As Alumni Weekend approaches, the Lynchburg College athletic department is profiling the teams and players selected to this year's Hall of Fame Class. The fourth honoree to be profiled is former track and field athlete Johnny Harris '02.
In his time at Lynchburg, Johnny won two indoor individual ODAC titles and three outdoor individual titles. In addition to that, he won six All-American awards. In 1999 he was a member of the indoor 4x400 meter relay team, and the outdoor 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams that finished as All-Americans. The 4x400 outdoor team won the national title during the championships as well. In 2000 he was a member of the 4x400 outdoor All-American team and in 2001 he helped the same team earn honors at the indoor championships. As a senior, Johnny earned his first individual honor, becoming an All-American in the outdoor 400 meter race. Along with those honors, he still holds the outdoor school-record in the 200 meter dash, with a time of 21.44.
We asked Johnny a couple of questions and here is what he had to say:
How does it feel to be honored with induction into the Lynchburg College Hall of Fame?
I am quite honored and surprised to inducted into the Hall of Fame. There are many, many athletes who had a direct impact on my success at LC. It does feel good to have the selection committee recognize my efforts to represent Lynchburg College in a competitive manner on the track throughout my tenure.
How does it feel to be honored in front of your classmates?
It's always good to share personal, team success and accomplishments, whether it's with your peers, coaches or family members.
What was it like to be part of a prestigious program that has won over 50 ODAC titles?
To be honest, I didn't know the program has one that many titles. It's not surprising; while I was a student at LC, losing ODAC's was never an option. It was business as usual every season. It feels great to be part of the most successful program in Lynchburg College, but also the ODAC. It just goes to show you that it took many student athletes and great coaching to accomplish that goal.
What was your favorite memory at Lynchburg?
I have two. First, winning the NCAA National Championship in 1999 as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team and calling my mother and father to give them the exciting news. It was truly a special moment. Second. Away track meets. I never really traveled, much less been out of the state to often prior to going to college. Away track meets afforded me that opportunity. It was never, ever a dual moment. Whether it was loading up the vans heading to ODAC's, taking a tour of the World Trade Center in between races at the Milrose Games, riding in a van for 6 hours to for 10 seconds just to turn around and come home or hearing one of Coach Tom's hilarious stories…it was an experience I will never forget.
How has LC track and field and LC as a whole helped you throughout your life?
LC Track gave me an opportunity to reach my athletic potential. I was a very raw an inexperienced runner. The coaches, especially Coach Toms and Coach Bennett, helped me foster independence and accountability for my actions on and off the track. There was a time my sophomore year, when I was going to transfer to UNC and run track. I am glad I changed my mind, because it was for the wrong reasons. Coach Toms shared with me during that time, that he set very high expectations for me while I was at LC. He echoed what my parents always instilled in me, which was to "finish what you start." So, in essence, those high expectations, accountability and commitment, among other things learned at LC on and off the track have transferred into my personal and professional life.