Jalen Johnson is on cruise control, crushing his competition and creating the opportunity to capture an individual state title. This Player Profile is presented by LifeStance Health.
When the spring athletic season was canceled in 2020, not only did seniors miss out on their final high school seasons, underclassmen also missed out on the opportunity to make a name for themselves. This spring one of the most eye opening athletes in the area has been Metea Valley junior Jalen Johnson.
At 6’3 and 190 pounds, he is certainly easy to spot. Johnson first turned heads on the football field as a standout wide receiver for the Mustang football team. A favorite target of quarterback Logan Frederick, Johnson could frequently be found leaping high for acrobatic catches. He’s impressed more than just us at NSW, in April he announced his commitment to play collegiately at Northern Illinois University.
Despite his impressive play on the gridiron, his achievements on the track have been even more extraordinary. Running the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, Johnson has broken the school records in each event on a nearly weekly basis. The Mustang won both events at the DVC Championship earlier this month and most recently qualified for state in both events for the first time. After suffering a football related injury last season and missing a year of competition due to COVID, Johnson was able to make the most of the time off.
Towering over most of his fellow runners, Johnson took second in 110 hurdles and won the 300 meter hurdles in 38.93 seconds at the Naperville North sectional. Though he is still only a junior, the Metea star is able to help lead his fellow track teammates in more ways than one.
Now with a chance to make some noise at the State meet at Eastern Illinois, the most exciting thing about Jalen Johnson is he still has one more year to continue making strides for the black and gold.
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell.
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