Clintonville’s Allison Johnson signed her national letter of intent to attend Winona State University on Tuesday, Nov. 18. She has been awarded a partial scholarship to run track and cross country for the NCAA Division II school located in southeastern Minnesota, and has also earned a partial academic scholarship.
Johnson said she had been considering the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) and the University of Minnesota before choosing to attend Winona State University.
“I would have been a walk-on at the University of Minnesota, and UWSP is a Division 3 school that is pretty close to home,” she said. “So, I decided on Winona State because I could get a scholarship there and would be able to compete in Division 2.”
Before she goes off to college, she is looking forward to completing her high school track and field career this spring. Johnson qualified for State in cross country this fall and is hoping to make State in multiple track and field events this spring.
“I want to make State in the high jump this year and defend my State Title in the 800-meter run,” said Johnson, who topped all other Division 2 runners at State last year with a time of 2:16.41 in the 800-meter run.
Once her college career begins, she hopes to continue to run the 800-meter event.
“My goal is to earn All-American honors while competing in the 800-meter run,” she said. “We will see what else my coaches have in mind once I get to Winona State.”
Johnson said she is looking forward to meeting new athletes and taking on new workouts in college while seeing what else the school has to offer. Though she is excited about the future, she credits the new opportunity to the support she has received from family, friends, teammates and coaches.
“I’ve had great coaches and teammates since middle school,” she said. “They have always put it in my head that I could do great things. I wouldn’t be running in college if it weren’t for my parents, teammates and coaches.”
Cross country Coach Jeff Crumbaugh and track Coach Rod Moon said Johnson has a bright future in both athletics and academics.
“Ali has tremendous potential. She has a great combination of speed and endurance along with a solid work ethic,” said Crumbaugh. “Ali is also a good student. Winona State is fortunate to have her.”
“Ali is one of those special athletes that coaches wish they had every year,” added Moon. “She works hard in practice and has the talent to succeed at many events. I have been blessed to be her Head Coach for track for the past three years and I am looking forward to having her be a leader in track again this spring. She knows that her talent will only get her so far, so she is willing to put the extra time and energy into her workouts—during the season, but more importantly, during the off season—so she can make it to State.”
Johnson offered some advice for athletes looking to follow in her footsteps and find athletic success.
“Don’t ever give up,” she said. “Push past any struggles. Make good decisions. Stay motivated. If you do these things, you can go anywhere.”