"Despite qualifying only seventh for the finals at last year’s state meet in La Crosse, L.O. Johnson stunned the crowd to win the 100 in 10.99 seconds, beating top qualifier Dwayne Ford of Racine Park, who finished in 11.07.
The rise to the top of the podium was a few years in the making for L.O. Johnson, who is the son of two former University of Wisconsin sprinters, Vernetta and Lawrence Johnson. Lawrence also played for the Badgers football team from 1975 to 1979 and in the NFL for eight seasons, retiring in 1987.
In 2015, Johnson became a rare freshman qualifier for the Division 1 100 finals, finishing fourth in :11.14. He followed that up with another fourth-place finish as a sophomore, lowering his time to :11.11.