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Johnson shows grit, earns another trip to state

DAYTON — With just one good leg and an incredible amount of determination, Brenda Johnson displayed what kind of competitor she is here Saturday at the Division II regional track and field meet.

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Regional competitors

ABOVE: Indian Lake’s Chris Teague watches teammate Bobby Dye take the baton during the boys 800 relay finals Saturday at the Division II regional meet in Dayton. BELOW:Bellefontaine’s Jazmyn Haley competes in the finals of the girls shot put competition. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Bellefontaine’s Brenda Johnson competes in the finals of the girls shot put competition Saturday at the Division II regional meet inside Welcome Stadium in Dayton. Johnson placed fourth and qualified to the state meet. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LABATT)

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The Bellefontaine junior overcame a major knee injury to qualify to the state meet in the girls shot put after she took fourth with a toss of 38-8 1/2 inside Welcome Stadium.

Johnson, who placed sixth at the Division I state meet last spring, competed Saturday with a torn ACL, a medial meniscus tear and bone bruising in her left knee, which is the leg she plants from to throw the shot put.

“We just had to see what happened and react by how my knee went,” said Johnson. “I had butterflies the whole time. I was worried how my knee would react. There is a lot of good competition here. My knee held up, though, and I was able to get one out there.”

Johnson suffered the injury during AAU basketball in the offseason. No further damage can be done to her knee, so the Chieftain standout is waiting until after track season for surgery.

“It does mean more to me to qualify with my knee,” said Johnson. “You don’t know what can happen, so I’m just really happy I get to go back to state.”

 

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