the victories, what did you take away from the meet?
JJ: It’s a lot of fun to compete as a team. A lot of people look at track and field as an individual sport, but looking at the rivalry you have to compete as an entire team and support and believe in each other.
AT: How has your performance so far this year compared to your expectations?
JJ: I never ran. This is my first outdoor season of track and field ever, so I didn’t really know where to set the bar. So far after that meet, I’ve been able to tell how I can grow as a track and field athlete and that with the hard work necessary, I can do some pretty good things.
AT: Has playing crew, soccer and rugby in high school along with track and field helped you excel in track and field here in college?
JJ: At a young age, rowing was some of the best conditioning I had. For soccer and rugby, I was still able to train and get proper conditioning. Especially at the time in high school, it was just for fun because my friends played those sports and they have more of the traditional team feeling. Running track is very strenuous on your body. Since I have not run track that much, I will have more time to get stronger and hopefully avoid injuries throughout my college career.
AT: How do the relationships between athletes and coaches inspire individual performances?
JJ: They play a big role. Especially on this team. I really like my coach and we really have our fun, but you when it’s time to be serious. Especially at a point now, where I’m getting better, I can see progress from what he tells me to do.
AT: What is your favorite part of a day when you have a meet?
JJ: When it’s over, but throughout the day, hanging out with teammates is definitely fun.
AT: What is your proudest moment in sports so far?
JJ: In high school, I medaled in states in track, rugby and rowing.
AT: How did you start playing four sports?
JJ: I’ve always been one to try as many things as I can. Having friends in a bunch of different sports, I moved slowly towards finding my calling.
AT: Who is your favorite athlete?
JJ: Marshawn Lynch.
AT: What is your favorite food?
JJ: Fried clam strips.
AT: What is something we don’t know about you?
JJ: My teammate Dan Hogan and I want to start a book club.